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Volker Meja

Professor Emeritus (Ph.D. Brandeis University)


Dr. Meja was educated and taught in Germany and the United States before moving to Newfoundland in 1972. Throughout his career he has worked in the areas of the sociology of knowledge and science, social and political thought, the history of ideas, and political ecology. He is a recognized authority on contemporary German sociology and on the social thought of Karl Mannheim. Dr. Meja has (co)authored or (co)edited thirteen books and over hundred articles, book chapters and encyclopedia entries. His work has been published in or translated into twelve languages, including German, Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese and Chinese.



Karl Mannheim and the Legacy of Max Weber: Retrieving a Research Programme (with David Kettler and Colin Loader) Aldershot, England and Burlington, VT, U.S.A., Ashgate, 2008.

Society & Knowledge: Contemporary Perspectives in the Sociology of Knowledge and Science, editor (with Nico Stehr). New Brunswick, NJ, and London: Transaction Publishers, 2005.

The Sociology of Knowledge, two volumes, in The International Library of Critical Writings in Sociology, editor (with N. Stehr). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2000.

Karl Mannheim and the Crisis of Liberalism (with D. Kettler). New Brunswick and London: Transaction Publishers, 1995.

Robert K. Merton's Soziologische Theorie und soziale Struktur, editor (with N. Stehr). Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, 1995.

Knowledge and Politics, editor (with N. Stehr). London and New York: Routledge, l991.

Modern German Sociology, editor (with D. Misgeld and N. Stehr). New York: Columbia University Press, 1987). Paperback edition, 1990.

Karl Mannheim's Konservatismus, editor (with D. Kettler and N. Stehr). Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, l984, 2004. English edition: co editor and co translator, Conservatism (London and New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986). Italian edition: Conservatorismo. Bari: Laterza, 1990. Hungarian edition: Budapest: Cserepfalvi Kiado, 1994.

Politisches Wissen (with D. Kettler and N. Stehr). Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1989.

Karl Mannheim (with D. Kettler and N. Stehr). London: Tavistock; New York: Methuen, l984). Italian translation: Karl Mannheim. Bologna: Il Mulino, l986. French translation: Karl Mannheim. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, l987. Spanish translation: Karl Mannheim. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1990. Japanese translation: Karl Mannheim. Tokyo: Ochianomizu, 1996. Chinese Translation: Taipei: Laureate Books, 1994.

Der Streit um die Wissenssoziologie, editor (with N. Stehr). Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, l982. Two volumes. Volume l: Die Entwicklung der deutschen Wissenssoziologie. Volume 2: Rezeption und Kritik der Wissenssoziologie.

Wissenssoziologie, editor (with N. Stehr). Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, l98l.

Karl Mannheim's Strukturen des Denkens, editor (with D. Kettler and N. Stehr). Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, l980, 2005. English edition: Structures of Thinking. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, l982. Portuguese: Rio de Janeiro: Zahar Edititores, 1984. Hungarian Translation: A gondolkodas strukturai, Budapest: Atlanticz, 1995.

Selected Articles and Book Chapters (since 1980)

"Wissenschaftssoziologie." In: Handbuch der politischen Philosophie und Sozialphilosophie. Stefan Gosepath et al., eds. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2008.

"Karl Mannheim", "Max Scheler". In: Fifty Key Sociologists, ed. John Scott. Routledge: London and New York, 2007, pp. 81-86, 143-146.

"Karl Mannheim in America: The Loyalty of Kurt H. Wolff" (with D. Kettler). In: The Sociology of Radical Commitment: Kurt H. Wolff's Existential Turn, ed. Gary Backhaus and George Psathas. Lexington Books: Lanham, MD, 2007, pp. 93-113.

"Sociology of Knowledge." In: Encyclopedia of Social Theory. Austin Harrington et al., eds., London and New York: Routledge: 2006.

"Karl Mannheim's Jewish Question - History, Sociology, and the Epistemics of Reflexivity" (with D. Kettler). In: Simon Dubnow Institute Yearbook III . Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2004, pp. 325-347.

"Sociology of Knowledge." In: The Blackwell Dictionary of Modern Social Thought, William Outhwaite, ed. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2003, pp. 650-652..

"Mannheim, Karl (l893-1947)." In: International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 24 volumes, N. Smelser and P. Baltes, eds. Amsterdam and New York: Pergamon, 2001, pp. 9187-9191.

"Modern Societies as Knowledge Societies." (with N. Stehr). In: Luigi Tomasi, ed., New Horizons in Sociological Theory and Research: The Frontiers of Sociology at the Beginning of the Twenty-first Century. Aldershot, N.H., U.K.: Ashgate, 2001, pp. 51-60.

"Karl Mannheim and the Sociology of Knowledge (with D. Kettler). In: Handbook of Social Theory, G. Ritzer & B. Smart, eds. London: Sage, 2001, pp. 100-111.

"Ideologie und Utopie" (with D. Kettler). In: D. Kaesler & L. Vogt, eds., Hauptwerke der Soziologie. Stuttgart: Alfred Kröner, 2000, pp. 260-269.

"Karl Mannheim." In: Dirk Kaesler, ed., Klassiker der Soziologie, vol. 2 .Munich: C.H. Beck, 1999, pp. 296-314. Revised version in new edition (Munich: C.H. Beck, 2006), pp. 299-318. Russian Translation: St. Petersburg: Nauka, 2003.

