Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Maurice Amado Foundation Fellowship

Research Topic

Habsburg Jewish Legal Scholars, Sociology, and the Global Imperial Turn


Thomas Prendergast researches modern Europe from a global and Jewish perspective. He is particularly interested in the history of empire, nationalism, law, and the social sciences. At the Katz Center, he will examine how a transnational intellectual movement aimed to rehabilitate multinational statehood and challenge the core assumptions of nineteenth-century European legal thought.

Prendergast received his PhD from Duke University. He was previously a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and, prior to that, a Fulbright Junior Visiting Fellow at the Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften (IFK) in Vienna.

Selected publications

  • “The Sociological Idea of the State: Legal Education, Austrian Multinationalism, and the Future of Continental Empire, 1880–1914,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 62.2 (2020)
  • “Yiddish-Language World History and the Emergence of a Jewish Nationalist Politics in Late Imperial Russia,” East European Jewish Affairs 50.1-2 (2020)
  • “The Social Democrats of Scholarship: Austrian Imperial Peripheries and the Making of a Progressive Science of Nationality,” Religions 6 (2015)



Studying law between the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries, an age of transition from a world of empires to the modern age of the nation-state and international law.