Michael L. McLendon, PhD

College of Natural & Social Sciences
Department of Political Science
Office Location: ET A512
Phone: 323-343-2284 Email: [email protected]


Academic Appointments

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

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 Politics, H-France, Law and Religion Forum



Articles, book chapters, and other publications:

Michael Locke McLendon, “How meritocracy caused the college admissions scandal,” New Statesman America, March 27, 2019.

Michael Locke McLendon, "A New York Times columnist started a big argument on meritocracy. Here is a better way to debate the issue," Monkey Cage” column in the Washington Post, December 22, 2018

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, September 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, "Beccaria, Cesare Bonesana," in The Encyclopedia of Political Thought, ed. Michael Gibbons, Diane Coole, William E. Connolly, and Elisabeth Ellis (Malden, MA: Wley-Blackwell, 2014).

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