Professor Kautz joined the MSU faculty in January 2000. He received his BA from Michigan State University (1981), where he was awarded the Harry S. Truman Scholarship (1979). His PhD is from the University of Chicago, Committee on Social Thought (1989).
Kautz’s primary research interests are in the fields of modern political philosophy and American political thought. He is the author of Liberalism and Community, a defense of the classical liberalism of Locke and Montesquieu against its contemporary critics. He has written more generally about liberalism, including essays on the ideas of toleration, privacy, and the rule of law, and about the place of liberal education in a liberal society. He recently co-edited an edited volume on The Supreme Court and the Idea of Constitutionalism, to which he contributed an essay “On Liberal Constitutionalism.” Kautz is currently at work on a book on the political thought of Abraham Lincoln, focusing on challenges of democratic statesmanship. His essay on Lincoln, “Abraham Lincoln: The Moderation of a Democratic Statesman,” appears in History of American Political Thought (ed. Bryan-Paul Frost and Jeffrey Sikkenga).
Professor Kautz teaches undergraduate and PhD courses on modern political philosophy, American political thought, liberalism, constitutionalism, comparative constitutionalism, and British politics.
Professor Kautz previously served as Associate Dean of the Honors College (2005-2007) and as Director of the PhD Program in Political Science (2007-2012). Before returning to MSU in 2000, he taught at Emory University (1989-1999).