S. Adam Seagrave

S. Adam Seagrave
Associate Professor
American Politics
220 Prof. Bldg.
PDF Documents: 

Adam Seagrave joined the department in 2016 as the Kinder Institute Associate Professor of Constitutional Democracy. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame and specializes in American political thought.


My research focuses on the central ideas of the American political tradition as well as their antecedents in the history of political thought. I have recently published an edition of The Federalist Papers adapted for modern readers (The Accessible Federalist, Hackett Publishing Co., 2017) and am currently at work on a book that casts nature as the leading figure in the story of American history. In addition to editorial roles with American Political Thought and Starting Points, I am also co-directing the “Race and the American Story” project, an extension of the Citizenship@Mizzou program, with Stephanie Shonekan of the Department of Black Studies.

  • African-American Politics
  • American Government
  • Democracy in America
  • Political Theory of Capitalism
  • Natural Rights & Natural Law
Selected Publications: 


  • The Accessible Federalist (Hackett Publishing Co., March 2017)
  • Liberty and Equality: The American Conversation (University Press of Kansas, 2015)
  • The Foundations of Natural Morality: On the Compatibility of Natural Rights and the Natural Law (University of Chicago Press, 2014)

Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Madison’s Tightrope: The Federal Union and the Madisonian Foundations of Legitimate Government,” Polity 47.2 (April 2015): 249-272.
  • “Locke on the Laws of Nature and Natural Rights,” in A Companion to Locke, ed. Matthew Stuart (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015).
  • “Self-Ownership vs. Divine Ownership: A Lockean Solution to a Liberal Democratic Dilemma,” American Journal of Political Science 55.3 (July 2011): 710–723.
  • “How Old Are Modern Rights? On the Lockean Roots of Contemporary Human Rights Discourse,” Journal of the History of Ideas 72.2 (April 2011), 305-327.
  • “Cicero, Aquinas, and Contemporary Issues in Natural Law Theory,” The Review of Metaphysics 62 (2009): 491–523.