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Myron Weiner

Professor of Political Science Myron Weiner, an internationally known authority on refugees and political change in developing countries, is dead at 68.

Weiner died last week at his home in Vermont of brain cancer. He was the author or editor of 32 books dealing with subjects ranging from internal and international migration, to child labor and education. He was an expert on India’s politics, ethnic conflicts, education, and agrarian and industrial policies.

“Myron Weiner was a brilliant scholar and an inspiring teacher and colleague, who had a large impact on the world, in particular on the lives of children,” said Professor Joshua Cohen, head of the Department of Political Science.

Weiner had been chair of the External Research and Advisory Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees since 1996.

At the time of his death, he was engaged in analyzing immigration policies, refugee flows, and child labor and educational policy in India.

Dr. Weiner’s 1991 book The Child and the State in India: Child Labor and Education Policy in Comparative Perspective is in its fourth edition in India and has contributed to debate in that country over how child labor can be ended. Under the auspices of UNICEF, he has lectured in India on education and child labor and has consulted with government officials there.

Born March 11, 1931 in New York City, Weiner received his BSS from the City College of New York in 1951 and MA and PhD degrees from Princeton in 1953 and 1955, respectively.

He taught at Princeton University and the University of Chicago before coming to MIT in 1961. He was promoted to the rank of full professor in 1965 and served as head of the Department of Political Science from 1974 to 1977.

During his distinguished career, Weiner also served as a consultant to the U.S. State Department, the National Security Council, the World Bank, and the Agency for International Development.

Dr. Weiner is survived by his wife, Sheila Leiman Weiner; a son, Saul of Chicago; a daughter, Beth Datskodsky of Bala Cynwyd, PA; and five grandchildren.