Ronald Cohen

Image of Ronald L. Cohen
Faculty Emeritus

An award-winning teacher, Ronald Cohen focuses his research in social psychology on issues of justice and silence, and takes his practice into the community with his work on reparative justice.


A social psychologist with particular interests in understandings of justice and silence, Cohen is coauthor of the book Political Attitudes over the Life Span: The Bennington Women after Fifty Years (University of Wisconsin Press, 1991) and editor of three books on justice. His articles have been published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, Journal of Social and Personal Relations, Human Relations, Human Rights Review, and Social Justice Research. He has presented work at professional conferences throughout the United States and in Germany, Austria, Sweden, the Netherlands, Poland, and Israel.

Cohen serves as associate editor of Social Justice Research and has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has served on the Bennington County Reparative Board for the State of Vermont’s Department of Corrections since 1997. From 1999 to 2003, he produced and directed Doing Justice, a program on Bennington’s Community Access Television, which presented more than 30 programs on a variety of topics, including The Death Penalty in the U.S.; Student Violations on a College Campus; Right to Privacy; Justice as a Philosopher Sees It; Victims’ Advocacy; Press Coverage of Foreign Policy; and the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In 1998, he established the Community Service Program of the International Seminar Series in Paris (a summer program for high school students) and later served as director of the program. BA, University of Minnesota; PhD, University of Michigan.

Cohen taught at Bennington from 1971 to 1993 and resumed teaching here 1994 to 2016. He has also served as dean of studies (1973–76) and dean of faculty (1985–91). In 2008, The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) conferred upon Cohen the 2007 Undergraduate Teaching Award. He is an elected fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. Cohen returned as a visiting faculty member for Fall 2017.