SUMMARY. Charles Tilly is Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science, Columbia University. His work focuses on large-scale social change and its relationship to contentious politics, especially in Europe since 1500. His most recently published books are Contention and Democracy in Europe, 1650-2000 (Cambridge University Press, 2004), Social Movements, 1768-2004 (Paradigm Publishers, 2004), Economic and Political Contention in Comparative Perspective (Paradigm Publishers, co-authored and co-edited with Maria Kousis, 2005), Trust and Rule (Cambridge University Press, 2005), Popular Contention in Great Britain, 1758-1834 (Paradigm Publishers, 2005, revised paperback edition of 1995 book), Identities, Boundaries, and Social Ties (once again Paradigm Publishers, 2005),Why? (Princeton University Press, 2006), the Oxford Handbook of Contextual Political Analysis (co-edited and co-authored with Robert Goodin, Oxford University Press, 2006), Contentious Politics (co-authored with Sidney Tarrow, Paradigm Publishers, 2006)., and Regimes and Repertoires (University of Chicago Press, 2006). He has recently completed his chapters of Politics, Exchange, and Social Life in World History (with John Coatsworth, Juan Cole, Michael Hanagan, Peter Perdue, and Louise A. Tilly, forthcoming from Wadsworth/Thomson), and Democracy (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). He is helping run the Russian Academy of Sciences – (U.S.) National Academy of Sciences joint project on conflict in multi-ethnic polities. He is also undergoing chemotherapy for non-Hodgkins’ lymphoma.
GENERAL INFORMATION. In May 1929, Tilly was born to Naneth Rowena (Stott) Tilly and Otto Charles Tilly in Lombard, Illinois. After graduating from York Community High School (Elmhurst, Illinois), Tilly received an A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1950 and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Harvard in 1958. Between A.B. and Ph.D. he studied at Balliol College, Oxford and the Facultés Catholiques de l'Ouest, Angers, served in the U.S. Navy’s amphibious forces, and began full-time teaching. While a student, Tilly worked at various times as newsboy, grocery clerk, office boy, factory hand, construction laborer, janitor, night watchman, camp counselor, and psychiatric-hospital researcher.
Tilly served as instructor and assistant professor of sociology, University of Delaware (1956-62); lecturer, then visiting professor of sociology, Harvard University (1963-66); member, MIT-Harvard Joint Center for Urban Studies (1963-66); professor of sociology, University of Toronto (1965-69); professor of history, University of Michigan (1969-84); professor of sociology, University of Michigan (1969-81); Theodore M. Newcomb professor of social science, University of Michigan (1981-84); Distinguished Professor of sociology and history, New School for Social Research (1984-90), University Distinguished Professor, New School for Social Research (1990-96). He is now Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science, Columbia University, where he has regular membership in the departments of sociology and political science. He serves as a fellow of Columbia’s Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, and as a member of the political science Dissertation Proposal Review Committee. At Columbia he has chaired the university committee on the future of the natural sciences and the Academic Quality Fund as well as serving on the Academic Review Committee, on selection committees for the Bancroft Dissertation Prize, and on the provost’s Task Force on the School at Columbia.
Tilly's shorter-term appointments include visiting research associate, Center of International Studies, Princeton University (1962-63); visiting professor of sociology, Sir George Williams University (1967); Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (1968-69 and 1997-98); member, Institute for Advanced Study (1970-71, 1972); John Simon Guggenheim Fellow (1974-75); Directeur d'Etudes Associé [= Visiting Study Director], Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (1974-78, 1980, 1982, 1986, 1990); Professeur Associé de Science Politique [= Visiting Professor of Political Science], Université de Paris I/Sorbonne (1983); Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States (1983-84); Professeur Invité d'Histoire [= Visiting Professor of History], Université de Paris VII/Jussieu (1984); Visiting Scholar, Russell Sage Foundation (1987-88); Professeur Invité de Science Politique, Institut d'Etudes Politiques, Paris (1988); Professeur Invité, Collège de France (1991); Visiting Professor, Postgraduate Institute of Social Sciences, Amsterdam (1993); Olof Palme Professor, Stockholm University (1996), Faculty Affiliate, Center for International Security and Arms Control, Stanford University (1997-98), Visiting Professor, Oslo Summer School in Comparative Social Science Studies (1999), and co-director, Summer Institute on Contentious Politics, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (2000).
