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