Thomas A. Spragens
Professor Emeritus of Political Science

Professor of Political Science, specializes in modern political theory and the contemporary theory of liberal democracy. He has written The Dilemma of Contemporary Political Theory: Toward a Post-Behavioral Science of Politics (1973), The Politics of Motion: The World of Thomas Hobbes(1973), and Understanding Political Theory (1976). His book, The Irony of Liberal Reason, published by the University of Chicago Press (1981), examines the impact of changing conceptions of rationality upon the liberal tradition. A sequel to that volume, entitled Reason and Democracy(1990), provides a constructive account of the relationship between rational practices and democratic institutions. His 1999 book, Civic Liberalism: Reflections on Our Democratic Ideals, which was awarded the Elaine and David Spitz Book Prize for 2001, argues for a more complex and ambitious set of democratic aspirations than those found in the most prominent alternative theories. His most recent book is Getting the Left Right: The Transformation, Decline, and Reformation of American Liberalism. It was selected in 2010 as one of the two featured books for the Critical Dialogue section of the APSA journal Perspectives on Politics. His current research concerns the civic practices important to meet the challenges of democratic self-governance in today's world.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Contact Information

  • 140 Science Drive, 204F Gross, Box 90204, Durham, NC 27708
  • Box 90204, Durham, NC 27708-0204

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