Donald L. Horowitz

James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Law and Political Science

Donald L. Horowitz is the James B. Duke Professor of Law and Political Science Emeritus at Duke University.  He holds law degrees from Syracuse and Harvard and a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard. Professor Horowitz  is the author of seven books: The Courts and Social Policy (1977), which won the Louis Brownlow Award of the National Academy of Public Administration; The Jurocracy (1977), a book about government lawyers; Coup Theories and Officers’ Motives: Sri Lanka in Comparative Perspective (1980); Ethnic Groups in Conflict (1985, 2000); A Democratic South Africa? Constitutional Engineering in a Divided Society (1991), which won the Ralph Bunche Prize of the American Political Science Association; The Deadly Ethnic Riot (2001); and Constitutional Change and Democracy in Indonesia, published in 2013 by Cambridge University Press and issued in a Bahasa Indonesia translation in 2014.

Professor Horowitz has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago Law School and at the Central European University and a Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge, at the Law Faculty of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, at Universiti Kebangsaan in Malaysia, in the Academic Icon program at the University of Malaya, and in the Distinguished Visitor program at the National University of Singapore and at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. In 2017, he will be a visitor at Nuffield College, Oxford.   In 2001, he served as Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics, and in 2001-02, he was a Carnegie Scholar. In 2009, he was presented with the Distinguished Scholar Award of the Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Migration Section of the International Studies Association.

Professor Horowitz is currently writing a book about constitutional process and design, particularly for divided societies, a subject on which he has advised in a number of countries. In 2010-11, he was a Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Center, working on this project. In 2011-12, he was a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace, and in 2013, he was a Siemens Prize Fellow of the American Academy in Berlin. Since 2013, he has been a Senior Fellow of the International Forum for Democratic Studies of the National Endowment for Democracy, where he delivered the Lipset Lecture in 2013.  He also gave the Corry Lecture at Queens University in Ontario in the same year; the BIARI conference keynote at Brown in 2015; and the Castle Lectures on Ethics, Politics, and Economics at Yale in 2016.

Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1993, Professor Horowitz served as President of the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy from 2007 to 2010. In 2011, he was awarded an honorary doctoral degree by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, the Flemish-speaking Free University of Brussels.


  • Arbitration
  • Constitution-making
  • Law and politics in Asia
  • Snorkeling around the world
  • Hot Malaysian curries
  • African masks
  • Port and sake