Peter Beilharz (born 13 November 1953 in Melbourne, Australia) is an Australian sociologist. He is currently Professor of Culture and Society at Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia. Previously he was Professor of Sociology at La Trobe University, Melbourne. Beilharz is also a co-founder and editor of the international journal of social theory Thesis Eleven: critical theory and historical sociology published by Sage. From 2002–2014 he was the director of the Thesis Eleven Centre for Cultural Sociology at La Trobe University. He is best known for his work in social theory and socialism, for his intellectual biography of the Australian art historian, Bernard Smith, and his several books on the eminent Polish sociologist, Zygmunt Bauman. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. In 1999–2000 he was the Harvard Chair of Australian Studies, Harvard University. In 2015 he will be a Research Fellow at STIAS, Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study.
Peter Beilharz attended Croydon High School and Rusden College, and after a short experience of teaching at high school he went to Monash University, where he completed a doctorate on Trotskyism in 1984. He taught at Monash University, RMIT, and Melbourne University before replacing Ágnes Heller at La Trobe in 1988, where he progressed from lecturer through to personal chair in 1999. In the course of his travels Beilharz has been a visitor at Manila, Amsterdam, Chapel Hill, Mexico City, São Paulo and Tokyo and a visiting fellow at Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University. He was the William Dean Howells Fellow at Harvard Library in 2002. He is a Faculty Associate in the Sociology Department at Yale, and a Visiting Professor at the Bauman Institute at Leeds University. Beilharz has written or edited twenty seven books, including Labour's Utopias (1992), Postmodern Socialism (1994), Transforming Labor (1994), Imagining the Antipodes (1997) and Zygmunt Bauman – Dialectic of Modernity (2002) and 200 papers.
- Beilharz, P., Hogan, T. and Shaver, S. (2015) The Martin Presence: Jean Martin and the Making of the Social Sciences in Australia, Sydney, UNSW Press, ISBN 9781742232164
- Beilharz, P. (2015) Thinking the Antipodes: Australian Essays, Melbourne, Monash University Publishing, ISBN 978-1-922235-55-8
- Beilharz, P. (2009) Socialism and Modernity, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, ISBN 978-0-8166-6086-5
- Beilharz, P. and Manne, R. (eds) (2006) Reflected Light: La Trobe Essays, Melbourne, Black Inc. ISBN 978-1-86395-246-0
- Beilharz, P. and Hogan, T. (eds) (2006) Sociology - Place, Time and Division, Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-555097-9
- Beilharz, P. (ed.) (2005) Postwar American Critical Thought, 4 vols., London, California, New Delhi, Sage. ISBN 978-0-7619-4415-7
- Beilharz, P. and Hogan, T. (eds) (2002) Social Self, Global Culture: An Introduction to Sociological Ideas, 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, Melbourne. ISBN 0-19-551572-2
- Beilharz, P. (ed.) (2002) Zygmunt Bauman - Masters of Social Thought, 4 vols., London, California, New Delhi, Sage Publications. ISBN 0-7619-7127-0
- Beilharz, P. (ed.) (2001) The Bauman Reader, Blackwell, Oxford, Boston. ISBN 0-631-21491-7
- Beilharz, P. (2000) Zygmunt Bauman - Dialectic of Modernity, Sage Publications, London, California, New Delhi. ISBN 0-7619-6734-6
- Beilharz, P. (1998) Fabianism and Feminism, co-edited with C. Nyland, Aldershot, Ashgate. ISBN 1-84014-307-X
- Beilharz, P. (1997) Imagining the Antipodes: Culture, Theory and the Visual in the Work of Bernard Smith, Melbourne, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-58355-1
- Beilharz, P. (1994) Postmodern Socialism: Romanticism, City and State, Melbourne, Melbourne University Press. ISBN 0-522-84535-5
- Beilharz, P. (1994) Transforming Labor: Labour Tradition and the Labor Decade, Sydney, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-43237-5
- Beilharz, P. (1992) Between Totalitarianism and Postmodernity, co-edited with G. Robinson and J. Rundell, Boston, MIT. ISBN 0-262-52179-2
- Beilharz, P. (1992) Social Theory: A Guide to Central Thinkers, Editor, Sydney, Allen and Unwin. ISBN 1-86373-163-6
- Beilharz, P. (1992) Arguing About the Welfare State: the Australian Experience, Sydney, Allen and Unwin, co-authored with M. Considine and R. Watts. ISBN 1-86373-096-6
- Beilharz, P. (1992) Labour's Utopias: Bolshevisims, Fabianism, Social Democracy, London and New York, Routledge paperback, 1993. ISBN 0-415-06616-6
- Beilharz, P. (1987) Trotsky, Trotskyism and the Transition to Socialism, London, Croom Helm; New Jersey, Rowman and Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-389-20698-9
- Beilharz, P. (1979) "Trotsky's Marxism-Permanent Involution?" Telos 39, Spring 1979.
- Australian Academy of the Social Sciences
- Beilharz, P. (1987) Trotsky, Trotskyism and the Transition to Socialism, London, Croom Helm; New Jersey, Rowman and Littlefield.