David Fott

Professor of Political Science
Director, Great Works Academic Certificate Program
Expertise: Political philosophy, philosophical pragmatism, American political thought


David Fott has translated Cicero’s On the Republic and On the Laws in an edition that contains an introduction, extensive notes, and a unique index of key terms (Cornell University Press, 2014). He is also writing a book on Cicero’s political philosophy. He is the author of John Dewey: America’s Philosopher of Democracy (Rowman and Littlefield, 1998) and articles and book chapters on Dewey, Cicero, Machiavelli, Montesquieu, U.S. presidential power, and Jane Austen. 

At UNLV he has taught a wide range of classes in political theory and American political thought, as well as introductory courses in American politics and political science.

Fott is founder and director of the Great Works Academic Certificate Program at UNLV, which provides undergraduates the opportunity to take part in a conversation with some of the best thinkers of all time.


  • BA, Vanderbilt University
  • MA, Harvard University
  • PhD, Harvard University

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David Fott In The News

The Nevada Independent
The Declaration of Independence does not prescribe a particular form of government for the securing of our inalienable rights, but it leaves no doubt that government is necessary. The people may be the best judge of how the mask fits, but these days, can we do without masks?
When the 2020 presidential nomination season kicks off in February, it won’t start with a primary — where voters go to their polling place and cast a secret ballot — but with caucuses. While the vast majority of states hold primary elections, a few use these more complicated events to show their preferences for candidates.
Las Vegas Review Journal
Hard-working people want to be responsible citizens but often don’t know how. What are we to make of the never-ending parade of news, the partisan voices yelling at one another, the seeming impossibility of understanding “the big political picture” without devoting a lifetime of study to it?
High Country News
In this year's presidential race, the stakes seem higher than ever and the electorate in the West is more diverse and engaged in the past. Reading the news, it's easy to know who is up, who is down and which candidate is embroiled in the latest drama, but our latest Soundtable discussion takes a deep dive into where presidential hopefuls stand on issues important to the American West. So, what Western issues are gaining importance as the candidates move through their campaigns — and which ones are getting left behind?

Articles Featuring David Fott

I Voted stickers
Campus News | January 5, 2021

A collection of stories highlighting UNLV experts and their analysis of all things politics in 2020.

Students work computers at Black Fire Innovation
Campus News | February 18, 2020

A collection of news stories capturing the excitement and accomplishments of UNLV at the start of a new decade.

2016 Debate flags
Campus News | September 22, 2016

Students and the Las Vegas community will gather to watch live streams of the debates leading up to the final contest Oct. 19 at UNLV.