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Christopher Beem

Christopher Beem

Managing Director

McCourtney Institute of Democracy

Office Phone: (814) 863-7630


Christopher Beem (PhD, University of Chicago) is Managing Director of the McCourtney Institute for Democracy. He is the author or co-editor of five books, including The Necessity of Politics (University of Chicago Press).  His latest book, Democratic Humility: Reinhold Niebuhr, Neuroscience and America’s Political Crisis (Lexington Books, 2015) argues that democracy requires a specific kind of humility to counter our natural inclination to self-delusion and self-righteousness. Before joining the Institute, Beem served as grants and communications manager for Next Door, a nonprofit organization dedicated to early childhood education in Milwaukee’s central city. Before that, he directed the Democracy and Community Program at the Johnson Foundation’s Wingspread Conference Center.  He holds a BA in the Program of Liberal Studies (Great Books) from the University of Notre Dame, has an MA in Political Science from Loyola University Chicago and an MA and PhD in Ethics and Society from the University of Chicago.