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

Analysis and Commentary

How Joe Biden Helped Public Policy Become War

by David Davenportvia The Washington Examiner
Tuesday, May 7, 2019

When I share with people that Gordon Lloyd and I have published a new book, How Public Policy Became War, they invariably nod and comment on the timeliness of the topic. Of course, they are thinking of the partisan war-like environment in Washington in which very little is done, and that is part of the story. As former Vice President Joe Biden is learning in his presidential campaign, however, the root of the problem is longer and deeper than today’s hyper-partisanship.

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The Rise Of The War Metaphor In Public Policy

by David Davenport, Gordon Lloydvia Defining Ideas
Monday, May 6, 2019

An excerpt from a new book, published by the Hoover Press.

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The International Criminal Court Crashes And Burns Over Afghanistan

by David Davenportvia The Washington Examiner
Wednesday, April 17, 2019

In a classic 1970s television commercial, a greasy mechanic rolled out from under a car holding a $200 bearing that needed replacing and a $4 oil filter that would have prevented the problem if installed earlier. The mechanic delivered a prophetic line: “You can pay me now, or you can pay me later.”

 
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Congress Forgot Investigations Should Be Connected To Legislation

by David Davenportvia The Washington Examiner
Monday, April 15, 2019

It’s not only in sports that “you can’t tell the players without a scorecard.” The huge number of Trump investigations, proposed and actual, would require a spreadsheet. The Justice Department and the New York Attorney General have many entries on that scorecard, but so does Congress. Congress still has several investigations going about Russia, White House security clearances, Trump’s tax returns and, oh wait, there is also Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., investigating Trump investigations.

Analysis and Commentary

David Davenport: Campus Politics Are More Dangerous Than Bribes

by David Davenportvia Townhall Review
Thursday, April 11, 2019

Parents paying to get their children into elite colleges has shocked the nation. Meanwhile, a more prevalent and more insidious problem—campus politics and intolerance—goes unnoticed.

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The Civic Education Crisis

by David Davenportvia Defining Ideas
Friday, April 5, 2019

What should we do and how?

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Area 45: An American Civics Lesson With David Davenport

interview with David Davenportvia Area 45
Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Granting 16-years-old the right to vote, abolishing the Electoral College, reshaping the makeup of the Supreme Court, states entering a voting compact…do we need a renewed emphasis on civics education?

Analysis and Commentary

Court Packing Madness

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Tuesday, April 2, 2019

While the rest of us enjoy basketball’s March Madness, progressives are creating madness of their own. The latest is their proposal to pack the Supreme Court by adding new seats on the Court for the next president to fill. This is clearly a political ploy to change the present 5-4 conservative makeup to a 6-5 liberal one.

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The Worst Attack On The Electoral College: Pretending Every Vote Doesn't Count

by David Davenportvia Washington Examiner
Friday, March 22, 2019

Colleges are under attack today, with the recent admissions scandal triggering charges of inequity in the college admissions process. But Democrats are on the warpath about a particular college, the Electoral College, arguing that it advances its own brand of unfairness.

Analysis and Commentary

Let Him Bake Cake

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Thursday, March 21, 2019

You may remember the baker Jack Phillips in Colorado. As a Christian, Philips felt he could not in good conscience decorate cakes celebrating events that did not square with his beliefs. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission opposed him and, finally, the US Supreme Court said the Commission had acted prejudicially.

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