James W. Ceaser

Research Team: 
Awards and Honors:

James Ceaser is the Harry F. Byrd Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, director of the Program for Constitutionalism and Democracy, and was a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is the author of several books on American politics and American political thought, including Presidential Selection (Princeton University Press, 1979), Reconstructing America (Yale University Press, 1997), and Nature and History in American Political Development (Harvard University Press, 2006) ), and Designing a Polity (Rowman and Littlefield, 2010). He has held visiting positions at Harvard University, Princeton University, Oxford University, the University of Basel, and the University of Bordeaux. He is a frequent contributor to the popular press, most recently the Weekly Standard and the National Review.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

The First American Founder

by James W. Ceaservia Jack Miller Center
Tuesday, July 10, 2018

America reveres its founders. They are portrayed on monuments large and small, celebrated on national holidays and invoked in everyday conversation, and commemorated by the names of countless cities, schools, and streets — none more iconic than Madison Avenue.

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Irrational Numbers

by James W. Ceaservia Hoover Digest
Monday, July 9, 2018

Sweet reason? Not in contemporary American politics.


Irrationalism In Politics

by James W. Ceaservia The Weekly Standard
Friday, February 9, 2018

It has been over a half-century since the heralded British political theorist Michael Oakeshott published his most acclaimed work, Rationalism in Politics.


A Lack Of Ideas Has Consequences

by James W. Ceaservia The Weekly Standard
Monday, September 18, 2017

Something has gone missing from American politics. Since the beginning of the new administration in January, public debate focused on general ideas has largely disappeared.

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Shaken and Stirred

by James W. Ceaservia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 27, 2017

That tremor felt after Election Day was American democracy in action. Donald Trump’s allies and foes alike can make sure American principles stand firm. 

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Eleven Nine

by James W. Ceaservia The Weekly Standard
Monday, November 21, 2016

Americans awoke on the morning of 11/9 to a different political world. There is only one word to explain what happened, and it is called democracy.


The 269-To-269 Nightmare Scenario: What Would Happen Next If Hillary Clinton And Donald Trump Tie In The Electoral College

by James W. Ceaser, Mark J. Rozellvia New York Daily News
Friday, November 4, 2016

Unless circumstances change yet again, the country appears headed toward a close presidential election outcome.


Putin May Have Plans For Both Trump And Hillary

by James W. Ceaservia The Weekly Standard
Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Conspiracy theories vs. Occam's razor.


Do Party Platforms Still Matter?

by Daniel Disalvo, James W. Ceaservia The Atlantic
Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Despite their waning influence over the years, the process leading up to the 2016 national conventions has underscored intra-party conflicts.

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Where the Left Is Going

by James W. Ceaservia Hoover Digest
Monday, July 11, 2016

The long, strange trip of progressivism.