Meet the Faculty

School of Public Policy Faculty

Photo of Ted McAllister, Ph.D.

Ted McAllister, Ph.D.
Edward L. Gaylord Chair/Associate Professor of Public Policy

Office: School of Public Policy (SPP)
Phone: (310) 506-7603
Fax: (310) 506-7494

  • Ph.D., American Intellectual and Cultural History, Vanderbilt University
  • M.A., Claremont Graduate School
  • B.A., Oklahoma Christian College

Professor Ted McAllister, an intellectual historian, brings a historical imagination to the public policy curriculum, a perspective not typical of such programs. His training well equips him to press students to ask the foundational moral questions concerning public policy, leading them back to first principles. A graduate of Oklahoma Christian College, he earned his master's degree from Claremont Graduate School before completing his doctoral degree in American intellectual and cultural history at Vanderbilt University. A recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation's Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, he also received the Leland Sage Fellowship as well as several additional grants including one from the Earhart Foundation. The author of a volume entitled Revolt Against Modernity: Leo Strauss, Eric Voegelin, and the Search for a Postliberal Order, he has completed a new textbook on American history entitled The Promise of Freedom: A History of the United States. Among his other publications, he has authored the chapter "Reagan and the Transformation of American Conservatism" in The Reagan Presidency. McAllister has lectured frequently on the nature and future of American conservatism, including recent presentations at Oxford University and at Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany. In addition to his research into conservative philosophy, he is currently working on a history of the baby boomer generation.

McAllister serves (with Jean Bethke Elshtain and Wilfred McClay) as an editor of Rowman & Littlefield's book series, American Intellectual Culture, which is designed to produce books that examine the intersection of culture and politics in American history. At Pepperdine he teaches the core class entitled Ethical Dimensions of Public Policy: Great Books and Great Ideas, as well as a variety of elective courses that focus on putting policy debates in larger historical and philosophical contexts, including such classes as Comparative Federalism, Public Policy in Modern America, and American Democratic Culture.


  • MPP 601 Ethical Dimensions of Public Policy
  • MPP 646 Public Policy and Education: Education, Democracy, and Public Deliberation
  • MPP 647 Seminar in Political Issues: Public Opinion
  • MPP 650 Public Policy in Modern America
  • MPP 651 American Democratic Culture
  • MPP 655 Contemporary American Ideologies
  • MPP 671 Comparative Democracy and Federalism

Academic Interests:

  • American Cultural History
  • American Democratic Culture
  • American Intellectual History
  • Ethics
  • Modern America

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