Robert Benewick obituary


My pal Robert Benewick, who has died aged 90, was a political scientist who made main contributions to our data of British and Chinese language politics. He was additionally a soft-spoken fighter for social justice and worldwide understanding.

He first visited China in 1975 and over the following 40 years held 4 visiting professorships at Remnin College of China. In collaboration with British, American and Chinese language colleagues he produced seven books and scores of articles on China. As a crucial pal of the nation he had a number one position within the Society for Anglo-Chinese language Understanding from the Nineteen Eighties to the early 2000s.

Bob was born within the US, in Rochester, New York state, to Jewish émigrés, Polish-born Dorothy (nee Davidson) and Canadian-born Harry Benewick. After a primary diploma from Cornell College in 1956 and an MA in political science at Ohio State College, Bob went to Manchester College in 1958 to review for his PhD on London working-class politics.

Whereas in Manchester he met Anne Stephenson, who as Anne Benewick went on to ascertain the award-winning State of the World Atlas collection at Pluto Press; they married in 1961, then moved to Jamaica, the place Bob turned a analysis fellow on the College of the West Indies. He loved taking part in cricket there; chosen, he claimed, due to his prowess at catching in baseball.

In 1963 he was appointed lecturer in politics at Hull College, the place he wrote Political Violence and Public Order (1969), a research of British fascism. He was appointed reader in politics on the College of Sussex in 1973, and have become professor there in 1993.

Though Bob lacked private ambition he served as dean of three faculties inside Sussex College – social sciences, English and American research, and humanities and social research. That was a measure of his colleagues’ respect and his capability to hear and mediate skilfully.

Bob’s dedication to progressive scholarship additionally knowledgeable his work with Myriad Editions, the publishing firm based by Anne in 1992. He authored three editions of The China Atlas and, following Anne’s loss of life in 1998, turned one in every of Myriad’s administrators and performed an lively half within the firm’s improvement. In 2006 he married once more – to Joan Whittaker, whom he met by way of their shared love of early morning swimming.

Bob had a very vast, worldwide household of buddies. He was excellent firm and a blinding raconteur with a dry wit; his article Swiss Military Knife With Chinese language Traits (with Gordon White) is a satirical traditional.

Joan died in 2021. Bob is survived by her daughters, Louisa and Emma, and Anne’s niece, Kate.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here