Dr. Simeon J. Newman

Max-Weber-Institut für Soziologie
Universität Heidelberg
Bergheimer Str. 58
69115 Heidelberg

Raum 02.001



Simeon J. Newman is a political and comparative-historical sociologist who focuses on power, nation-building, and urbanization, and also has broad interests in social theory, political economy, and the philosophy of the social sciences.

In his book project, Mass Clientelism: Urban Growth and the Dialectic of Nation-Building in 20th Century Latin America, he draws on extensive archival data to demonstrate that the Latin American region’s unprecedented wave of urban population growth profoundly shaped national political arenas.
In other research, he uses case-study and mixed-methods approaches to probe the state-civil society nexus, and grapples with methodological and epistemological problems related to comparative-historical sociology and social theorizing.

He earned B.A. degrees in Sociology (Departmental Citation, 2011) and History (Departmental Highest Honors, 2011) from UC Berkeley and M.A. (2014) and Ph.D. (2023) degrees from the University of Michigan. His research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council and the U.S. National Science Foundation.

Selected publications

  • “How Not to Lie with Comparative-Historical Sociology: A Realist Balance Sheet.” To be included in After Positivism: New Approaches to Comparison in Historical Sociology, edited by Damon Maryl and Nicholas Wilson (New York: Columbia University Press). [link]
  • “The Emergence of de facto Bureaucratic Priorities: Extending Urban Citizenship in fin-de-millénaire Lima, Peru.” The Sociological Quarterly 63(2):266-95, 2022. [link]
  • “Civil Society and the Transition Towards Socialism.” (With Laura J. Enríquez.) Comparative Sociology 18(3):345-85, 2019. [link]