Academic Department: Political Science, American Studies
Office: Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy
My main area of research is American political thought. I am particularly interested in the principles of the American founding and Progressive Era departures from those principles. I also conduct research in political philosophy.
I am attracted to political science because it considers central questions of human existence, such as what it means to live a good life, and permits me to study how these questions can be practically answered within our actual circumstances. We can ask, How do we live good lives as Americans? We are thus led to a study of law, the institutions of government and American political thought. Questions about the good life, as Americans and, more generally, as human beings, lead us to think about the common good, or the good of all. And that investigation, in turn, directly addresses the mission of the University. My wish for my students is that they might emerge from my classes as more thoughtful citizens, better able to reflect on the common good as it applies to their communities, our nation and the world.