Program on Constitutionalism and Democracy

PCD’s Mission

Welcome to the Program on Constitutionalism and Democracy (PCD) at the University of Virginia.

PCD’s mission is to promote scholarship and undergraduate teaching that are informed by political theory and by the political science of the American Founding.

In its undergraduate program, PCD has sought to revive the spirit and intent of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison’s “Rockfish Gap Report” (1818), which recommends a curriculum of political studies for higher education that is designed to foster an enlightened body of citizens for a liberal democracy. Since the Program’s inception in 2006, PCD fellows have regularly taught a course on the American Political Tradition, and an offering in American Political Economy was added in the spring of 2014. Through an informal consortium of programs at other colleges and universities, PCD encourages the development of similar courses across the nation.

PCD also supports advanced scholarship that focuses on the philosophical foundations of liberal democratic government and on constitutional and institutional issues related to the American Founding and the development of the American political system.