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People: Deceased Emeritus Faculty

Harold K. Jacobson

Deceased Emeritus Faculty


Director, Center for Political Studies 1986-1996
Acting Director, Institute for Social Research 1992-1995
Jesse Siddal Reeves Professor of Political Science in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

Associated with CPS as Director from 1986-1996


Ph.D. Yale 1955

Lecture Series

The Harold Jacobson Lecture was established in 2002 to honor Harold Jacobson, former director of the Center for Political Studies. “Jake” was best known for his work in international law and cooperation.


About Harold K. Jacobson

Harold K. Jacobson, the Jesse Siddal Reeves Professor of Political Science in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and senior research scientist in the Center for Political Studies passed away on August 13, 2001. Professor Jacobson was a man of many parts. He was an accomplished and skilled administrator who had been chair of the Department of Political Science, director of the Center for Political Studies, acting director of the Institute for Social Research, and interim associate vice president for international affairs.

His extraordinary service record extended well beyond the confines of the University. In 1995, he received the Award for International Science Cooperation of the American Association for Advancement of Science. He was a beloved teacher at all levels, a fact recognized by his receipt of the University’s Amoco Good Teaching Award and the Excellence in Education Award. He supervised scores of dissertations and prepared graduate students superbly for the time when, as young faculty members, they would be doing research without a mentor. For years, he taught the core proseminar in world politics. In addition to undergraduate courses in international organization, he taught thousands of undergraduates over the years in the introductory course in world politics, Political Science 160.

Professor Jacobson was also a prolific scholar. He authored, edited, or co-edited a dozen books on American foreign policy, international organization and law, and global environmental policy. His first monograph concerning Soviet behavior in the economic and social organs of the United Nations was a standard source on Soviet behavior in international organizations. His textbooks in American foreign policy were widely adopted. His book on the nuclear test ban treaty, co-authored with Eric Stein of the University of Michigan Law School, received the University of Michigan Press award for the best book the UM Press had published in the year the book came out. He and his former colleague, Michel Oksenberg, produced an important study of China’s growing involvement in the world economy. His last book was a major volume co-edited with Edith Brown Weiss titled Engaging Countries: Strengthening Compliance with International Environmental Accords. When Professor Jacobson died, he and Charlotte Ku of the American Society of International Law were on the verge of completing a project that addressed the crucial issue of the democratic accountability of interventions under the auspices of international organizations.