At Michigan, Tilly directed the Center for Research on Social Organization and belonged to the Executive Board, Horace Rackham School of Graduate Studies. He also served there at various times as acting director, co-director, director, and member of the executive committee, Center for Western European Studies, as Hudson research professor of history, and as member of the executive committees of the Center for Research on Conflict Resolution, the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, and the Institute for Social Research. At the New School for Social Research, he directed the Center for Studies of Social Change and co-directed the MacArthur Program on Global Change and Liberalism while serving as member of the Committee on Historical Studies and the Committee on Political Economy.
Tilly has been co-chair of the History Panel, Survey of the Behavioral and Social Sciences (Social Science Research Council and National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A.); council member, Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research; member (1970-76), then chair (1977) of the Mathematical Social Science Board; chair, Committee on Mathematics in the Social Sciences, Social Science Research Council (1978-79); member, Committee on States and Social Structures, Social Science Research Council (1985-90); rapporteur, Symposium on Sociology and History, Ninth World Congress of Sociology; member of the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Research Council (1981-85); successively founding member, co-chair, and chair, Committee on International Conflict and Cooperation, National Research Council (1985-1993); founding member, Committee on Democracy and States in Transition, National Research Council (1993-); member of the steering committee, Initiative on Genocide, American Sociological Association (1993- ); co-chair, Task Force on Economies in Transition, National Research Council (1995-98); member of the steering committee, National Academy of Sciences/Russian Academy of Sciences Joint Project on Conflict in Multi-Ethnic Societies (2000-), and member of advisory committees at the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the French-American Foundation.
Tilly has belonged to the international advisory councils of the International Inter-university Center (Paris-la Défense) and the Analytical Center on Problems of Socio-Economy and Science-Technology Development (Russian Academy of Sciences). He is currently serving on similar councils at the International Institute of Social History (Amsterdam), the Amsterdam School for Social Science Research, and Reading University (UK).
Tilly is a member of the (U.S.) National Academy of Sciences, fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, member of the American Philosophical Society, member of the Sociological Research Association, member of the Society for Comparative Research, and a chevalier de l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques. He has received the Common Wealth Award in sociology (1982) the Merit Award for Distinguished Scholarship (Eastern Sociological Society, 1996), the Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award (American Sociological Association, 2005), the Karl Deutsch Award in Comparative Politics (International Political Science Association, 2006), and the Phi Beta Kappa Sidney Hook Memorial Award (2006), as well as honorary doctorates in social sciences from Erasmus University, Rotterdam (1983), the Institut d'Etudes Politiques, University of Paris (1993), the University of Toronto (1995), the University of Strasbourg (1996), the University of Geneva (1999), the University of Crete (2002), and the University of Québec at Montréal (2004). In 2001, Columbia’s sociology graduate students named him Prof of the Year.
In 1987, Tilly’s book The Contentious French shared the C. Wright Mills Award of the Society for the Study of Social Problems; in 1989, the same book won the Award for Distinguished Scholarly Publication of the American Sociological Association. In 1995 his book European Revolutions received the Premio Europeo Amalfi. In 1996, the American Sociological Association's Section on Collective Behavior and Social Movements gave his Popular Contention in Great Britain its Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award. In 1999, the Eastern Sociological Society selected his Durable Inequality for its first annual Book Award. In 2000, the American Sociological Association gave the same book its Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award. In 2005, his Contention and Democracy in Europe, 1650-2000, shared the American Political Science Association Democratization Section’s best book award.
Among Tilly’s negative distinctions he prizes 1) never having held office in a professional association, 2) never having served on a board of directors – profit or nonprofit, 3) never having chaired a university department or served as a dean, 4) never having been an associate professor, 5) rejection every single time he has been screened as a prospective juror. He had also hoped never to publish a book with a subtitle, but subtitles somehow slipped into two of his co-authored books.
