Donald Downs

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Donald Downs
Born Donald Alexander Downs
(1948-12-02) December 2, 1948 (age 68)
Academic background
Alma mater University of California - Berkeley
Thesis title Freedom, community, and the First Amendment: the Skokie case and the limits of speech
Thesis year 1983
Academic work
Institutions University of Wisconsin-Madison
Main interests First Amendment

Donald Alexander Downs (born December 2, 1948) is an American political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison known for his work on the First Amendment.[1]

Education[edit]

Downs received his Ph.D. from the University of California - Berkeley[2] and his B.A. from Cornell University.

Career[edit]

Downs has taught at the University of Michigan and the University of Notre Dame and is currently Professor of Political Science, Law, and Journalism at UW-Madison and a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. Downs has published many scholarly articles and books on the politics underlying central controversies in free speech, with a particular interest in recent years in academic freedom.

Downs is a co-founder of the Committee for Academic Freedom and Rights (CAFAR), and often speaks publicly in defense of academic freedom both at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and beyond.

In 2010 Downs was named the Alexander Meiklejohn Professor of Political Science at UW-Madison. He is also an affiliate professor of Law and Journalism at the University.

In 2012, Downs' book (co-authored by Ilia Murtazashvili) Arms and the University: Military Presence and the Civic Education of Non-Military Students.[3] The book explores the historical and present relationship between the military and higher education, and argues that an appropriate presence of the military in the form of ROTC, military history courses, and strategic security studies expands the liberal and civic education of all students, and broadens the university's intellectual horizon.

Downs is a co-founder and present director of the Wisconsin Center for the Study of Liberal Democracy.[4] The Center is dedicated to the understanding and critical evaluation of the central principles, policies, and practices of free societies, and to promoting genuine intellectual diversity on campus.

Downs is the faculty advisor of the Alexander Hamilton Society student chapter at UW-Madison. The Hamilton Society is a national student organization dedicated to discussing and debating important foreign policy and national security issues, and with thinking about the ways in which America can play a constructive role in international affairs.


He serves as a non-voting adviser on the Board of Directors of The Badger Herald, a student newspaper at UW-Madison.

Downs supports legally recognizing same-sex marriages.[5]

Key scholarly works[edit]

  • Downs, Donald Alexander (1983). Freedom, community, and the First Amendment: the Skokie case and the limits of speech (Ph.D. thesis). University of California - Berkeley. OCLC 12277926. 
  • Downs, Donald Alexander (1989). The new politics of pornography. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226161631. 
  • Downs, Donald Alexander (1996). More than victims: battered women, the syndrome society, and the law. Morality and Society Series. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226161594. 
  • Downs, Donald Alexander (1999). Cornell '69 liberalism and the crisis of the American university. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. ISBN 9780801478383. 
  • Downs, Donald Alexander (2005). Restoring free speech and liberty on campus. Oakland, California Cambridge, U.K. New York: Independent Institute Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521689717. 
  • Downs, Donald Alexander; Murtazashvili, Ilia (2012). Arms and the university: military presence and the civic education of non-military students. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521156707. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Donald Downs". University of Wisconsin-Madison. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  2. ^ Downs, Donald (1983). Freedom, community, and the First Amendment: the Skokie case and the limits of speech (Ph.D. thesis). University of California - Berkeley. OCLC 12277926. 
  3. ^ Downs, Donald Alexander; Murtazashvili, Ilia (2012). Arms and the university: military presence and the civic education of non-military students. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521156707. 
  4. ^ "Home page". csld.wisc.edu. Wisconsin Center for the Study of Liberal Democracy. 
  5. ^ http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/04/22/freedom_to_marry_freedom_to_dissent_why_we_must_have_both_122376.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)