Andrew Sabl

Professor of Public Policy and Political Science

University of California, Los Angeles

Andrew Sabl is a political theorist whose research focuses on political ethics; democratic and constitutional theory; theories of toleration and political pluralism, and, most recently, the political theory of David Hume and questions of leadership and coordination.

Sabl's research combines an interest in historical and contemporary political theory and ethics with a focus on live questions of politics and policy. His first book Ruling Passions: Political Offices and Democratic Ethics (Princeton University Press, 2002) attempted to discuss systematically, through both theory and biographical examples, the range of political action that takes place, and ought to take place, in a pluralistic, constitutional democracy such as the United States, and the range of character dispositions required in the leaders who facilitate each type of action. This theme of moral pluralism in politics has run throughout his early work. His second book, Hume's Politics: Coordination and Crisis in the History of England (Princeton University Press, forthcoming in 2012) in effect continues, through a reconstruction of David Hume's political thought, the enterprise of exploring how political theory both shapes and is shaped by political actors' concrete choices. It reads Hume's political thought as a theory of dynamic coordination: how various solutions to coordination problems arise, gain strength, become objects of dispute, and either solidify as fundamental conventions of a polity, more or less unquestioned and unquestionable, or fade out over time.

Before coming to UCLA he taught at Vanderbilt University, and he has held visiting positions at Williams and Harvard as well as a Harvard postdoctoral fellowship. His research credentials include an American Council of Learned Societies fellowship (2003-4) and the Leo Strauss Award of the American Political Science Association for Best Dissertation in Political Philosophy (1997). Besides the two books, his work includes many articles—with few exceptions, containing material not appearing in the books—in Political Theory, the Journal of Political Philosophy, Polity, the American Journal of Political Science, NOMOS, the Journal of Moral Philosophy, the Election Law Journal, and other publications.