David Hirsh, BSc MA PhD

David has researched and published on contemporary antisemitism, crimes against humanity and totalitarianism.

Staff details

David Hirsh, BSc MA PhD


Senior Lecturer in Sociology




d.hirsh (@gold.ac.uk)

David has been in the sociology department at Goldsmiths since 2003.  He studied Sociology at City University, London; he did an MA in Philosophy and Social Theory at Warwick; and he wrote his PhD there on Crimes Against Humanity and International Law.

He was the holder of the Sociological Review Fellowship which enabled him to write Law against Genocide: cosmopolitan trials. This book was awarded the British Sociological Association Philip Abrams Prize for the best first book in sociology in 2004. By focusing on two trials from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the trial of Andrei Sawoniuk for crimes committed during the Holocaust, and the David Irving libel case, the book comes to some tentative conclusions about the possibility of the emergence of cosmopolitan law.

David’s new book, out in September 2017, is ‘Contemporary Left Antisemitism’.  It begins with a chapter on the Livingstone Formulation, a standard response which accuses Jews of raising the issue of antisemitism in bad faith only in order to silence criticism of Israel or to smear the left. It has two chapters about the rise of antizionist and antisemitic politics in the British Labour movement and two chapters about the campaign to exclude Israelis from the academic, cultural, sporting and economic life of humanity.  It has a critique of antizionism and the apartheid analogy; it also looks at specifically Jewish antizionism; it examines case studies of openly antisemitic discourse which have emerged out of antizionism; it discusses struggles over defining antisemitism; and it thinks about specifically sociological approaches to understanding contemporary antisemitism.

Follow this link to listen to an interview with David about both left wing and right wing antisemitism following Donald Trump’s victory, and about the campaign to exclude Israeli academics from our campuses. 

Read Chip Berlet's interview with David Hirsh on contemporary antisemitism and conspiracy theory.

Follow this link to read David’s submission to the Chakrabarti Inquiry into antisemitism and racism in the Labour Party.

Listen to David's interview about his new book on TLV1.

Scroll down and follow the ‘publications’ tab to find links to many scholarly and journalistic articles written by David Hirsh.

You can find David on facebook and he tweets @DavidHirsh

Follow this link for David Hirsh's documentary about antisemitism in the Labour party, 'Whitewashed.'

Research Interests

Contemporary antisemitism; crimes against humanity; totalitarianism and totalitarian movements; the new populism; democracy and critiques of democracy.


David teaches a number of first year introductory lectures on our undergraduate sociology courses, he convenes the second year criminology core and he teaches a second-year option course, ‘Crimes against Humanity’.  He also teaches on the sociology of human rights at MA level and he supervises students at PhD level.

In 2006/7, David was a Research Fellow at Yale University.

David acted as an expert witness in South African Jewish Board of Deputies v Bongani Masuku, Johannesburg, Feb 2017 and in South African Jewish Board of Deputies v Islamic Unity Convention, Cape Town, 2012.

David is active in, and was a co-convenor of, Research Network 31 in the European Sociological Association on Racism, Antisemitism and Ethnic Relations.

David was a member of Experts Forums at the Inter-parliamentary Conference on Combating Antisemitism, hosted by the Canadian Government, Ottawa, 2010, the London Conference for Combatting Antisemitism, London, 2009, and a number of Global Forums for Combating Antisemitism in Jerusalem.



Publications and research outputs


Hirsh, David. 2017. Contemporary Left Antisemitism. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9781138235304

Hirsh, David. 2003. Law against Genocide: Cosmopolitan Trials. GlassHouse Press / Cavendish Publishing. ISBN 1904385044

Edited Book

Hirsh, David, ed. 2023. The Rebirth of Antisemitism in the 21st Century: From the Academic Boycott Campaign into the Mainstream. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9781032116624

Book Section

Hirsh, David. 2023. Contemporary Antisemitism. In: M Weitzman; R J Williams and J Wald, eds. The Routledge History of Antisemitism. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 38-50. ISBN 9781138369443

Hirsh, David. 2023. From a critique of Zionism to an anti-Jewish worldview. In: Louise Ellman; David Hirsh and Izabella Tabarovsky, eds. Antisemitic Anti-Zionism: The Origins and Character of an Ideology. London: Labour Friends of Israel (LFI), pp. 5-10.

Hirsh, David. 2019. Contemporary Struggles over Defining Antisemitism. In: Jonathan G. Campbell and Lesley D. Klaff, eds. Unity and Diversity in Contemporary Antisemitism: The Bristol-Sheffield-Hallam Colloquium on Contemporary Antisemitism. Boston: Academic Studies Press, pp. 17-39. ISBN 9781618119667


Allington, Daniel; Hirsh, David and Katz, Louise. 2023. Correlation between coronavirus conspiracism and antisemitism: a cross-sectional study in the United Kingdom. Scientific Reports, 13, 21104. ISSN 2045-2322

Allington, Daniel; Hirsh, David and Katz, Louise. 2023. The Relationship Between Antisemitic Attitudes and Conspiracy Beliefs: A Cross-Sectional Study of UK-Resident Adults. Contemporary Jewry, 43(3-4), pp. 633-660. ISSN 0147-1694

Allington, Daniel and Hirsh, David. 2023. Statistical associations between antisemitism and higher education: a cross-sectional study of UK-resident adults. Journal of Contemporary Antisemitism, 6(2), ISSN 2472-9914


Frankehthal, Andrea and Hirsh, David. 2019. Forced Out: The Labour Antisemitism Resignation Letters.

Hirsh, David and Anisfeld, Ollie. 2017. Whitewashed: Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.


Allington, Daniel; McAndrew, Siobhan and Hirsh, David. 2019. Violent extremist tactics and the ideology of the far left. Technical Report. Commission for Countering Extremism, London.

Hirsh, David. 2016. Submission to the Shami Chakrabarti Inquiry into Antisemitism in the Labour Party. Other. Engage, Engage website.

Hirsh, David. 2007. Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism: Cosmopolitan Reflections. Working Paper. Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA) Occasional Papers, New Haven, CT.


Hirsh, David. 2012. Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) and Antisemitism. Academic Engagement Network, Washington DC.

Research Interests

Contemporary antisemitism; crimes against humanity; totalitarianism and totalitarian movements; the new populism; democracy and critiques of democracy.