Public Commentary

  • articles
  • interviews and podcasts
  • Availability and topics
  • Blogs


“Campus culture wars are a teachable moment in how freedom of speech and academic freedom differ”, Globe and Mail, January 12, 2024

“Nevermore Trump,” Niskanen, November 24, 2020

“Honoring the dishonorable, part 2: The dishonorable living.” Niskanen, September 9, 2020

“Honoring the dishonorable, part 1: The dishonorable dead.” Niskanen, July 28, 2020

“There’s nothing wrong with ‘dual loyalties.'” Washington Post, November 1, 2019

“The metastasizing crisis: Executive authority and the crumbling separation of powers.” Niskanen, August 7, 2019.

“The idea of a ‘wrong side of history’ will be considered unthinkable 50 years from now.” Vox, April 3, 2019

“Why I am not a moderate.” Niskanen, February 22, 2019

“Democracy for Republicans.” Niskanen, February 20, 2019

“Two hundred years of the liberty of the moderns.” Niskanen, February 19, 2019

“The Democrats’ Best Response to Republican Power Grabs.” The New York Times, December 11, 2018

“America’s Border and the Rule of Law,” Salon, July 29 2018

“Law and Border,” Niskanen, July 25 2018

“Who’s Afraid of Judith Shklar? Foreign Policy, July 2018

“The Weight of the Words,” Niskanen, February 7 2018

“Statist just-so stories,” Reason, December 2017 (review of James C. Scott, Against the Grain) 

“The Limits of legalism,” Niskanen, November 27 2017

“Black liberty matters,” Niskanen, September 20, 2017

“All good things,” Boston Review, September 2017

“The sovereign myth,” Niskanen, June 15 2017

“Why walking out is better than shouting down,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 25 2017

“The shortcut to serfdom,” Niskanen, May 16 2017

“A government of laws, not son-in-laws,” Niskanen, April 20, 2017

Federalism, jurisdiction, and resistance,” Niskanen, February 22, 2017

“Hypocrisy isn’t the problem. Nihilism is.” Los Angeles Times, February 8, 2017. Reprinted in The Chicago Tribune

“The free society is an open society.” Niskanen, January 31, 2017. “Les murs ne bloquent pas seulement les gens à l’extérieur, mais aussi à l’intérieur,”, February 6, 2017.

“The party declines.” Niskanen, January 18, 2017

“The defense of liberty can’t do without identity politics.” Niskanen, December 13, 2016

“Authoritarianism and post-truth politics.” Niskanen, November 30, 2016

Interviews and podcasts

December 15, 2008: Bloggingheads TV with Will Wilkinson, on the Harper government and the Canadian election

May 7, 2012: CBC, on the right to protest while masked

November 7, 2013: Global News Montreal, on the Charter of Values

November 8, 2013: Global News Montreal, on the Charter of Values

April 8, 2014: Global News Montreal, on the Charter of Values, and on the future of the sovereignty movement in Quebec

January 7, 2015: BBC World News, on the Charlie Hebdo attack

July 6, 2015: The Cato Institute’s “Free Thoughts” podcast, on Rationalism, Pluralism, and Freedom

December 12, 2016: Coy Barefoot, Inside Charlottesville, on truth in politics

April 10, 2017: CBC Radio noon on free academic speech.

April 10, 2017: McGill roundtable on academic freedom

May 6, 2017: 40th Anniversary of the Cato Institute panel, “The intellectual climate for liberty”

May 31, 2017: Plenary roundtable on the populist threat to democracy at the Canadian Political Science Association

June 2, 2017: The Cato Institute’s “Free Thoughts” podcast,  “Is liberalism in danger?”

November 5, 2017: At the Mont Pelerin Society: ”Is Liberal constitutionalism relevant for the future?”

February 12, 2018: Jamelle Bouie, “Trumpcast” podcast at Slate, “Will the Republican Party ever be able to rid itself of Trump’s hateful speech?”

June 29, 2018: John Blake,, Why the rules of racial rhetoric are changing

August 2018: “Ethics forward” podcast with Avery Kolers (Philosophy, Louisville): Multicultural manners

September 7, 2018: Shawn Apel, CBC Radio Noon, On Steve Bannon, and the anonymous op-ed from within the Trump administration.

April 25, 2019: Likeville podcast with John Faithful Hamer: “Post-apocalyptic hellscape.”

May 2019: Free Thoughts podcast with Trevor Burrus and Aaron Ross Powell, “The politics of the Marvel Cinematic Universe”

May 2019: Political Philosophy Podcast with Toby Buckle, Part 1: “Justice in a fallen world”

Political Philosophy Podcast with Toby Buckle, Part 2: “Politics without guarantees”

May 2019: “Think about it” with Uli Baer, “Can Universities Make Their Own Rules?”

August 2019: Institute for Liberal Studies “The Curious Task” podcast with Alex Aragona, “Does a liberal society need to be democratic?” 

February 11, 2020: Wisconsin Public Radio. “Can impeachment function in a two-party system?”

February 2020: Institute for Liberal Studies “The Curious Task” podcast with Alex Aragona, “How should liberals think of civil society?”

April 8 2020: Pop & Locke podcast with Natalie Dowzicky and Paul Meany on The Good Place.

April 9 2020: Reddit AMA hosted by r/LiberalStudies.

September 18 2020: Model Citizens podcast with Will Wilkinson on “Why we honor the dishonorable.”

November 2 2020:, on the US election and the “right side of history”

November 4 2020: CBC Radio Noon with Shawn Apel on the US election

November 7 2020: CTV News on the US election

January 6 2021: City TV on the US Capitol insurrection

January 7 2021: CBC Radio noon with Shawn Apel on the US Capitol insurrection

November 17 2021: Institute for Liberal Studies “The Curious Task” podcast with Alex Aragona, “Why is Montesquieu important for liberalism?”

May 18 2021: Institute for Liberal Studies “The Curious Task” podcast with Alex Aragona, “How should liberals think about social injustice?”

April 13 2022: Institute for Liberal Studies “The Curious Task” podcast with Alex Aragona, “What is academic freedom?”

May 17 2023: Institute for Liberal Studies “The Curious Task” podcast with Alex Aragona, “Is liberalism neutral?”

I am happy to talk with the press when my areas of scholarly knowledge overlap with current events or debates. Recently most such discussions have been, one way or another, about the values of the open society and liberal constitutional democracy, and the threat to them posed by populist and nationalist authoritarianism; see my 2016-present writings listed above. A longer list of topics includes:

Freedom of religion

Freedom of association and assembly

Freedom of speech

Multiculturalism and policies of cultural accommodation

Ethnic politics and ethnic conflict


Indigenous peoples’ rights (First Nations, Inuit, American Indians)

Language policy

Some areas of constitutional law in the US and some questions of Charter rights in Canada.

Je peux discuter de ces sujets avec les journalistes pour les journaux et magazines francophones, mais je ne suis pas à l’aise avec des entrevues en français pour la télévision ou la radio. 

Please contact me by e-mail, .