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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Political Science

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David Ciepley

  • David Ciepley

    David Ciepley

Associate Professor
Sturm Hall, Room 468
Phone: 303-871-2138
Email: [email protected]
View CV

Areas of expertise/research interests

  • political theory
  • theory of the corporation
  • democratic theory
  • history of liberalism
  • sustainable development

Current research and projects

David Ciepley is writing a book advancing a political theory of the corporate order.

Professional biography

David Ciepley came to the University of Denver in 2007. He was a Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars during the 2011-2012 academic year, a Laurence S. Rockefeller Visiting Faculty Fellow in the Center for Human Values at Princeton University during the 2013-2014 academic year, and a member of the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science, under auspices of the American Council of Learned Societies Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars, during the 2015-2016 academic year. He is a Fellow at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study during the fall of 2016.

He was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Washington University in St. Louis from 2002-2004, a postdoctoral fellow at The Center on Religion and Democracy at the University of Virginia from 2004-2005, and a postdoctoral fellow in political philosophy, policy, and law, also at the University of Virginia, from 2005-2007. He was a Fellow at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study during the fall of 2016, and was the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Constitutionalism and Political Theory, McGill, during the fall of 2017

He serves on the legal advisory board of Free Speech for People.


University of Chicago - PhD, Committee on Social Thought, 2002
University of Chicago - MA with distinction, Committee on Social Thought, 1992
Edinburgh University - MSc in History, 1991
Princeton University - BA in Religion, cum laude, 1989

Publications (Selected)

"Is the U.S. Government a Corporation? The Corporate Genesis of Modern Constitutionalism." American Political Science Review 111 (2): 418-435 (May 2017).

"Beyond Public and Private: Toward a Political Theory of the Corporation." American Political Science Review 107(1): 139-158, February 2013. Copyright © American Political Science Association 2013

"Neither Persons nor Associations: Against Constitutional Rights for Corporations." Journal of Law and Courts 1(2): 221-246, September 2013.

"Dispersed Constituency Democracy: Deterritorializing Representation to Reduce Ethnic Conflict." Politics & Society 41(1):133-160, March 2013.

"The Corporate Contradictions of Neoliberalism," American Affairs 1(2) (May 2017).

Liberalism in the Shadow of Totalitarianism, Harvard University Press, 2006. Press-nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

"Authority in the Firm (and the Attempt to Theorize it Away)." Critical Review 16(1): 81-115, 2004.