Richard Avramenko

Position title: Professor | Political Theory


Phone: (608) 263-2292

201E North Hall
Office Hours: Monday, 1:00-3:00 (203 Meikeljohn House)

Affiliated with Integrated Liberal Studies

Research Interests:

Ancient Political Theory, Civic and Liberal Education, Continental, Democratic Theory, Free Speech, Liberalism, Literature, Modern Political Theory, Philanthropy, Political Economy, Sports, Tocqueville


Ph.D. in Political Science, Georgetown University, 2005

M.A. in Political Science, Carleton University (1997)

B.A. in Political Science, University of Calgary (1994)


Richard Avramenko (Ph.D. Georgetown, 2005) has taught both Political Science and Integrated Liberal Studies at the University of Wisconsin since the Fall of 2005. His main areas of interest are ancient and continental political thought. He teaches Western Culture: Political, Economic, and Social Thought, Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, Politics and Literature, Ancient and Medieval Political Thought, the Romance of War, Nietzsche, Methods of Political Theory, or whatever strikes him as interesting and appropriate.

Avramenko has written articles on topics such as Plato, Aristotle, Xenophon, St. Augustine, Dostoevsky, Tocqueville, Nietzsche, Voegelin, Heidegger, Canadian identity politics, mortgage and housing policy. He is the author of Courage: The Politics of Life and Limb, and has co-edited books on friendship (Friendship and Politics: Essays in Political Thought), Dostoevsky (Dostoevsky’s Political Thought),  and aristocratic political thought (Aristocratic Souls in Democratic Times) and is currently working on a new book manuscript: The Crush of Democracy: Tocqueville and the Egalitarian Mind.

When not thinking deep thoughts, Avramenko can be found running somewhere in Waunakee, biking somewhere in Dane County, SCUBA diving somewhere in British Columbia, playing hockey somewhere in Madison, fishing in the North Woods, or just generally being “a kaleidoscopic man, a man of many different humors, fair and colorful as the city itself” (Republic, Book VIII).


PS 460 Conservative Political Thought Summer 2019

PS 931 Seminar-Political Theory Tocqueville’s Democracy in America Spring 2018-2019

PS 699 Directed Study Summer 2018

PS 460 Conservative Political Thought Summer 2018

PS 839 Methods of Political Theory Fall 2017-2018

PS 506 Democracy in America Summer 2016-2017

PS 506 Toqueville’s Democracy in America Spring 2016-2017



Honored Instructor Award, UW-Madison Housing


The Herbert & Evelyn Howe Bascom Professor in Integrated Liberal Studies


Howe Bascom Professor in Integrated Liberal Studies

Honored Instructor Award, University Housing, UW-Madison


Distinguished Honors Faculty Award, College of Letters and Science Honors Program

Honored Instructor Award, UW University Housing

ForeWord Reviews 2011 Book of the Year Award for Political Science, 3rd place, for Courage: The Politics of Life and Limb (University of Notre Dame Press, 2011)