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 was a visiting fellow at the Ashbrook Center working on civic education from 2016 to 2018.

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

He has coauthored three books with his colleague Gordon Lloyd: How Public Policy Became War (2019), Rugged Individualism: Dead or Alive? (2017), and The New Deal and Modern American Conservatism: A Defining Rivalry (2013). These 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

Featured

How Public Policy Became War

interview with David Davenportvia Commonwealth Club
Monday, August 12, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow David Davenport discusses FDR's New Deal and how Roosevelt’s decisions reset the balance of power away from Congress and the states toward a strong executive branch. They also shifted the federal government away from the founders’ vision of deliberation and moderation toward war and action. 

Analysis and Commentary

California Shows Us How Not To Teach History

by David Davenportvia The Washington Examiner
Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Former President Jimmy Carter famously said, “Whatever starts in California unfortunately has an inclination to spread.” If that's true, then beware the California Board of Education’s newly drafted “Model Ethnic Studies Curriculum” and hope that it is not coming soon to a school near you.

Analysis and Commentary

David Davenport: Localism Still Alive, Even In California

by David Davenportvia Townhall Review
Tuesday, July 30, 2019

In a move with national implications, the California legislature halted a bill to force local governments to increase housing density. Think multiple homes on single lots and apartment buildings near transit centers.

Featured

The Death Penalty: Who Decides?

by David Davenportvia The Washington Examiner
Friday, July 26, 2019

Beginning in 1973 with Roe v. Wade, establishing a woman’s constitutional right to choose an abortion, liberals have led a continual march for social change, primarily using the courts. Perhaps the largest social change since Roe was the Supreme Court’s recognition of the right to gay marriage in 2015, but there have been many other liberal victories along the way.

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The Politics of Pessimism

by David Davenportvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The so-called Green New Deal tells a tale of doom and gloom—not of the vibrant, growing America we actually live in.

Analysis and Commentary

David Davenport: The Elephant In The Policy Room

by David Davenportvia Townhall Review
Thursday, July 11, 2019

You would never know this listening to presidential candidates but Social Security, in crisis mode for a while, will begin paying out more than it takes in next year. The reserve fund will be depleted in 16 years, meaning seniors would face 20 percent cuts in their payments.

Featured

There May Not Be A Right To Civic Education, But There's Certainly A Crisis

by David Davenportvia The Washington Examiner
Wednesday, July 10, 2019

When something has been exaggerated or overdone, people often say “Don’t make a federal case out of it!” But students and parents in Rhode Island have done precisely that, taking the state and several of its officials to federal court over the failure of their schools to provide an adequate civic education. We are not taught how “to function properly as civic participants,” including voting, serving on juries and the like, say the students.

Analysis and Commentary

Davenport: The Democrat’s Dilemma: Persuasion Or Turnout

by David Davenportvia Townhall Review
Friday, July 5, 2019

Richard Nixon, who ran 5 times for president or vice president, said he ran to the right to win the Republican nomination, but then back toward the center in the general election.

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David Davenport on How Public Policy Became War

interview with David Davenportvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, June 24, 2019

AUDIO ONLY

Presidential power, and how to Make Congress Great Again (MCGA).

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David Davenport On How Public Policy Became War

interview with David Davenportvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, June 24, 2019

Presidential Power, and how to Make Congress Great Again (MCGA)

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