Tilly has given plenary or keynote addresses to annual meetings of the Sociological Research Association, the American Sociological Association, the American Historical Association, the Southwestern Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, the Conference of Europeanists, the Society for French Historical Studies, the Indiana Sociology Intercollegiate Symposium, the American Association of Public Opinion Research, the University of Chicago Spring Sociology Conference, the South African Sociological Association, the North American Labor History Conference, the European Sociological Association, and a number of other organizations.
Tilly has lectured, among a great many other places, at the Universities of Bordeaux, Paris, Lyon, Strasbourg, Umeå, Uppsala, Stockholm, Gothenberg, Lund, Bergen, Oslo, Joensuu, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Aarhus, Warsaw, Lodz, Konstanz, Münster, Geneva, Amsterdam, Groningen, Leiden, Utrecht, Pisa, Trento, Edinburgh, Oxford, Natal (Durban), Witwatersrand, Havana, Waterloo, British Columbia, Western Ontario, Montréal, Laval, and Ottawa, as well as at Carleton University, McMaster University, Queens University (Belfast), Erasmus University (Rotterdam), Charles University (Prague), the Free University (Berlin), the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, the Institut National de Sciences Politiques, the Istituto Universitario Europeo, the Universidad del Pais Vasco, Ben-Gurion University (Beer Sheva), the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the Ecole Normale Supérieure. Among other lecture series, he has delivered the Messenger Lectures at Cornell University (1987), Sorokin Lectures to the Midwest Sociological Society (1989) and the Eastern Sociological Society (2001), the Stein Rokkan Lecture at the University of Bergen (1993), the Ross Lectures at UCLA (1995), the Tumin Lecture at Princeton University (2000), the Templeton Lecture at Boston University (2000), the Mead Lecture at Trinity College, Hartford (2002), the University Lecture at Columbia University (2002), the S.D. Clark Lecture at the University of Toronto (2002), the Snowdon Lecture at Wesleyan University (2002), the Mead Lecture at the University of Connecticut (2005), and the Thompson Lecture at Vassar College (2005).
Tilly has served as consultant on programs, grants, and appointments for many institutions, including the Marketing Science Institute, the MacArthur Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Southwest Center for Urban Research, the Canada Council, the Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts, Michigan State University, Carnegie-Mellon University, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, the City University of New York, the University of Lagos, the University of Amsterdam, the Academy of Finland, the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences (Netherlands), and the New York State Department of Education.
Tilly has belonged to the editorial or advisory boards of the Journal of the American Institute of Planners, Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales, French Historical Studies, American Journal of Sociology, American Historical Review, Social Networks, Historical Methods, Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace, and Conflict, Encyclopedia of Political Revolutions, Sage Encyclopedia of Social Science Research Methods, Comparative Urban and Community Research, East European Journal of the Social Sciences, Social Science History, Mesure et Histoire, Annual Review of Sociology, Journal of Urban History, Journal of Historical Sociology, Sociological Forum, Sociological Perspectives, Social Justice Research, Contention, Food and Foodways, Cultural Anthropology, Thesis (Moscow), Oxford Companion to American Military History, Vingtième Siècle, and Journal of Conflict Resolution. From 1993 to 1996, he served as deputy editor of the American Sociological Review.
Tilly uncomfortably acknowledges having edited or co-edited now-defunct series at Harvard University Press, Addison-Wesley, Princeton University Press, Academic Press, Westview Press, Blackwell Publishers, and the National Academy of Sciences. In compensation or penance, he is now member of the editorial or advisory boards of American Behavioral Scientist, Amsterdam University Press, Anthropological Theory, City & Community, Columbia Journal of Historiography, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Culture & Politics, Hagar (Be’er Sheva), History of the Family, Il Dubbio, International Encyclopedia of Political Science, International Political Sociology, International Review of Social History, International Studies Quarterly (second term), Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Journal of International Affairs, Journal of Political and Military Sociology, Mobilization, Political Power and Social Theory, Social Movement Studies, Social Research, Social Science Research, Tempo Social, and Theory and Society. With Jack Goldstone, Doug McAdam, Sidney Tarrow, and Elisabeth Wood, he is currently co-editing the Cambridge [University Press] Studies in Contentious Politics.