Donald Downs

Donald Downs

Professor of Political Science and Affiliate Professor of Law
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Donald Downs is the Alexander Meiklejohn Professor of Political Science, and Affiliate Professor of Law, and Journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His scholarship has dealt with a wide range of issues dealing with such issues as freedom of speech; academic freedom; American politics; political thought; political and legal movements; citizenship; campus politics; domestic violence, psychiatry, and the criminal law; and the relationship among the military, the university, and civic education. His most recent books are Restoring Free Speech and Liberty on Campus (Cambridge University Press, 2006), and Arms and the University: Military Presence and the Civic Education on Non-Military Students (Cambridge University Press, 2012), co-authored with Ilia Murtazashvili.

Prof. Downs is a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Humane Studies and contributor to the Open Inquiry Project, a nationwide community of faculty committed to the flourishing of free speech and independent thought on college campuses.

Blog Posts

The State of Free Speech among High School Students

As recently reported in the New York Times, a recent Knight Foundation survey of nearly 12,000 high school students has found that such students’ support for the First Amendment’s free…


Freedom of Speech: Why We NEED Academic Freedom

What are the threats to free speech and free inquiry on college campuses today? Academic Freedom—the ability to freely pursue knowledge and inquiry on campus—is under attack, and it’s important…