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Reinhard Bendix (February 25, 1916February 28, 1991) was a sociologist born in Berlin, Germanymarker.

As a teenager, he briefly belonged to Neu beginnen and Hashomer Hatzair, groups that resisted the Nazis. In 1938 he emigrated to the United Statesmarker. He received his B.S., M.A., and Ph.D. from the University of Chicagomarker, and subsequently taught there from 1943 to 1946. He then taught for a year in the Sociology Department of the University of Coloradomarker before moving to the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeleymarker in 1947 where he remained for the rest of his career.

In 1969 Bendix was elected President of the American Sociological Association. From 1968 to 1970 he served as Director of the University of California Education Abroad Program in Göttingenmarker, Germanymarker. In 1972 he joined the Department of Political Science at Berkeley.

He held guest professorships at numerous universities, including at Columbia University, St. Catherine'smarker and Nuffield Collegesmarker at the University of Oxfordmarker, the Free University of Berlinmarker, the University of Constancemarker, Hebrew Universitymarker in Jerusalemmarker, and the University of Heidelbergmarker.

In the course of his lifetime he received many honors, including fellowships from the Fulbright Program and the Guggenheim, a grant from the Carnegie Corporation, as well as being named a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studymarker, and was accepted into both the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholarsmarker and Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. Bendix was also a member of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science and American Philosophical Societymarker and received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Leedsmarker, Mannheimmarker, and Göttingenmarker.

Bendix, who was deeply devoted to teaching, died in 1991 of a heart attack shortly after conducting a graduate seminar together with a young colleague.

Selected Publications


  • Work and Authority in Industry, (1956)
  • Social Mobility in Industrial Society with Seymour M. Lipset (1959), ISBN 0887387608 online edition
  • Max Weber: An Intellectual Portrait, (1960)
  • Nation-Building & Citizenship: Studies of Our Changing Social Order, (1964)
  • Kings or People: Power and the Mandate to Rule, (1978)
  • Force, Fate and Freedom, (1984)
  • From Berlin to Berkeley, (1986)
  • Embattled Reason, Vol. 1, (1988)
  • Embattled Reason, Vol. 2, (1989)
  • Unsettled Affinities, (1993 posth.)


  • “State, Legitimation, and 'Civil Society'”. TELOS 86 (Winter 1990-91). New York: Telos Press

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