Pierre L. van den Berghe was born in 1933 in Congo, Africa. He was awarded United States of America citizenship in 1955 and lives in Seattle with his German wife. Fluent in French, English, Spanish and German, Prof. van den Berghe is a child of a mixed marriage, who also speaks Swahili, Dutch, Afrikaans and Portugues. He studied at prestigious universities of Stanford, Sorbonne and Harvard. He had lectured across the U.S., in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Israel, Australia, Germany, etc. He is Professor Emeritus of the University of Washington. Professor van den Berghe is a sociologist, but considered controversial because of his insistence on the necessity to expand the social scientist's knowledge of natural sciences, especially biology. For many years he has been involved with the so-called sociobiology, a discipline that does not strictly separate the study of humans from the wider context of the evolutionary theory. Within the field of nationalism studies, van den Berghe is often labelled a 'primordialist'. This term is used for those who seek for causes of nationalism not only in relation to the past two centuries of human existence (the so-called 'modernists') but dig for answers deeper into the human history. The still very vibrant and exuberant professor visited the University of Ljubljana in May 2005, where he gave a few lectures on sociobiology.
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