Heribert Adam

Professor Emeritus

  • Email: adam@sfu.ca
  • Telephone: 250-629-6229 or 604-228-8369

Status and Education

Born in Germany and educated at Frankfurt School of Critical Theory with Th.W. Adorno as PhD (1965) supervisor.  Habilitation (1972, Giessen).  Research Associate at Institute for Social Research (1961-65).


Comparative Ethno-nationalism, Immigration, Multiculturalism. Democratic Governance. Human Rights and Security. Peacemaking. Transitional Justice and Politics of Memory, particularly Truth and Reconciliation Commissions. Country Expertise: Southern Africa, Israel/Palestine, Canada and Germany.     

Honours, Awards, Fellowships

Visiting Appointments

University of Cape Town 1986-2008, FU Berlin 1999, Arnold Bergstraesser Insitut, Freiburg, 1988, University of Siegen 1978 and 1982, Yale University 1977-78, American University in Cairo 1972-74, University of Marburg 1972, University of Natal 1967


Seeking Mandela: Peacemaking Between Israelis and Palestinians, with K. Moodley, (Temple University and Wits University Press, 2006)

The Opening of the Apartheid Mind: Options for the New South Africa, with K. Moodley, (University of California Press, 1993)


South Africa Without Apartheid. Dismantling Racial Domination, with K. Moodley, (University of California Press and Suhrkamp, 1986)

Ethnic Power Mobilized, with H. Giliomme, (Yale University Press, 1979)

South Africa: Sociological Perspectives, editor, (Oxford University Press, 1971)

Studentenschaft und Hochschule, (Deutsche Verlagsanstalt, 1965)

Hushed Voices: Unacknowledged Atrocities of the 20th Century
Editor (Berkshire Academic Press, 2010)

Comrades in Business:  Post-Liberation Politics in South Africa, with F. van Zyl Slabbert and K. Moodley, (Tafelberg and International Books, 1998)

Democratizing Southern Africa: Challenges for Canadian Policy, with K. Moodley, (Ottawa: Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security, 1992)


South Africa: The Limits of Reform Politics, editor, (E.J. Brill, 1983)

Modernizing Racial Domination. The Dynamics of South African Politics, (University of California Press, 1971)

Suedafrika. Soziologie einer Rassengesellschaft(Suhrkamp, 1969)

Recent Publications

“Xenophobia, Asylum Seekers and Immigration Policies in Germany”, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, 21: 446-464, September 2015, ISSN: 1353-7113.            

“Realities and Discourses on South African Xenophobia”, with Kogila Moodley, Strategic Review of Southern Africa, Vol.37, No1, May 2015, 200-205, ISSN: 1013-1108. Also in German: Welttrends. Das Aussenpolitische Journal, 108, Vol 23, October 2015, 4-9.

“SouthAfrica” in The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Race Ethnicity and Nationalism, 2016, ISBN 9781118663202

“Migrants as an Indicator of Global and Local Inequality: The Case of      African Refugees” in Amanda Machin and Nico Stehr, eds. Understanding Inequality: Social Costs and Benefits, Wiesbaden: Springer, 2016, 410-423.

“Beyond Shame: The Decline of the ‘Rainbow Nation’”, in C. Quist-Akade and W. Royal, eds. Re-engaging the African Diasporas: Pan-Africanism in the Age of Globalization, Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016, 38-42.

“Contested Migration, Refugees and Interculturalism in Global Comparisons”, in KAME 2016, ed. Envisioning New Possibilities of Multicultural Education, Seoul National University, 2016, 313-333.

“Privileging Legality over Legitimacy”, in Kalim Rajab, ed. A Man of Africa:The Political Thought of Harry Oppenheimer, Johannesburg: Zebra Press/Random House SA, 2017, 65-70.

“Merits and Shortcomings of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)” in Ajlina Karamehic-Muratovic and Laura Kromjak, eds. Remembrance and Forgiveness: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Genocide and Mass Violence, Budapest: Central European University Press, 2018, forthcoming

Other Professional Activity

Council Member of Vancouver Institute;  Board Member of ISA RC05 and various journals. Invited lectures and consultancy about immigration policies, refugees and xenophobia. Occasional op-eds.