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.

Filter By:



Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

'08 marks first open election in 80 Years

by David Davenport with Herbert Hoovervia San Diego Union-Tribune
Sunday, February 3, 2008

Secretary of Commerce Herbert C. Hoover was the GOP's choice for the presidential campaign in 1928...

Back to the Town Hall

by David Davenportvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Why conservatives should embrace deliberative democracy. By David Davenport.

In the News

Faith and the Presidential Campaign

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Republican field of presidential candidates and the discussion of religion remind us of the variety of ways Christians might approach political leadership...

Analysis and Commentary

Our democratic republic needs fresh sources of energy

by David Davenportvia San Francisco Chronicle
Sunday, January 6, 2008

We think hybrid vehicles are new but, in fact, the American founders built one more than 200 years ago: our democratic republic...

In the News

The GOP Front-Runners

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Friday, January 4, 2008

Perhaps we've heard enough from the Republican presidential candidates to summarize their campaign and message...

In the News

The Constitution Doesn’t Need an Extreme Makeover

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Wednesday, December 19, 2007

For the second year in a row, a new book by a constitutional scholar seeks to redo our nation’s founding document...

Analysis and Commentary

A Good Speech, But Will It Do Any Good?

by David Davenportvia PBS
Thursday, December 6, 2007

A minister friend used to say: "It's hard enough to give a good sermon, harder still to give a sermon that will do any good..."

In the News

Republicans’ Secret Weapon: Taxes

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Thursday, December 6, 2007

Hillary Clinton leads the presidential polls, but there's one issue that could change things by next November...

Analysis and Commentary

No John F. Kennedy moment

by David Davenportvia San Francisco Chronicle
Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The most important event in the Iowa presidential campaign this week actually takes place in Texas, where Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will address his faith and how it would inform his presidency...

In the News

Sarbanes-Oxley for Churches?

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Thursday, November 29, 2007

Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa is investigating six ministries about their financial practices...