Elazar Barkan Headshot

Elazar Barkan

Professor of International and Public Affairs; Senior Research Scholar of International and Public Affairs

Elazar Barkan Headshot

International Affairs Building, Room 803B


Personal Details

Focus areas: Historical dialogue and conflict resolution

Elazar Barkan is Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, Director of SIPA's Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy Concentration, and Director of Columbia's Institute for the Study of Human Rights.

Professor Barkan is also founding Director of the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation (IHJR) in The Hague. Professor Barkan served on ISHR’s board of directors before becoming ISHR’s co-director in 2007 and director in 2008. Previously, Professor Barkan served as chair of the History Department and the Cultural Studies Department at the Claremont Graduate University, where he was the founding director of the Humanities Center. Professor Barkan is a historian by training and received his PhD from Brandeis University in Comparative European History and BA from Tel Aviv University.

His research interests focus on human rights and on the role of history in contemporary society and politics and the response to gross historical crimes and injustices. His human rights work seeks to achieve conflict resolution and reconciliation by bringing scholars from two or more sides of a conflict together and employing historical methodology to create shared narratives across political divides and to turn historical dialogue into a fundamental tool of political reconciliation. A recent pertinent article: “Historians and Historical Reconciliation,” (AHR Forum) American Historical Review, (October 2009). Professor Barkan's other current research interests include refugee repatriation, comparative analysis of historical commissions, shared sacred sites, and the question of human rights impact, specifically with regard to redress and transitional justice.


  • PhD in Comparative European History, Brandeis University
  • BA, Tel Aviv University

Honors and Awards

  • Columbia President’s Global Innovation Fund (PGIF) Faculty Grant Awards, 2016‐2018

Research And Publications

Memories of Violence: Micro and Macro History and the Challenges to Peacebuilding in Colombia and Northern Ireland

Feb 2016

Irish Political Studies

Elazar Barkan

Choreography of Sacred Spaces: State, Religion and Conflict Resolution

Nov 2014

Columbia University Press

Elazar Barkan

Karen Barkey

No Return, No Refuge: Rites and Rights in Minority Repatriation

Jul 2011

Columbia University Press

Elazar Barkan

In The Media