Stephen Holmes

Walter E. Meyer Professor of Law

After receiving his Ph.D. from Yale in 1976, Holmes (b. 1948) taught briefly at Yale and Wesleyan Universities before becoming a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in 1978. He next moved to Harvard University's Department of Government, where he stayed until 1985, the year he joined the faculty at the University of Chicago where he taught, in both the Political Science Department and the Law School, until 1997. From 1997-2000, Holmes was Professor of Politics at Princeton University. In 2000, he moved to New York University School of Law where he is currently Walter E. Meyer Professor of Law and faculty co-director of the Center on Law and Security.Read more

Holmes' research centers on the history of European liberalism, the disappointments of democracy and economic liberalization after communism, and the difficulty of combating international Salafi terrorism within the bounds of the Constitution and the rule of law. In 1988, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to complete a study of the theoretical foundations of liberal democracy. He was a member of the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin during the 1991-92 academic year. He was named a Carnegie Scholar in 2003-2005 for his work on Russian legal reform. Besides numerous articles on the history of political thought, democratic and constitutional theory, state-building in post-communist Russia, and the war on terror, his publications include: Benjamin Constant and the Making of Modern Liberalism (1984); Anatomy of Antiliberalism (1993); Passions and Constraint: The Theory of Liberal Democracy (1995); The Cost of Rights, coauthored, with Cass Sunstein (1998); and Matador’s Cape: America’s Reckless Response to Terror (2007).

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