Born in New York City, New York, United States on 19 August 1949, Bronner earned a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) at City College of New York, spent a year at the Universität Tübingen in Germany on a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship in 1973, and completed his Master of Arts (M.A.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1976, after submitting a dissertation titled "Authenticity and Potentiality: A Marxian Inquiry into the Role of the Subject." He has been employed at Rutgers University since 1976, and has held visiting professor positions at the New School for Social Research (1989) the Universität Leipzig (1998).

Currently Director of Global Relations at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers University, Bronner is the Executive Chair of US Academics for Peace and an advisor to Conscience International. His activities in civic diplomacy led him to visit Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Sudan, and Darfur. Many of his experiences are discussed in works dealing with international relations like Blood in the Sand (2005), Peace out of Reach (2007), and The Bitter Taste of Hope (2016). Bronner was the recipient of the MEPeace Award by the Network for Middle Eastern Politics in 2011.

Senior Editor of Logos: A Journal of Modern Society and Culture, he is on the editorial board of more than a dozen journals in the United States and abroad. His various works include studies of contemporary political theory, political history, and cultural politics. Along with various teaching awards, the Bronner received the Michael A. Harrington Prize for Moments of Decision (1991) and Honorable Mention for the David Easton Prize, which honored the best work of political theory of the last five years, for Reclaiming the Enlightenment (2004). Bronner’s writings have been translated into more than a dozen languages and he received the Charles McCoy Lifetime Achievement Prize from the American Political Science Association in 2005.