Joseph Postell

Joseph Postell

Associate Professor of Politics

Faculty Information

Additional Faculty Information for Joseph Postell


Ph.D., Politics, University of Dallas

M.A., Politics, University of Dallas

B.A., History, Philosophy, and Political Science, Ashland University

Books and Edited Volumes

Bureaucracy in America: The Administrative State’s Challenge to Constitutional Government (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2017).

U.S. Congress: Core Documents (Ashland, OH: Ashbrook Press, 2020).

American Conservatism, 1900-1930: A Reader (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2019). (Co-edited with Johnathan O’Neill)

Toward an American Conservatism: Constitutional Conservatism during the Progressive Era (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). (Co-edited with Johnathan O’Neill)

Rediscovering Political Economy (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2011). (Co-edited with Bradley C.S. Watson)

Articles, Book Chapters, and Law Reviews

“The Myth of the State Nondelegation Doctrines,” Administrative Law Review 74 (forthcoming 2022).

“The Controlling Power of Organization: Constitutional Conservatism and the Defense of Strong Parties,” in American Citizenship and Constitutionalism in Principle and Practice (University of Oklahoma Press, 2022): 237-259.

Add “What Can the Supreme Court Learn from the State Nondelegation Doctrines?” in The Supreme Court Confronts the Administrative State (AEI Press, 2022).

The Ambiguity of Expertise in the Administrative State, Social Philosophy and Policy 38: 85-108.

The Decision of 1946: The Legislative Reorganization and Administrative Procedure Acts, George Mason Law Review 28: 605-42.

The Misunderstood Thomas Cooley: Regulation from the Founding to the ICC, Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy 18 (2020): 75-103.

The Nondelegation Doctrine After Gundy, NYU Journal of Law and Liberty 13 (2019): 280-325.

Not Dead Yet—Or Never Born? The Reality of the Nondelegation Doctrine, Constitutional Studies 3 (2018): 41-67. (Co-authored with Paul D. Moreno)

Philosopher Kings or the Sense of the Community? Jaffa, Kendall, and the Problem of Majority Rule, Anamnesis 7 (2018): 50-69.

Regulation During the American Founding: Achieving Liberalism and Republicanism, American Political Thought 5 (2016): 80-108.

‘The People Surrender Nothing’: Social Compact Theory, Republicanism, and the Modern Administrative State,” Missouri Law Review 81 (2016): 1003-23.
Roaring Against Progressivism: The Principled Conservatism of Calvin Coolidge,” in Toward An American Conservatism: 181-208.
Progressive or Postmodern? The Use and Disadvantage of ‘Founders versus Progressives,’ Perspectives on Political Science 42 (2013): 233-41.
The Anti-New Deal Progressive: Roscoe Pound’s Alternative Administrative State, Review of Politics 74 (2012): 53-85.
“The Right Kind of Regulation: How the Founders Thought about Regulation, in Rediscovering Political Economy: 209-30.
“Regulation, Administration, and the Rule of Law in the Early Republic, in Freedom and the Rule of Law, ed. Anthony Peacock (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2009): 41-70.


Higher education is one of the few remaining environments where human beings can be at leisure to read, think, and study. Hillsdale College is one of the few remaining places in higher education where students are actively encouraged and required to engage in those activities. This opportunity to be at leisure to think about the most fundamental and pressing questions of modern life is precious and transformative.

As a first-year undergraduate at a liberal arts college, my own life was changed over several evenings of reading in the library about the history of the French Revolution. It was in that moment that I realized the importance of the perennial and perplexing questions in which we engage in the liberal arts setting. I switched my major to political science, history, and philosophy, and have never looked back.

In my graduate studies, I focused extensively on political theory, but my current thinking and research are directed to understanding the political institutions that determine how politics works in America. I am especially interested in understanding the modern administrative state, Congress, and political parties. We must grapple with the interaction of these institutions, and how they relate to the basic principles of American constitutionalism, if we want to preserve and restore constitutional government in the United States.

In my teaching, I aim to engage students in a common enterprise, where we think together and discuss fundamental questions. My goal is not to instruct, but to educate students. That requires active and thoughtful engagement rather than passively receiving information. I am blessed to be at a place like Hillsdale where the students are drawn to this model of education and thrive in such an environment.