"R.K. Merton, Structural Analysis and the Design of Modern Sociology." In: Carlo Mongardini and Simonetta Tabboni, eds., Robert K. Merton and Contemporary Sociology New Brunswick, NJ, and London: Transaction, 1999, pp. 21-43. Russian translation 1997.

"Norbert Elias," "Arnold Gehlen," "Robert Michels" and "Alfred Weber," Modern Germany: An Encylopedia of History, People, and Culture, Dieter K. Buse and Juergen C. Doerr, eds. New York: Garland, 1998, pp. 274-275, 365-366, 652-653, 1049-1050.

"La sociologia della conoscenza come," ‘organon.' La politica costituente in Karl Mannheim" (with D. Kettler). Studi Perugini 2, 2: (1997) 27-59.

"Die Zerbrechlichkeit der modernen Gesellschaft" (with N. Stehr). Vorgänge 35, 3 (September 1996): 114-120.

"Legal Formalism and Disillusioned Realism in Max Weber" (with D. Kettler), Polity, 28, 3 (Spring 1996): 307-331.

"Wissenssoziologie," Evangelisches Kirchenlexikon, vol. 4 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1996) :1317-1320.

"That Typically German Kind of Sociology that Verges into Philosophy: The Ideology and Utopia Dispute in the United States" (with D. Kettler). Sociological Theory, 12, 3 (November 1994): 279-303.

"Sancho Pansa als Statthalter. Max Weber und das Problem der materialen Gerechtigkeit" (with D. Kettler). In: G. Wagner and H. Zipprian, eds., Max Webers Wissenschaftslehre. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1994, pp. 713-754.

"Cultural Politics in Karl Mannheim's Sociology," Introduction (with D. Kettler) to the Transaction Edition of Kurt H. Wolff, ed., From Karl Mannheim (New Brunswick, NJ, and London: Transaction Publishers, 1993), pp. vii-xxxvi.

"The Sociology of Knowledge and the Ethos of Science." In: Eileen Leonard, Hermann Strasser, Kenneth Westhues, eds., In Search of Community: Essays in Memory of Werner Stark. New York: Fordham University Press, 1993, pp. 65-83.

"Their ‘Own Peculiar Way': Karl Mannheim and the Rise of Women" (with D. Kettler). International Sociology 8,1 (March 1993): 5-55.

"Social Scientific and Epistemological Discourse: The Problem of Relativism." In: D. Raven, L. van Tucht Tijssen, J. de Wolf, eds., Cognitive Relativism and Social Science (New Brunswick, NJ, and London: Transaction Publishers, 1992), pp.1-13.

"Rationalizing the Irrational: Karl Mannheim and the Besetting Sin of German Intellectuals" (with D. Kettler and N. Stehr), American Journal of Sociology, 95, 6 (May 1990): 1441-1473. Earlier German version published in Diskussionsbeiträge 126 (Siegen: Center for Studies on Changing Norms and Mobility, Universität Siegen, 1989), pp. 1-45. Italian version in Rassegna Italia di Sociologia 29, 4 (1989).

"Karl Mannheim und die Entmündigung der Intelligenz" (with D. Kettler and N. Stehr), Zeitschrift für Soziologie, 15, 2 (April 1990).

"Social Science, Epistemology and Relativism" (with N. Stehr), Social Epistemology 2, 3 (Fall 1988): 263-271.

"The Reconstitution of Political Life: The Contemporary Relevance of Karl Mannheim's Political Project" (with D. Kettler), Polity 20, 4 (Summer 1988):623-647.

"La scienza politica di Mannheim" (with D. Kettler), Mondoperaio 39, 12 (December 1987): 76-82.

"Karl Mannheim et ‘Le Conservatisme'" (with D. Kettler and N. Stehr), Cahiers internationaux de Sociologie 83 (July-December 1987): 245-256.

"Schattenseiten einer erfolgreichen Emigration: Karl Mannheim im englischen Exil" (with D. Kettler), Exilforschung 5 (Munich: edition text + kritik, 1987), pp. 170-195.

"Sozialwissenschaftlicher und erkenntnistheoretischer Diskurs: Das Problem des Relativismus," Soziale Welt, 36, 2 (l985): 261-270.

"Ist Politik als Wissenschaft möglich?" (with D. Kettler and N. Stehr), Angewandte Sozialforschung l2, 3 (l984): 403-417. English version in Society 24, 3, 1987: 76-82.

"Karl Mannheim and Conservatism: The Ancestry of Historical Thinking" (with D. Kettler and N. Stehr), American Sociological Review 49, l (February l984): 71-85. In Italian: Storia della Storiografia 6 (l984): 44-69; also published in Hungarian (1989).

"Arguing for Democracy" (with D. Kettler and N. Stehr), The Times Higher Education Supplement, No. 558 (July l5, l983): 11-12. Reprinted in: Newsletter of the International Society for the Sociology of Knowledge 9, l & 2 (August l983): 2-6.

"The Classical Sociology of Knowledge Revisited," Knowledge: Creation, Diffusion, Utilization 4, l (September l982): 33-50.

"Karl Mannheim's Sociological Theory of Culture" (with D. Kettler and N. Stehr) Canadian Journal of Sociology, 5, 4 (l980): 405-411.