Retired Associate Professor of Political Science
Ph.D., University of Virginia
M.A., Northern Illinois University
B.A., Wake Forest University
David Nichols studies American politics, especially constitutional law, the presidency, and separation of powers theory; politics & literature; and politics & film.
Professor Nichols comes to Baylor from Montclair State University, where he taught Political Science and directed the University Honors Program; he has also taught at Fordham Univeristy, the University of Virginia, and Catholic University. He has twice served terms as a Program Officer for the National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Research and Programs.
Courses at BaylorPSC 2302 American Constitutional Development:
An historical and institutional study of the background, content, development, and interpretation of the United States Constitution. PSC 3330 The American Presidency
The American presidency as a political institution and as one of the primary components of the United States governmental structure. Course examines the role assumed by the Supreme Court in the making of public policy, its history, its justification, and its limits, by looking at such areas as economic policy (e.g., property rights, economic regulation, contracts); civil rights policy (e.g., segregation and affirmative action); social policy (e.g., family rights, child-rearing, education, reproduction issues); and campaign finance regulation. Class will read both Court cases and secondary literature on judicial policy-making. Examination of American politics, institutions, and behavior. Topics will vary within the subfield of American politics. Study of the development and reform of political institutions and practices over the course of American history. Study of the creation and ratification of the American constitution with a particular focus on the debates concerning the proper structure, institutional arrangements and purposes of government.
The Myth of the Modern Presidency (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1994), Arabic translation published 2002
Readings in American Government, 8th ed. (Kendall/Hunt Publishing, 2010)
"Constitutional Controversy and Presidential Election: Bush v. Gore" in The Constitutional Presidency, Joseph M. Bessette and Jeffrey K. Tulis, eds. (John Hopkins Press, 2009)
"John Ford's Revolutionary Americans" in Print the Legend: Politics, Culture, and Civic Virtue in the Films of John Ford, Sidney Pearson, ed. (Lexington Books, 2009)
"The Framers of the Constitution Would Approve of the Modern Presidency" in Debating the Presidency, Richard Ellis and Michael Nelson, eds. (Congressional Quarterly Press, 2006)