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. He is also a visiting fellow at the Ashbrook Center (2016–17).

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

He has coauthored two books with his colleague Gordon Lloyd:  Rugged Individualism:  Dead or Alive? (2017) and The New Deal and Modern American Conservatism:  A Defining Rivalry (2013).  Both books offer distinctive ways of understanding both the current and the historic debates 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’s 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

Analysis and Commentary

A Tale Of Two Trumps?

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Friday, January 13, 2017

Abraham Lincoln appointed three men who competed against him for the presidency to his cabinet, creating a talented and now famous “team of rivals.” Donald Trump’s cabinet has its own unusual flavor, creating a kind of dual presidency.

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Rugged Individualism: Dead Or Alive?

by David Davenport, Gordon Lloydvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

We cannot tip the delicate balance between equality and liberty so heavily in favor of equality so that there is no liberty left.

Featured

Fear More Federal Deficits

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Friday, January 6, 2017

One topic that has pretty much been dropped from the political conversation is the federal debt. Under President Obama, the federal debt has nearly doubled, from around $10 trillion to $20 trillion. Unfortunately, it could grow even more under President Donald Trump.

Analysis and Commentary

Davenport: States Could Be Winners With Trump

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Since Ronald Reagan, Republican and Democrat presidents alike have grown the federal government and its role in our lives. From No Child Left Behind to environmental laws, the pattern has been more and more federal regulation.

Analysis and Commentary

California Seceding From President Trump’s US

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Thursday, December 8, 2016

To the list of 23 celebrities who have said they are leaving the country if Donald Trump became President, we can now add one of the 50 states.  An effort is under way for California to secede from Donald Trump’s United States. “Calexit” seeks a ballot initiative or a constitutional amendment for California to leave the Union.

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Rugged Individualism: Dead Or Alive?

by David Davenport, Gordon Lloydvia Books by Hoover Fellows
Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Today American rugged individualism is in a fight for its life on two battlegrounds: in the policy realm and in the intellectual world of ideas that may lead to new policies. In this book the authors look at the political context in which rugged individualism flourishes or declines and offer a balanced assessment of its future prospects. They outline its path from its founding—marked by the Declaration of Independence—to today, focusing on different periods in our history when rugged individualism was thriving or under attack.

Featured

One Thing To Expect From President Trump: More Debt And Deficits

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Living in the academic world, I have taken up peer therapy with anguished colleagues over the election of Donald Trump. My standard refrain is to wait and see what he actually does because his words have run in too many different directions. Build a wall? We’re not really sure. Kill Obamacare dead in its tracks? Maybe, maybe not. We just have to see.

Analysis and Commentary

Davenport: Cracking The Blue Wall

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Monday, November 28, 2016

The surprise of the 2016 election was Donald Trump’s ability to crack the Democrats’ blue wall of industrial states in the upper Midwest and East. He accomplished this by beating Hillary Clinton by a 40% margin among white working-class voters.

Analysis and Commentary

Davenport: Trump’s Forgotten Man

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Monday, November 21, 2016

In his first tweet as president-elect, Donald Trump echoed a theme from his campaign, promising that “the forgotten man and woman will never be forgotten again.” Funny, but in one of his first radio addresses to the nation in 1932, President Franklin Roosevelt introduced us to “the forgotten man.” 

Featured

Voter Message: Jobs And The American Dream Trump The Welfare State

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Experts are still dissecting the vote to better understand why Donald Trump was elected. But one message seems relatively clear: Trump voters wanted jobs not welfare. Their concern was the protecting the upside promise of the American dream for their children, not expanding the downside safety net with Obamacare.

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