Government chair McAdams appointed Nanovic Institute director

Author: Dennis Brown

A. James McAdams, chair and William M. Scholl Professor of International Affairs at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed director of the University’s Nanovic Institute for European Studies. Currently teaching in Notre Dame’s London Program, he will assume his new responsibilities in July.

McAdams studies modern German politics, focusing on the comparative analysis of authoritarianism, the domestic roots of foreign policymaking, the logic of democratic transitions, and the politics of retrospective justice. His latest project is titled “The Contradictions of Liberty: Safeguarding Personal Privacy and National Interest in the Age of the Web,” a comparative study of state surveillance of the Internet in Germany, Great Britain and the United States.p. Established in 1993, the Nanovic Institute sponsors cross-disciplinary discussion and research in European studies.p. It has organized conferences, seminars and lectures by internationally recognized scholars and government officials on such problems as nationalism, citizenship, ethnicity, immigration and the place of Europe in the international community.p. More than 40 Notre Dame faculty members from a dozen departments hold appointments as Nanovic fellows. Other institute initiatives include a visiting scholars program and research grants for faculty, graduate students and undergraduates.p. A member of the Notre Dame faculty since 1992, McAdams is the author of “Judging the Past in United Germany,” “East Germany and Detente” and “Germany Divided.” He is a coauthor of “Rebirth: A History of Europe” and editor of “Transitional Justice and the Rule of Law in New Democracies.”p. McAdams received the DADD Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in 1997 for his “major corpus of excellent analysis of Germany’s postwar division and its overcoming.” He was the first political scientist to receive the prize, which is awarded by the German Academic Exchange Service and the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.p. McAdams also has been honored for his work in the classroom, receiving Notre Dame’s Charles E. Sheedy Award for Excellence in Teaching, a Kaneb Teaching Award, and the Thomas P. Madden Award for Outstanding Teaching of Freshmen. While a member of the Princeton University faculty from 1985-92, he received the university-wide Robert K. Root Preceptorship for outstanding teaching.p. McAdams earned his bachelor’s degree from Earlham College and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of California at Berkeley.p. The Nanovic Institute was established and endowed with gifts from Robert S. and Elizabeth Nanovic of Cumberland Center, Maine. Robert Nanovic is a 1954 graduate of Notre Dame who received a master’s of business administration degree from Lehigh University in 1960. Now retired from a career as an investment counselor, he has been a member of the advisory council for Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters since 1993. His wife, the former Elizabeth Edney, is a graduate of Hofstra University.p. Among the Nanovics’ other benefactions to Notre Dame are the Nicholas S. Nanovic Scholarships, which were established in 1983 in honor of Robert Nanovic’s father.

Originally published by Dennis Brown at on February 26, 2002.