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Peter Schwab

Professor Emeritus of Political Science

Peter Schwab taught courses on human rights, African Politics and Literature, the Middle East, U.S Foreign Policy Since 1945, The Literature of Political Violence, and Cuba and the United States. Basically the emphasis was on courses that dealt with international politics and U.S. policy abroad.  

More About Me

Professor Schwab was a founding member of political science, joining the faculty in 1971. He retired in 2020 after almost 50 years at Purchase College, State University of New York. Among the first 15 faculty hired he helped to develop the original political science program and aided in its subsequent development. The SUNY Chancellor’s Award in Recognition of Exemplary Research and Scholarship (2005) and the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (2014-2015) are among the numerous awards he has received. 

Research Interests

Human Rights

African Politics

Israel & Palestine

Cuba, the U.S, and the embargo

Representative Courses

The Middle East

Cuba & the U.S

West African Politics and Literature

U.S Foreign Policy



Designing West Africa: Prelude to 21st-Century Calamity {NY: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2004}.

Africa: A Continent Self-Destructs {NY: Palgrave/St. Martin’s Press, 2001; NY: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2002}.

Human Rights: New Perspectives, New Realities {Boulder: Lynne Rienner Pubs., 2000; New Delhi: Viva Books, 2002}, with Adamantia Pollis.

Cuba: Confronting the U.S. Embargo {NY: St. Martin’s Press, 1999, 2000; London: Macmillan    Pubs.,1999; London: Palgrave/Macmillan Pubs., 2001}.

Ethiopia: Politics, Economics and Society {London: Frances Pinter Pubs., 1985; Boulder: Lynne   Rienner Pubs., 1985}. Distributed by Columbia University Press, 1988, St. Martin’s Press, 1992, Cassell PLC, 1995.

Toward a Human Rights Framework {NY: Praeger Pubs, 1982}, with Adamantia Pollis.

Human Rights: Cultural and Ideological Perspectives {NY: Praeger Pubs., 1979, 1980}, with  Adamantia Pollis.

Haile Selassie: Ethiopia’s Lion of Judah {Chicago: Nelson-Hall Pubs., 1979}.

Is America Necessary? {St. Paul: West Pubs., 1976}, with Henry Etzkowitz.

John F. Kennedy {NY: Twayne Pubs., 1974}, with J. Lee Shneidman.

Decision-Making in Ethiopia: A Study of the Political Process {London: C. Hurst Pubs., 1972;  Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1972}.

Ethiopia & Haile Selassie {NY: Facts on File Pubs., 1972}, edited.

Biafra {NY: Facts on File Pubs., 1971}, edited.

Greece Under the Junta {NY: Facts on File Pubs., 1970, 1973}, with George Frangos.



“Fidel Castro, Who Transformed Cuba.”  New York Times    {11/28/2016}. Letter to the Editor, p. A20.

“Cuba Libre?—Four Experts Weigh in on Cuba’s Future Ten Years from Now.” In the online magazine 8/25/2011.           

“Seventy Years after Gernika, Burgos has the Scent of Franco.” The Volunteer: Journal of the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade {June 2007}.

“Cuban Health Care and the U.S. Embargo.”  Monthly Review {11/1997, v.49, #6}.

“Views on Cuba: Life is Improving.” Miami Herald {May 2, 1997}.

“Shabbat in Havana.” Jewish Currents {February 1997}.

“On Cuba, Clinton Should Stop Pandering.” Gannett {July 22, 1996}.

“The Embargo? Scrap it!” Miami Herald {11/28/95}.

“Time to Terminate U.S. Embargo on Cuba.” Gannett {August 23, 1995}.

“U.S. Embargo on Cuba Counterproductive.” Gannett {December 18, 1995}.

“Africa’s Troubled Past Leaves Lasting Legacy of Turmoil.” Scarsdale Inquirer {7/28/95}.

“Israel and the Ethiopian Jews.” Jewish Currents {September 1987}.

“Ethiopian Jews in Israel.” Transnational Perspectives {13,1,1987}.

“Political Change and Famine in Ethiopia.” Current History {May 1985}.

“Socialist Ethiopia.” In Marxist Governments: A World Survey [Vol.2], ed. Bogdan Szajkowski   {London: Macmillan Pubs., 1981; NY: St. Martin’s Press, 1981}.

“Rethinking of Human Rights in Ethiopia.” Horn of Africa{3/4/1980/81}.

“Primary Health Care and its Effect on Economic Development.” Forum {III/3/Dec.1980}.

“Israel’s Weakened Position on the Horn of Africa.” New Outlook {20/10[181] April 1978}.

“Cold War on the Horn of Africa.” African Affairs {77,306, January 1978}.

“Human Rights in Ethiopia.” Journal of Modern African Studies {14,1,1976}.

