David Davenport

Research Fellow
Biography: 

David Davenport is a research fellow specializing in international law and treaties, constitutional federalism, and American politics and law.

Davenport is the former president of Pepperdine University (1985–2000). Under his leadership, the university experienced significant growth in quality and reputation. Davenport cofounded Common Sense California and the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership. He also served on the board of California Forward, a major bipartisan reform group, and was a member of Governor Schwarzenegger’s California Performance Review Commission. Davenport is a member of two corporate boards as well. He is also a visiting fellow at the Ashbrook Center (2016).

His work on policy appears in a number of places, including a regular column in Forbes.com and regular radio commentaries on the Salem Radio Network and Townhall.com.

He recently coauthored the book The New Deal and Modern American Conservatism, which explains how the New Deal of the 1930s established the framework for today’s US domestic policy and the ongoing debate between progressives and conservatives.

Davenport has also contributed chapters to Hoover books on values in a free society and legal threats to American values and has authored articles in Policy Review on “The New Diplomacy” and “The Politics of Literacy.” Davenport is a popular public speaker, having served for several years as a world affairs lecturer for Crystal Cruises.

Davenport earned a BA with distinction in international relations from Stanford University and a JD from the University of Kansas School of Law, where he was elected to Order of the Coif and earned national and international awards in moot court competitions.

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Recent Commentary

Featured

No, We Shouldn't Lower The Voting Age To 16

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Ever on the bleeding edge of change, San Francisco is placing a measure on the November ballot to allow 16-year olds to vote. Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi can barely contain her enthusiasm, “because when kids are in school, they’re so interested, they’re so engaged.” Tell that to the teachers whose students, according to surveys, don’t know who their U.S. senator is or how to amend the Constitution.

Congressman Paul Ryan
Featured

Constitutional Kudos To Paul Ryan

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The same bravado and voter frustration that brought Donald Trump to the top of the Republican presidential heap has now turned on House Speaker Paul Ryan. When Ryan said recently that he was not yet ready to endorse Trump, former Alaska governor and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin said she would work to defeat Ryan in his primary race for reelection to the Congress.

Analysis and Commentary

Davenport: Year Of The Disruptors

by David Davenportvia TownhallReview Commentary
Friday, April 22, 2016

If we made a movie about campaign 2016, it would be “Year of the Disruptors.” On the Republican side, we are down to Donald Trump, a complete disruptor of the political process, and Ted Cruz, a U.S. Senator but a disruptor in style. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders is a socialist who wants to disrupt the system, leaving only Hillary Clinton as an establishment candidate.

Analysis and Commentary

Davenport: Judge Erases History

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Thursday, April 21, 2016

College students, seeking to remove the names of campus founders who don’t live up to contemporary standards, aren’t the only ones erasing history. A federal judge in Los Angeles has done some erasing of her own, saying the little tiny cross on top of a mission depicted on the county seal must go.

Analysis and Commentary

Davenport: Trump And Sanders Agree On Something?

by David Davenportvia Townhall Review
Thursday, April 14, 2016

They say politics makes strange bedfellows and what could be stranger than far left Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump on the right agreeing on something? Both think free trade is a mistake and both oppose the proposed new TPP, a free trade agreement of 12 Pacific Rim nations.

Featured

Despite The Disruptors, This Election Has A Predictable End

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Thursday, April 7, 2016

If the 2016 presidential campaign were a movie, it would be “Year of the Disruptors.” The outsiders and disruptors have dominated the Republican race from the beginning, but now we are essentially down to two very different disruptors: Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. 

Featured

Trump And Sanders In Agreement? The Strange Politics Of Free Trade

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Friday, April 1, 2016

They say politics makes strange bedfellows and what could be stranger than Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in alignment? Yet that appears to be the case on international trade, and more specifically trade agreements.

Featured

Trump: Another Blank Screen On Which Voters Project Their Views

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The conventional wisdom is that Donald Trump is breaking all the political molds this year. But he does fit one recent and disturbing trend quite well: On issues, he is essentially a blank screen on which people are projecting their own views and preferences.

Featured

America's Drift Toward 'Socialism' Is Generational, But Also Educational

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Friday, February 26, 2016

As a surprising number of Americans “feel the Bern” for a self-described “democratic socialist” candidate for president, even more shocking polls show Americans drifting toward socialism itself. In a YouGov survey last month, 42% of Democrats said they had a favorable view of socialism.

Featured

America's Drift Toward 'Socialism' Is Generational, But Also Educational

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Friday, February 26, 2016

As a surprising number of Americans “feel the Bern” for a self-described “democratic socialist” candidate for president, even more shocking polls show Americans drifting toward socialism itself.

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