David C. Johnston

David C. Johnston

Research Interest


David Johnston (Ph.D., Princeton, 1981) taught at Yale University before coming to Columbia.  His books include The Rhetoric of Leviathan:  Thomas Hobbes and the Politics of Cultural Transformation; The Idea of a Liberal Theory; and A Brief History of Justice.  He is co-editor, with Richard Flathman, of Leviathan: A Norton Critical Edition; editor of a selection of readings on Equality; co-editor, with Nadia Urbinati and Camila Vergara, of Machiavelli on Liberty and Conflict; and, most recently, editor and translator of Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan: A Norton Critical Edition, 2nd ed.  He has served as President of the New York State Political Science Association; Chair of Introduction to Contemporary Civilization at Columbia; Chair of the International Conference for the Study of Political Thought; and Chair and Director of the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia.  His current research interests include the theory and practice of justice; the idea of individual autonomy; the history of social justice; and the history of political ideas in the early modern era.

Courses Taught

Spring 2020


3 pts, UN3100