Gordon P. Henderson

Gordon P. Henderson, PhD

  • Professor
Media Expertise:
  • Politics & Government

Programs I Teach


  • PhD, Political Science (1983)
    Purdue University--West Lafayette (IN)

About Me

I earned a BA in political science and philosophy. My doctoral degree included a major field in political thought and minor fields in American politics, international relations, and philosophy, with an emphasis on Kant. I have carried the core liberal arts emphasis of Eisenhower throughout my career, and it has defined my pedagogical and scholarly efforts to make practical politics clear through integration with theory and philosophy.

Research Interests

The focus of my research and writing in political science has been on the development of a model of good citizenship in constitutional democracies such as the United States. Along the way to developing this model, participatory autonomy, I have critically examined major contemporary theorists, undertaken an examination of the assumptions about citizenship by James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson, and have explored the requisites of citizenship embedded in the idea of the democratic peace championed by Immanuel Kant.


  • Henderson, G. (2011). Lincoln and the idea of the democratic peace. In R.P. Watson, W.D. Pederson & F.J. Williams (Eds.), Lincoln's enduring legacy: Perspectives from great thinkers, great leaders, and the American experiment. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
  • Henderson, G. (2006). The public and peace: Consequences for citizenship of the Democratic peace literature. International Studies Review, 8(2), 199–224.
  • Henderson, G. (2004). Public, private, and responsibility in conceptions of liberal citizenship. National Social Science Review.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

American Political Science Association (APSA)


  • Widener University, Sabbatical (2012) (2005) (1993)
  • NEH Summer Visiting Fellow, Princeton University (1996)
  • NEH Summer Seminar for College Teachers: The Nature and Value of Autonomy, Chicago (1990)