Robert Lieberman is Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. He studies American political development, race and American politics, and public policy. He has also written extensively about the development of American democracy and the links between American and comparative politics.
His most recent book is Four Threats: The Recurring Crises of American Democracy (St. Martin’s Press, 2020), co-authored with Suzanne Mettler. His first book, Shifting the Color Line: Race and the American Welfare State (Harvard University Press, 1998), won the Social Science History Association Presidential Book Award, the Thomas J. Wilson Prize of Harvard University Press, and Columbia University’s Lionel Trilling Award. Shaping Race Policy: The United States in Comparative Perspective (Princeton University Press, 2005) was awarded the Best Book Prize by the Race, Ethnicity, and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. He is also the co-editor of Democratization in America: A Comparative-Historical Analysis (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009), Beyond Discrimination: Racial Inequality in a Postracist Era (Russell Sage Foundation, 2013), and The Oxford Handbook of American Political Development (Oxford University Press, 2016).
He is a co-convenor of the American Democracy Collaborative and chaired the American Political Science Association Task Force on New Partnerships. He has received fellowships from the Russell Sage Foundation and the American Philosophical Society. In 2021, he as the John G. Winant Visiting Professor of Government at the University of Oxford.
Lieberman previously served as provost and senior vice president of academic affairs of Johns Hopkins from 2013-2016. As provost, he oversaw implementation of the Bloomberg Distinguished Professorships; the Catalyst and Discovery awards, which reward innovative early-career research and distinguished cross-divisional collaboration, and the President’s Frontier Award, given annually to a faculty member who demonstrates significant scholarly achievement and exceptional promise for important future work. He also led the development of the university’s Faculty Diversity Initiative and worked to enhance the university’s practices and accountabilities around equity issues. Before coming to Johns Hopkins, he was on the faculty of Columbia University, where he served from 2012-13 as interim dean of the School of International and Public Affairs.