In memory of our mentor Peter Mair

A- A A+

Peter MairOn 15 August 2011 our mentor Peter Mair, Professor of Comparative Politics at the EUI, suddenly passed away.

Peter was a truly gracious and attentive mentor. Arriving at the EUI we bore the many uncertainties and doubts that naturally come with being at the very start of our careers. With his steadfast encouragement, sound advice, and genuine faith in us, he fostered our confidence in the quality and import of our own work and made us feel that we had a valued place in the academy.

Peter’s contributions to comparative politics made him one of the greatest scholars in our discipline; no undergraduate or graduate syllabus would be complete without reference to his path-breaking work on party democracy. Over the years, fuelled by skepticism toward the sustainability of successful representation through parties, Peter had become increasingly concerned by developments undermining the quality of democratic life in Europe and beyond. As a political scientist and citizen, Peter sought to understand and explain these changes to fellow academics, policy makers, and the general public. In doing so, he inspired us all not to shy away from addressing large, thorny, and pressing political questions in our research.

To all of us, it was clear how deeply Peter cared for and about us, not just as scholars but also as people. He was always there for us when we needed help and advice. In those moments, in private as well as in public, when we lacked conviction in our own voices, Peter believed in us and spoke up for us. When our time at the EUI came to an end, our connections with Peter and the support we received from him did not.

We all feel immensely privileged to have known Peter and share a profound sense of loss at his untimely passing. Our thoughts and sincerest condolences are with Karin, Cathleen, John, and Tessa.

Peter Mair’s Max Weber Fellows 2006 to 2011

  • David Art, Tufts University
  • Simon Bornschier , University of Zürich
  • Holger Döring, University of Bremen
  • Isabelle Engeli, University of Ottawa
  • Armèn Hakhverdian, University of Amsterdam
  • Silja Häusermann, University of Konstanz
  • Jan Meyer-Sahling, University of Nottingham
  • Quinton Mayne, Harvard University
  • Anne Rasmussen, Leiden University
  • Kyriaki Nanou, European University Institute
  • Galina Zapryanova, European University Institute