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

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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)

Interviews

How Public Policy Became War: David Davenport With Mark Davis

interview with David Davenportvia Townhall Review
Friday, June 21, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow David Davenport discusses his book, How Public Policy Became War.

Featured

The Democrats' 2020 Dilemma: Rally Base Or Persuade Moderates?

by David Davenportvia The Washington Examiner
Friday, June 21, 2019
Richard Nixon, who tied Franklin Roosevelt’s record by running on a national presidential ticket five times, said that he ran to the right to win the Republican nomination but then ran back toward the center in the general election. In the 2004 presidential campaign, however, President George W. Bush and Karl Rove found a new path to electoral victory by turning out their base rather than attracting the undecided.
Analysis and Commentary

The Democrats' 2020 Dilemma: Rally Base Or Persuade Moderates?

by David Davenportvia The Washington Examiner
Friday, June 21, 2019

Richard Nixon, who tied Franklin Roosevelt’s record by running on a national presidential ticket five times, said that he ran to the right to win the Republican nomination but then ran back toward the center in the general election. In the 2004 presidential campaign, however, President George W. Bush and Karl Rove found a new path to electoral victory by turning out their base rather than attracting the undecided.

Democrat's Donkey
Analysis and Commentary

David Davenport: The Democrats’ Dilemma: Principle Or Politics?

by David Davenportvia Townhall Review
Monday, June 17, 2019

With over 20 Democrats announcing 2020 presidential bids, the campaign reflects the chaos of a NASCAR race. But already there is one defining separation in the pack: Will Democrats steer hard left with Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris, or center-left with Joe Biden?

Interviews

David Davenport: Make Congress Great Again!

interview with David Davenportvia Talk 650 KSTE
Friday, June 7, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow David Davenport discusses how one president managed to completely transform the way in which our government works, and how we can "Make Congress Great Again."

Analysis and Commentary

David Davenport: The Deceptive Popular Vote Bill Gains Momentum

by David Davenportvia Town Hall Review
Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Democrats, angry about losing the presidency twice in the Electoral College since 2000, are quietly taking action. The National Popular Vote Bill passed in three more states—Colorado, Delaware and New Mexico—this Spring and recently passed state senates in two more.

Analysis and Commentary

Localism Still Has A Heartbeat, Even In California

by David Davenportvia The Washington Examiner
Saturday, May 25, 2019

In a move with national implications, California lawmakers recently stopped Senate Bill 50, which would override local zoning laws to require much higher density in housing. There in the Sacramento wreckage is a microcosm of the political themes and policy playbooks of our time: crisis, emergency, climate change, NIMBY (not in my backyard), the demise of local government, the rise of tech companies at the expense of livable cities — you name it.

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Area 45: How Public Policy Became War With David Davenport

interview with David Davenportvia Area 45
Friday, May 24, 2019

Having learned that a sense of crisis is helpful in moving forward a domestic agenda, modern-day presidents have declared war on everything from poverty and drugs to crime and terror.

Interviews

David Davenport: The "War" Metaphor In Public Policy Is Always An Advantage To The White House

interview with David Davenportvia The John Batchelor Show
Thursday, May 23, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow David Davenport discusses his San Francisco Chronicle article "War is the new normal in Washington."

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