David Walsh's Headshot


  • Politics
  • School

  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • Expertise

  • Political theory
  • Liberal democracy
  • Philosophical revolution of modern world
  • Biography

    David Walsh is Professor of Politics with teaching and research interests in the field of political theory broadly conceived. His focus has been on the question that the modern world poses for itself at its deepest level. Does our civilization possess the moral and spiritual resources to survive? In response to that question Walsh has traced the modern retrieval order in a trilogy of works. First, is the catharsis evoked by the totalitarian crisis that called forth an affirmation of truth beyond the abyss. This is explored in After Ideology: Recovering the Spiritual Foundations of Freedom (1990). Second, there is the emergence of a minimal order within the abbreviations that became the liberal democratic form. The Growth of the Liberal Soul (1997) tracks both the contemporary debates and the historical unfolding of the principles that maximize individual liberty while also sustaining civic virtue. Finally, The Modern Philosophical Revolution: The Luminosity of Existence (2008) reflects on the overarching philosophical horizon of modernity. It finds that the narrative is best characterized as a re-founding of the classical and Christian understanding rather than a radical departure from it. One of the results of these studies has been a renewed interest in the centrality of the person from whom order radiates into social and political existence. The first phase of this new direction has appeared in Politics of the Person as the Politics of Being (2016), followed by a companion volume, The Priority of the Person (2020). His current book project is “The Invisible Source of Authority: God in a Secular Age.”

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    Honors and Appointments

    Professor, Department of Politics, The Catholic University of America, 1991 - present.

    Associate Professor, Department of Politics, The Catholic University of America, 1987 - 1991.

    Assistant Professor, Department of Politics, The Catholic University of America, 1984 - 1987.

    Earhart Foundation Summer Fellowship Grant, 2014.