Michael L. McLendon, PhD

College of Natural & Social Sciences
Department of Political Science
Office ETA512


Academic Appointments

Professor of Political Science, 2014-present. California State University, Los Angeles

Chair, Department of Political Science, 2018-2020

Associate Profesor of Political Science, 2009-2014. California State University, Los Angeles

Assistant Professor of Political Science, 2003-2009. California State University, Los Angeles

Lecturer, Department of Government, 2002-2003. University of Texas at Austin

Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science, 2001-2002. Trinity College, Hartford, CT


Select Publications


Michael Locke McLendon, The Psychology of Inequality: Rousseau’s “Amour-Propre(Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018). ISBN:  0812250761. 211 pages.   Reviewed by:  Eighteenth-Century Studies, Perspectives on PoliticsReview of PoliticsH-France, Philosophy in Review, History of Political ThoughtLaw and Religion Forum, Choice



Articles, book chapters, and other publications:

Michael Locke McLendon, "Rousseau’s negative liberty: Themes of skepticism and domination in The Social Contract,” in The Cambridge Companion to Rousseau’s Social Contract, ed. David Lay Williams and Matthew W. MaGuire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2024):  88-112.  

Michael Locke McLendon and David Lay Williams, "The Philosopher who Critiqued Effective Altruism More than 250 Years ago," Time, 3.28.2024.

Michael Locke McLendon, "Why a Nineteenth-Century Anarchist is Relevant to the Mask and Vaccine Debate," The Conversation, 7.20.2021. 

Michael Locke McLendon, "The General Will after Rousseau: The Case of Tocqueville," in The General Will: The Evolution of a Concept, ed. James Farr and David Lay Williams (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015): 402-428.

Michael Locke McLendon and David Lay Williams, "“What Two Famous Philosophers Have to Say about Donald Trump’s Popularity,” “Monkey Cage” column in the Washington Post, 9.23.2015.

Michael Locke McLendon, "Rousseau and the minimal self: A solution to the problem of amour-propre," European Journal of Political Theory, vol. 13, no. 3 (2014): 341-61. 

Michael Locke McLendon, "The Politics of Sour Grapes: Sartre, Elster, and Tocqueville on Frustration, Failure, and Self-Deception," Review of Politics, vol. 75, no. 2 (2013): 347-70.

Michael Locke McLendon, "Rousseau, Amour-Propre, and Intellectual Celebrity," Journal of Politics, vol. 71, no. 2 (2009): 506-19.

Michael Locke McLendon, "Tocqueville, Jansenism, and the Psychology of Freedom," American Journal of Political Science, vol. 50, no. 3 (2006): 664-675.

Michael Locke McLendon, "The Overvaluation of Talent: An Interpretation and Application of Rousseau's Amour-Propre," Polity, vol. 36, no. 1 (2003): 115-138.

Michael McLendon, "Appendix A: Ibn Khaldun Modernized," in David Braybrooke, Natural Law Modernized (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001): 244-57