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Philip Bobbitt

Herbert Wechsler Professor of Federal Jurisprudence

Philip Bobbitt

Herbert Wechsler Professor of Federal Jurisprudence

Philip C. Bobbitt is the Herbert Wechsler Professor of Federal Jurisprudence and director for the Center for National Security at Columbia Law School. He is one of the nation’s leading constitutional theorists. Bobbitt’s interests include not only constitutional law but also international security and the history of strategy.

The author of ten books, Bobbitt is a former trustee of Princeton University and a former member of the Oxford University Modern History Faculty and the War Studies Department of Kings College, London.

Bobbitt is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and of the Royal Historical Society. He is a life member of the American Law Institute; a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; the Pacific Council on International Policy; and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (London). He is also a member of the Commission on the Continuity of Government.

He has served as law clerk to the Honorable Henry J. Friendly; associate counsel to the president; the counselor on international law at the State Department; the legal counsel to the Senate Iran-Contra Committee; director for Intelligence Programs ;and senior director for Critical Infrastructure and senior director for strategic planning at the National Security Council. He was appointed to the National Infrastructure Assurance Council; the Secretary of States’s Advisory Committee on International Law; and the External Advisory Board of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Before joining the Law School’s faculty, Bobbitt was A.W. Walker Centennial Chair in Law at the University of Texas Law School.

He serves on the editorial board of Biosecurity and Bioterrorism. He was the Florence Rogatz Visiting Professor of Law at Yale Law School in 2014; the Samuel Rubin Visiting Professor of Law at Columbia Law School in 2007; and the James Barr Ames Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School in 2005.

He serves as a distinguished senior lecturer at the University of Texas.

  • J.D., Yale Law School, 1975
  • Ph.D., Oxford University, 1983
  • A.B., Princeton University, 1971
Areas of Expertise
  • Constitutional law
  • International security
  • History of strategy
  • The Ages of American Law (with Gilmore, 2d ed.) 2014.
  • Impeachment: A Handbook (with Black, new ed.) 2018.
  • The Garments of Court and Palace: Machiavelli and the World That He Made, Atlantic, 2013
  • Terror and Consent, Knopf, 2008
  • The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace and the Course of History, Knopf, 2002
  • Constitutional Interpretation, Blackwell, 1991
  • U.S. Nuclear Strategy, (with Freedman and Treverton), St. Martin’s, 1989
  • Democracy and Deterrence, Macmillans, 1987
  • Tragic Choices, (with Calabresi), Norton, 1978
  • Constitutional Fate, Oxford University Press, 1982
Constitutional Law
Legal Methods
Terror and Consent