“Haile Selassie: Leadership in Ethiopia.” Plural Societies {6,2,1975}.

“Eritrea: Another Vietnam?” New York Times{2/28/1975}. Letter to the Editor, p.32.

“Imperial Leadership in Ethiopia.” Geneve-Afrique {12,1,1973}, with Thomas Dow.

“Bibliography on Ethiopia.” Geneve-Afrique {12,2,1973}.

“Emperor Still Struggling to Achieve Land Reform.” African Development {November 1972}.

“Ethiopia: As U.S. Hesitates China Moves In.” African Development {January 1972}.

“Gambia Diversifies.” African Development {March 1971}.

“The Gambia’s Relationship to the Senegambia Association.” Geneve-Afrique {9,2,1970}.

“The Tax System of Ethiopia.” The American Journal of Economics and Sociology {29,1,1970}.

“Rebellion in Gojam Province, Ethiopia.” Canadian Journal of African Studies {4,2,1970}.

“Ethiopia: Paying for Economic Progress.” African Development {December 1969}.

“The Agricultural Income Tax and the Changing Role of Parliament in Ethiopia.” Geneve-Afrique{8/1/1969}.

“Rebellion in Ethiopia: A Study of Gojam Province.” East Africa Journal {November 1969}.

“Selected Bibliography on Ethiopia: Politics and Economics.” East Africa Journal {10/1969}.

“The Ethiopian Tax Structure.” East Africa Journal {February 1968}.


Yearbook Articles

Collier’s Yearbook.  “Ethiopia,” “Sudan,” “Somalia,” “Djibouti” {1988-1993}.

Encyclopedia Americana. “Haile Selassie” {1970}; “Gezira” {1971}; “Theodore II” {1971}.

Encyclopedia Americana Annual. “Ethiopia” {1972-2001}; “Somalia” {1973, 1992-1997}; “Eritrea” {1994}; “Haile Selassie” {1975}; “The Horn of Africa-Special Report” {1979}; “Ethiopia-Eritrea War” {1999, 2001}; “Africa: A Continent of Problems” {2001}; “Africa” {2001};  “Democratic Republic of the Congo” {2001}.

The Academic American Encyclopedia. “Ethiopia,” “Eritrea,” “Somalia,” “Djibouti,” “Mogadishu,” “Addis Ababa,” “The Red Sea” {1980}.

Current History Encyclopedia of Developing Nations. “Ethiopia” {1982}.

Yearbook on International Communist Affairs. “Ethiopia” {1982-1990}.

Funk and Wagnalls New Encyclopedia Yearbook. “Ethiopia” {1988-1993}, “Somalia” {1988-1993}, “Sudan” {1992-1993}.

The New Book of Knowledge. “Haile Selassie” {1992}, “Ethiopia” {1992-1994}.


Book Reviews

 Perspectives on Politics. Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington, and Africa 1959-1976 {1, 2, June 2003}.

The Journal of Developing Areas. Economic Change and Political Liberalization in Sub-Saharan Africa {29,4,1995}. Managing Political Change {20,1,1985}.

The International Journal of African Historical Studies. The Soviet Union in the Horn of Africa {24,2,1991}.  Ethiopia at Bay {18,2,1985}.

African Studies Association Review of Books. A Short Guide to the Study of Ethiopia, The Autobiography of Emperor Haile Selassie I {1892-1937}, War Clouds on the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia, The Fall of Haile Selassie’s Empire {v.4, 1978}.

The Journal of Modern African Studies. The ZinZin Road {4,3}, The Third World {4,4}, Patterns of African Development {5,1}, Africa, the Primacy of Politics {5,1}, Eritrea, Dynamics of a National Question {25,3}, Ethiopia’s Campaign Against Famine {25,3}, West Africa’s Security Challenges {43, 2, June 2005}.

Geneve-Afrique. The Horn of Africa {14,1,1975}, Ethiopia, Anatomy of a Traditional Polity {14,1,1975}.

Africa Today. Tribe and Class in Monrovia {11/1964}, The New Liberia {9/1965}, West African Urbanization {3/1966}.

Canadian Journal of African Studies. Ethiopian Provincial and Municipal Government {1982}, Ethiopia, Transition & Development in the Horn of Africa {23,2,1989}.

Transnational Perspectives. The Ethiopian Revolution {9,1,1983}, Law, Development and the Ethiopian Revolution {9,2,1983}, The Emperor {9,3, 1983}, Next to God, Poland {10,3-4, 1984}, Ethiopia, the US and the Soviet Union {12,3, 1986}, Surrender or Starve, the Wars Behind the Famine {15,1,1989}, Red Tears, War, Famine and Revolution in Ethiopia {15,1,1989}, A Small Place {15,1,1989}.