Posted on 06 October 2011
The members of the Department of Political and Social Sciences are deeply shaken and saddened by the sudden loss of Peter Mair, who was a high spirited wonderful colleague, a great teacher and also a good friend to many of us. He was a leading political scientist whose work inspires scholars all around Europe. His scholarly contributions are manifold ranging from path-breaking works on party systems, political representation and changes in the nature and functioning of democracy in Europe. Peter was a mentor to many young scholars and doctoral students from all around Europe, guiding them carefully and with unceasing attention, infecting them with curiosity about the big questions of democracy. As a colleague and as the head of the department, he was good spirited and inspiring, in our academic debates he was sharp, provocative and witty. He will leave a great gap behind.
All former and current supervisees:
Liisa Kaarina Salo Sanna
Fernando Casal Bertoa
Joost Van Spanje
I was of Prof. Mair's first year phd students and had the great privilege and honour to work with him for a few months. All my thoughts go to his wife, his children, his family and his friends in this tragic moment. Please accept my deepest sympathy. I am immensely sorry for your loss.
Camille Bedock, Researcher
(…) I just keep imagining the vast number of people around the world whose lives he has touched - there must be thousands of people feeling the same sadness right now. (…)
Amy Chamberlain, Previous SPS Administrative Trainee
I just met Prof. Peter Mair last July, so we didn't have time to build a close relationship. However, I immediately had the impression of a very amiable person with a vivid intelligence and an open attitude towards others. A terrible loss for the European University Institute, for the academic community and above all for his family and friends.
Pasquale Ferrara, EUI Secretary General on 18 Aug 2011 in "Irish Times"
I had the honour to be supervised by Peter Mair during the first year of my PhD studies. The inspiration and encouragement he gave was a privilege to receive, which I will always cherish. All my sympathy go to his family and friends in this difficult time.
Nina Liljequist, Researcher
(…) il enseignait à chacun l´humilité, l´altruisme et la nécessité de travailler en groupe. Du point de vue des relations professionnelles et personnelles, j´ai toujours était fasciné par la simplicité avec laquelle il traitait les autres. Contrairement aux hiérarchies et aux luttes de classement qui minent souvent l´univers académique, il traitait chacun comme ses semblables: collègues, secrétaires, étudiants, en passant par le simple personnel de l´IUE, tous méritaient son attention. Ce fut un professeur toujours disponible, prêt à donner de sa personne et de son temps, et envers lequel j´ai entendu de nombreux compliments de la part de membres du personnel administratif, qui ailleurs, seraient traités comme de simples subalternes. Avec lui, pas de vouvoiements ni de complications d´usages: frappez à sa porte, il vous ouvrira et vous écoutera, même s´il a en fait bien d´autres choses plus importantes à faire. Peu de distance et beaucoup de chaleur humaine (…).
Mathieu Petithomme, Researcher
This is just to let you know how shocked I am, and to express to you my deepest condolences for Peter's terrible loss. He was an outstanding scholar and a similarly extraordinarily kind, warm, decent person. I will remember him forever.
José Ramón Montero, Visiting Professor
(…) He profoundly touched and enriched the lives of all of us who were fortunate enough to know him. He was a brilliant mind, an amazing teacher, an inspiring mentor, and a kind friend. Despite his premature and surreal passing, his immense legacy on the personal and professional level will undoubtedly live forever; which is more than any of us can ever hope to accomplish. He was a treasured gift to all of us and we shall never forget him!
Corina Stratulat, Former Researcher
"Edoardo Bressanelli, Enrico Calossi, Daniela Piccio ed Eugenio Pizzimenti partecipano al dolore della famiglia per l’improvvisa scomparsa del Prof. Peter Mair che ricordano come uomo e studioso eccezionale. Firenze, 18 agosto 2011."
"La Repubblica", 18 August 2011
(...) Prof. Mair was one of the most prominent European Political Scientists, and many of us had the privilege of working with him in different circumstances. His role at the EUI, both in terms of teaching and research, contributed to making it one of the leading Departments in Europe.
Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa