Howard Schweber

Position title: Professor: American Politics | Political Theory


Phone: 608-263-2293

Affiliated with Law School, Integrated Liberal Studies, Legal Studies, Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Post-secondary Education


Ph.D., Cornell University, Government, 1999

M.A. University of Chicago, History, 1994

J.D., University of Washington Law School, 1989

B.A., University of Pennsylvania, Individualized Major, 1984

Research Interests:

Constitution, Democratic Theory, Law


Howard Schweber joined the department in Fall 1999. He received his PhD in Government from Cornell University and an MA in History from the University of Chicago after spending five years practicing law in Seattle and San Francisco. Schweber teaches courses focusing on constitutional law and legal and political theory. He is the author of “Democracy and Authenticity” (Cambridge, 2012), “The Language of Liberal Constitutionalism” (Cambridge, 2007), “The Creation of American Common Law”(Cambridge, 2004), and “Speech, Conduct, and the First Amendment” (Peter Lang, 2003) and co-editor of “The Conservative Legacy of Antonin Scalia” (Lexington 2020) and “James Madison’s Constitution” (Kansa 2021), as well as articles, essays and book chapters on a variety of related topics. His current areas of research include comparative constitutionalism and democratic theories of representation. In addition to his position in the Political Science Department Schweber is an affiliate faculty member of the Law School the Legal Studies program, and Integrated Liberal Studies. From 2011 to 2013 he was Visiting Professor and the first Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan, and from 2013 until 2018 he served as Special Avisor to the President of NU. In 2012 he was the Australian Fulbright Distinguished Chair in American Politics; he has been a guest instructor at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (Pakistan) and delivered invited lectures in Austria, Australia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Jordan, and Israel.

Schweber is a regular guest on Wisconsin television and radio programs and gives frequent interviews in the local, national, and international press. He has been a contributing blogger at and an occasional guest blogger on other sites, operates a blog at and is a frequent public speaker both on and off campus. Schweber serves as the faculty advisor and coach for the UW College Mock Trial Team, the UW College Moot Court Team, and the “Sifting and Winnowing,” Wisconsin’s undergraduate politics and law journal. In 2004 he was the recipient of the William H. Kiekhoffer Award for Distinguished Teaching. He has also twice been selected as the Pi Sigma Alpha Professor of the year, has been named a Distinguished Honors Faculty member, and has received numerous other teaching awards while at Wisconsin. Earlier, while a PhD student at Cornell University, Schweber received the Stephen and Marjorie Russell Award for Outstanding Teaching, the highest award for teaching at any level awarded by the College of Arts and Sciences. He is a Leon Epstein Faculty Research Fellow and the founding editor of Constitutional Studies.


PS 160 Introduction to Political Theory Spring 2023

PS 460 The American University

PS 470 The First Amendment

PS 495 The Public Private Divide in American Law

PS 495 Democratic Theory

PS 495 Constitutional Theory

PS 601 Conservative Political Thought

PS 601 Topics in American Constitutionalism

PS 601 Comparative Constitutionalism

PS 400 Mock Trial Fall 2018-2019

PS 411 The American Constitution I: Powers and Structures of Government

PS 412: The American Constitution II: Rights and Liberties Spring 2023

Law School seminars: American Legal History, Constitutional Theory, Democratic Theory, Philosophy of Law



Distinguished Honors Faculty Awards from the L&S Honor Program

Awarded the Dr. Brenda Pfaelher Award of Excellence.


015 Distinguished Honors Faculty Awards from the L&S Honor Program


Leon Epstein Faculty Fellow by the College of Letters and Science

Hear from Professor Schweber on these episodes of the 1050 Bascom Podcast!