Robert Elias headshot

Robert Elias

Faculty Emeritus


Robert Elias has taught in USF’s politics department since 1989. Hailing from a Czech and Irish-Catholic working class family in New York City, Professor Elias created the USF Legal Studies, Criminal Justice Studies, and Peace & Justice Studies programs. He’s taught in USF's Honors Humanities and in the BA/MA in International Studies programs.

Elias has taught previously at McGill University (Montreal), Tufts University (Boston and France), the UC Berkeley, Penn State University, and the University of Maryland (College Park and Europe). He's been a researcher at the International Institute of Human Rights (Strasbourg), the Graduate Institute of International Studies (Geneva), Oxfam America (Boston), the Institute for Defense & Disarmament Studies (Cambridge), and the Vera Institute of Justice (New York). He’s the editor of Peace Review, and associate editor of New Political Science, Temida, the Encyclopedia of Peace, Violence & Conflict, and the International Review of Victimology.

Research Areas

  • Legal Studies
  • Sports and Politics
  • Baseball History
  • Constitutional Law
  • Crime and Victimization
  • International Human Rights


  • Program Director, Legal Studies Program
  • Program Director, Criminal Justice Studies
  • Program Director, 4/3 Law Program
  • Chair, Pre-Professional Law Committee


  • Penn State University, PhD, 1981
  • University of Strasbourg, Certificate, 1982
  • Penn State University, M.A., 1974
  • University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 1972

Prior Experience

  • William Eakin Visiting Professor, McGill University
  • Visiting Professor, Peace & Conflict Studies, UC, Berkeley
  • Visiting Scholar, Center for Study of Law & Society, UC, Berkeley
  • Associate Professor of Politics, Tufts University
  • Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Maryland

Awards & Distinctions

  • Eakin Scholar, McGill University, 2019

  • USF Dean's Scholar, 2012

  • USF Sarlo Prize for Teaching, 2006

  • USF Frank L. Beach Award for Leadership in Service, 2001

  • USF Distinguished Research Award, 1996

  • USF Davies Scholar, 1994

  • National Endowment for the Humanities Chair, 1990

Selected Publications

  • Dangerous Danny Gardella: Post-War America & the Neglected Working-Class Hero to Today's Millionaire Athletes (University of Pennsylvania Press)

  • Peace Resource Book: Comprehensive Guide to Issues, Groups & Literature (Ballinger Books)

  • Major League Rebels: Baseball Battles Over Workers' Rights and American Empire (Rowman & Littlefield)

  • Baseball Rebels: The Battles Over Race, Gender & Sexuality That Shook Up the Game and Changed America (University of Nebraska Press)

  • The Empire Strikes Out: How Baseball Sold U.S. Foreign Policy & Promoted the American Way Abroad (The New Press)

  • The Deadly Tools of Ignorance: A Debs Kafka Mystery (Rounder Books)

  • Victims Still: The Political Manipulation of Crime Victims (Sage Publications)

  • The Politics of Victimization: Victims, Victimology & Human Rights (Oxford University Press)

  • Rethinking Peace (Lynne Rienner Publications)

  • Baseball and the American Dream: Race, Class, Gender & the National Pastime (M.E. Sharpe/Routledge)

  • University of San Francisco: College History Series (Arcadia)

  • Victims of the System: Crime Victims & Compensation in American Politics and Criminal Justice (Transaction/Routledge)