Patrick J. Deneen

Patrick J. Deneen


Fields of Study: Constitutional Studies, Political Theory

Research and Teaching Interests: Ancient and Modern Political Thought, American Political Thought, American Constitutionalism Literature and Politics, Religion and Politics

Office Hours: Mondays 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and by appointment

2019 Jenkins Nanovic Halls



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 world.

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, Earhart Foundation, and the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Virginia.

His teaching and writing interests focus on the history of political thought, American political thought, liberalism, conservatism, and constitutionalism.  

His widely-discussed 2018 book, Why Liberalism Failed, has been translated into over twenty languages and was praised by former President Barack Obama. His published books include:

  • Regime Change: Toward a Postliberal Future (Penguin, 2023)
  • Why Liberalism Failed (Yale University Press, 2018)
  • Conserving America? Thoughts on Present Discontents  (St. Augustine Press, 2016)
  • Democratic Faith  (Princeton University Press, 2005)
  • The Odyssey of Political Theory  (Rowman and Littlefield, 2000) 
  • Democracy's Literature (ed.),  (Rowman and Littlefield, 2005)
  •  The Democratic Soul (ed.),  (University Press of Kentucky, 2011)
  •  Redeeming Democracy in America (ed.),  (University Press of Kansas, 2011)