Joshua Foa Dienstag

Joshua Foa Dienstag

Joshua Foa Dienstag

Department Faculty

Office: 3339 Bunche Hall


Phone: (310) 825-4331

Curriculum Vitae


Professor of Political Science and Law
Originally from New York City, he received his doctorate from Princeton University and taught at the University of Virginia for 13 years before moving to UCLA in 2005. His research focuses largely on European political theory between the 17th and 19th centuries but he also writes about cinema, the American Founding, and the methods of political theory. His articles have appeared in American Political Science Review, Polity, Political Theory, Journal of Politics, History & Memory and New Literary History among other places. He has held fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, and the Center on Constitutional Government at Harvard University. His second book Pessimism: Philosophy, Ethic, Spirit (Princeton U.P., 2006) won the book award for Excellence in Philosophy from the American Association of Publishers. His new book Cinema Pessimism (Oxford U.P.) will be published in the fall of 2019. Professor Dienstag teaches classes in modern, continental and contemporary political theory as well as more specialized classes on individual thinkers or topics.


Princeton University, Ph.D. in Politics, January 1993. Princeton University, M.A. in Politics, June 1989. Harvard University, B.A. in Government