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Department ofPolitical Science

Timothy J. Lukes

Timothy J. Lukes


Education: Ph.D., Political Economy, University of Toronto, 1981; A.B., Political Science, University of California, 1972.

Timothy J. Lukes teaches political philosophy, American political behavior, and research methods.  His research interests include the Italian Renaissance, American political culture, and contemporary political thought. His books have won awards from the Women's Caucus of the American Political Science Association and from the Asian American Studies Association. In 1995, Lukes received the Carl I. Wheat Memorial Award for his article, "Progressivism Off-Broadway: Reform Politics in San Jose, California, 1880-1920."  The award is given to the essay judged to be the year's best in the Southern California Quarterly (University of California Press). In 1996 Lukes was awarded the Northern California Phi Beta Kappa Outstanding Teaching Award.  He has received grants from the California Council for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Association of State and Local Histories, the Sourisseau Academy, and the Irvine Foundation. For his work in multi-culturalism, he has received formal commendations from the City of San Jose and the County of Santa Clara.

“In Politics and Beauty Timothy J. Lukes examines the intersection of two expansive domains. He is not the first to take up this task, but his quest to avoid reducing either politics to aesthetics or the reverse, makes his work rare indeed. Lukes is concerned with beauty and its vicissitudes as it goes from being something we discover and explore to being something we adapt and use.  His arguments are learned, subtle and deep, as he makes the case that we diminish, indeed risk altogether losing, aspects of beauty--its ability to elicit passion, its inaccessibility, its permanence--when we deploy it for pragmatic purposes. Lukes provides ballast for his theoretical argument by offering detailed discussions of the different ways beauty has been used in influential portrayals of “women, wilderness and automobiles” in American culture. This is a remarkable work, one to be grappled with--not least by those like myself whose views it unsettles.”

James Johnson, Professor of Political Science, University of Rochester, author of The Priority of Democracy (Princeton University Press) and 2004-2009 member of the Editorial Board of the American Political Science Review.

  • Introduction to Political Theory
  • Applied Quantitative Methods in American Political Behavior
  • Contemporary Political Philosophy
  • Aesthetics and Politics
  • Descending to the Particulars: The Palazzo, The Piazza, and Machaivelli's Republican Modes and Orders, The Journal of Politics, (April 2009).
  • Teaching Wisdom to Interest: Book Five of Plato's Republic, PS: Political Science and Politics, (January 2009). (Co-authored with SCU student Mary Scudder.)
  • Putting Space Between Beauty and Politics, Chronicle of Higher Education, (December 21, 2007).
  • Martialing Machiavelli:  Reassessing the Military Reflections, The Journal of Politics, (November 2004).
  • Lionizing Machiavelli, The American Political Science Review, (September 2001).
  • "Merit Badgering:  Dissecting a Slippery Concept in the Affirmative Action Debate," Public Affairs Quarterly, (July 1996).  (Co-authored with SCU student Bonnie Campodonico.)
Curriculum vitae
Curriculum vitae