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, demagoguery is no longer defined as a consequence of moral depravity because political actions 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.
I have experience teaching in-person, hybrid, and remote classes. My courses utilize Canvas and Zoom as much as possible and I regularly host the authors of texts which students are currently reading for that course.
"Demagoguery and Populism in Contemporary Perspective," Spring 2021. Upper-level undergraduate course of my own design surveying contemporary literature on demagoguery and populism and examining recent and historical case studies.
"Leadership in American Political Development," Spring 2021. Upper-level undergraduate course of my own design examining the causes of American political development, with a particular emphasis on the role of leadership in regime transformation.
"Conspiracy Theories in American Politics," Fall 2020. Upper-level undergraduate course of my own design on the history and nature of conspiracy theories in American politics.
"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
"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.
Overall instructor rating: 4.6/5
Overall course rating: 4.5/5
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