David Davenport

Research Fellow

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

Taxes - a cautionary tale

by David Davenportvia San Francisco Chronicle
Monday, February 2, 2009

The byword of the political campaign season, "change," has given way to "new."...

Faith, Hope, and Charities

by David Davenportvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 22, 2009

Partnerships with religious groups may have been dismissed as a stepchild of the Bush administration, but they appear to have a bright future all the same. By David Davenport.

In the News

Davenport: 2009: The Year of Taxes

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Monday, December 29, 2008

It's not April 15, but it's already tax season...

In the News

Unfair and Balanced

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Wednesday, November 19, 2008

With Democrats in charge of the White House and Congress, one of the few checks conservatives have left is talk radio and the new media...

In the News

Davenport: Courts and Gay Marriage

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Friday, November 14, 2008

Voters in three states recently voted against same-sex marriage...

In the News

“No” on the National Popular Vote

by David Davenportvia townhall.com
Monday, October 20, 2008

Have you heard about the National Popular Vote Bill?...

In the News

Sarah Palin: A True Conservative

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Friday, October 10, 2008

It's been a difficult couple of decades for true conservatives...

Analysis and Commentary

Constitution Day Quiz

by David Davenportvia San Francisco Chronicle
Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Today we celebrate the 221st anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution...

Analysis and Commentary

Boost editorial page impact through reader involvement

by David Davenportvia Masthead
Monday, September 1, 2008

If you were asked what a college professor does in class, how would you answer...

In the News

Straight Talk Express Meets the Great Conversationalist

by David Davenportvia townhall.com
Monday, August 18, 2008

When President Bill Clinton played his saxophone on the late-night “Arsenio Hall Show” in 1992, it was obvious that presidential campaigns had changed...