Patrick J. Deneen



Regular Faculty - Associate Professor


David A. Potenziani Memorial Associate Professor of Constitutional Studies


Constitutional Law and Politics

Political Theory


B.A., Rutgers University, 1986

Ph.D., Rutgers University, 1995

Research and Teaching Interests

Ancient and Modern Political Thought, American Political Thought, American Constitutionalism Literature and Politics, Religion and Politics


Patrick J. Deneen holds a B.A. in English literature and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Rutgers University.  From 1995-1997 he was Speechwriter and Special Advisor to the Director of the United States Information Agency.  From 1997-2005 he was Assistant Professor of Government at Princeton University.  From 2005-2012 he was Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis Associate Professor of Government at Georgetown University, before joining the faculty of Notre Dame in Fall 2012.  He is the author and editor of several books and numerous articles and reviews and has delivered invited lectures around the country and several foreign nations.

Deneen was awarded the A.P.S.A.'s Leo Strauss Award for Best Dissertation in Political Theory in 1995, and an honorable mention for the A.P.S.A.'s Best First Book Award in 2000.  He has been awarded research fellowships from Princeton University and the Earhart Foundation.

His teaching and writing interests focus on the history of political thought, American political thought, religion and politics, and literature and politics.  He is currently working on several book projects, including:

  • Why Liberalism Failed  (under contract, Yale University Press)
  • The End of Education: The Liberal Arts as the Art of Being Free
  • Another America:  The Alternative Tradition in America
  • A Religious Terror: Tocqueville on the End of Democracy

Published books include:

  • The Odyssey of Political Theory, 2000 (Rowman and Littlefield) 
  • Democratic Faith, 2005 (Princeton)
  •  Democracy's Literature (ed.), 2005 (Rowman and Littlefield)
  •  The Democratic Soul (ed.), 2011 (University Press of Kentucky)
  •  Redeeming Democracy in America (ed.), 2011 (University Press of Kansas)
  • Conserving America? Thoughts on Present Discontents (St. Augustine Press, 2016)

Office Hours

Spring Semester: Wednesday from 11:00-1:00 pm and by appointment

Contact Information

Office: Decio 417
Phone: 574-631-7659

Mailing Address

Department of Political Science
217 O'Shaughnessy
Notre Dame, IN 46556


Deneen CV