Demagogues in the Constitutional Order
My book project argues that the United States Constitution displaces a classical conception of demagoguery which is ‘moralistic’ in that it situates responsibility for demagoguery in the character and choices of a particular orator. In the modern conception with which the U.S. Constitution displaces the classical alternative, by contrast, demagoguery is no longer defined as a consequence of moral depravity because political actions in general are no longer viewed primarily in light of the upright or shameful intentions that are purported to be responsible for them. Instead, the Constitution directs our attention to the merits of the rationale the orator develops to justify public conduct. In this conception, demagogic rhetorical tactics can be justified if integrated into a broader political argument and strategy.
Further, the Constitution establishes different offices—Congress, the presidency, and the Court—from each of which characteristic duties and responsibilities can be inferred. Demonstrating that each office entails different rhetorical responsibilities as well, the book uses case studies to illustrate how to evaluate uses of demagogic rhetoric on the part of individual officeholders.
Teaching, Funding, and Expertise
Below are the classes I have taught and am scheduled to teach.
21F-LEAD-277-01 - Conspiracy Theories, Fall 2020. Upper-level undergraduate course on the history and nature of conspiracy theories in American politics.
21F-LEAD-125-01 – Introduction to Leadership Studies, Fall 2020. Lower-level undergraduate course introducing the subject of leadership through classic and contemporary scholarly texts as well as historical case studies.
University of Texas - Austin
GOV 310L (#37850) Introduction to American Government, Spring 2020. Undergraduate course outlining the main features of American politics, including the Founding and Constitution, federalism, Congress, the presidency, and the Courts, campaigns and elections, media, bureaucracy, and policy making.
I have also been a teaching assistant for nearly a dozen courses in constitutional law, American politics, and political theory.
I have received multiple grants and fellowships, including:
UT Graduate School Dissertation Fellowship
UT College of Liberal Arts Summer Fellowship
Jack Miller Center Summer Fellowship
University of Konstanz Research Grant
Charles Koch Foundation Dissertation Grant
UT Recurring Recruitment Fellowship
UT Center for European Studies Teaching Fellowship
Jefferson Center for Core Texts and Ideas Scholarship
Clements Center Graduate Fellowship
Hertog Political Studies Fellowship