University Press of Kansas

There is perhaps no press more important for the study of American political thought and American constitutionalism. Many of those who have contributed to this site have published books with Kansas. The rest of us have, I’m confident, profited from books that the Press has published. It is the best press there is for the kinds of issues related to The Constitutionalist. That makes all of us in and around this field extremely concerned that their future is uncertain and the university may cut off their funding. Below you’ll find a letter written recently by the American Political Thought section urging the continued funding on the press. Here is a link to a site where you can sign a petition: We might also be able to add your name to the letter. If you’d like to do that, just put your name in the comments section of this post. Thanks so much!

February 19, 2021

Dear Members of the Board of Trustees, University Press of Kansas:

We write to support the University Press of Kansas and urge its continued robust funding by the state of Kansas.

Over the past half-century, the University Press of Kansas has been a vital forum for the publication of a substantial body of innovative and influential scholarship on the American Presidency, the American legal system, and most importantly to us, American political thought and development. The American Political Thought Series, founded by Lance Banning and Wilson Carey McWilliams and now edited by Jeremy Bailey and Susan McWilliams Barndt, has published some of the most important work in our field on the American Founding, the formation of the Constitution, and American political development. The list of authors who have published in this series constitutes a veritable who’s who among scholars in our field. The list of prize-winning works is equally impressive and includes works that won or were finalists for the Bancroft Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the George Washington Prize, the Richard Neustadt Award, and the Henry Adams Award.

Senior scholars in history and political science can remember when American political thought barely existed as a subfield within their respective disciplines. The creation of UPK’s American Political Thought Series by Banning and McWilliams, themselves pioneers and giants in the field, was one of the most important developments in history and political science in rejuvenating attention to American political ideas and values as serious, nay vital, subjects of inquiry and analysis. This series, it is no exaggeration to suggest, preceded and profoundly influenced the recognition of American political thought as a section at the American Political Science Association and the development of a journal, American Political Thought: A Journal of Ideas, Institutions, and Culture, devoted entirely to our subfield.

These developments have been central to a renewed focus in American universities on civic education and a renewed attention to study of the Constitution and American ideas—including numerous works focused on the thinking of political figures like George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Abraham Lincoln. Kansas books are also frequently used in the classroom. Now is certainly not the time to remove funding from an institution that has brought us some of the most important works on the American political system in print.  


American Political Thought Section Officers, American Political Science Association

George Thomas (President)

Wohlford Professor of American Political Institutions, Claremont McKenna College

Director, Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom

J. Russell Muirhead (Vice President)

Clements Professor of Democracy and Politics, Dartmouth College

Vincent Phillip Munoz (Treasurer)

Tocqueville Associate Professor of Religion and Public Life, University of Notre Dame

Keith E. Whittington (Section Board Member)

William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics, Princeton University

Ken I. Kersch (Section Board Member)

Professor of Political Science, Boston College

Mariah Zeisberg (Section Board Member)

Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan

Alan Gibson (Program Chair)

Professor of Political Science, Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy, University of Missouri

Elizabeth Beaumont (Program Chair)

Associate Professor of Politics, University of California, Santa Cruz

Friends of the University Press of Kansas and American Political Thought

Michael Zuckert, Founding Editor of American Political Thought and Emeritus Professor, University of Notre Dame

Rogers M. Smith, Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania

Peter S. Onuf, Thomas Jefferson Foundation Professor of History, Emeritus

University of Virginia

James Ceaser, Harry F. Byrd Professor of Politics, University of Virginia

Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University

Patrick J. Deneen, Professor of Political Science and David A. Potenziani Memorial Chair of Constitutional Studies University of Notre Dame

Carson Holloway, Professor of Political Science, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Kevin J. Burns, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Christendom College 

Wilfred M. McClay, G.T. and Libby Blankenship Chair in the History of Liberty, and

Director, Center for the History of Liberty, University of Oklahoma

Stanley C. Brubaker, Professor of Political Science, Colgate University

Robert Lowry Clinton, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Andrew S. Bibby, Utah Valley University, Department of Political Science

John Dinan, Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Wake Forest University

Bradford P. Wilson, Executive Director, James Madison Program, Princeton University

Jean M. Yarbrough, Gary M. Pendy, Sr., Professor of Social Sciences and Professor of Government and Legal Studies Bowdoin College

Professor Paul E. Kerry, Brigham Young University

Alan Levine, Associate Professor, Department of Government

Director, Political Theory Institute, American University

Gerard V. Bradley, Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame

Jerry Weinberger, University Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Michigan State University

Matthew D. Wright, Associate Professor of Government, Torrey Honors College

Biola University

Lee Ward, Professor of Political Science, Baylor University

Shilo Brooks, Associate Faculty Director, Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization, University of Colorado

Andrew Porwancher, Wick Cary Associate Professor of Constitutional Studies, University of Oklahoma

Greg Weiner, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Assumption College

Jeffrey L. Pasley, Professor of History and Associate Director, Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy, University of Missouri

Sidney M. Milkis, White Burkett Miller Professor of Politics, University of Virginia

Marc Landy, Professor of Political Science, Boston College

Thomas L. Pangle, Joe R. Long Endowed Chair in Democratic Studies

Department of Government, University of Texas at Austin

Sotirios Barber, Professor of Political Science, University of Notre Dame

Dennis Hale, Professor, Department of Political Science, Boston College

James Read, Professor and Chair of Political Science, College of St Benedict and St John’s University

Jack Rakove, William Robertson Coe Professor of History and American Studies and Professor of Political Science, Emeritus, Stanford University

Justin Dyer, Professor of Political Science and Director, Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy, University of Missouri

Stephen Macedo, Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Politics and Human Values, Princeton University

Adam Seagrave, Associate Professor and Associate Director, School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, Associate Director, Center for Political Thought and Leadership, Arizona State University

Lee J. Strang, John W. Stoepler Professor of Law & Values, University of Toledo College of Law

James R. Stoner, Jr., Hermann Moyse, Jr. Professor and Director, The Eric Voegelin Institute for American Renaissance Studies, Department of Political Science, Louisiana State University

Thomas W. Merrill, Associate Professor of Government and Director of the Lincoln Scholars Certificate Program, American University

Karen Taliaferro, Assistant Professor. School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, Arizona State University.


Francis J. Beckwith, Professor of Philosophy & Church-State Studies, Affiliate Professor of Political Science, Baylor University 

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