James Chowning Davies (1918 - 2012)

Obituary
  • "Sitting in on a Project Meeting today and the "J Curve" was..."
    - Jim Skidmore
  • "Dr. Davies' intellect has had a profound effect on how I..."
    - Joe Furnia
  • "Great colleague and friend. And he was WAY ahead of his..."
    - John Orbell
  • "An inspiration to his students, and a caring mentor. His..."
    - Nancy Langworthy
  • "A KIND AND SWEET MAN; I'M SORRY TO HEAR OF HIS DEATH."
    - PAT ZEIGLER



James Chowning Davies, scholar and professor of Political Science, died on Friday, March 30 of natural causes at the age of 93.

Jim, as he was known to his friends, colleagues, and many admiring students, was born in Wauwatosa, WI on May 6, 1918, the fourth of six children. He is predeceased by all of his brothers and sisters and his wife, Eleanor. He is survived by his daughter, Sarah, and his granddaughter, Elizabeth.

Jim graduated with a Bachelor's degree from Oberlin College, completed a year at law school at the University of Chicago and went into the army, eventually serving in postwar Japan, where he worked in the office responsible for rebuilding the education system. After another year in law school at the University of Texas, he switched to Political Science, earning his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley in 1952.

In 1963, Jim took a position at the University of Oregon and served as the Chair of the Department of Political Science from 1966 to 1969. His most famous article, "Toward a Theory of Revolution," was published in 1962. In 1963, he published his path breaking book Human Nature in Politics. Jim was a well-recognized scholar in the area of Political Psychology, a founding member of the International Society for Political Psychology, as well as the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences. His wry wit, deep concern for his students, and his efforts to establish interdisciplinary approaches to scholarship were appreciated by many.

Jim retired from teaching in 1983, but wrote well beyond that. Jim will be missed and remembered fondly. His wish was that his ashes be scattered in the Pacific Ocean. No memorial service is planned at this time. Donations in his memory may be made to the University of Oregon Department of Political Science.

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Published in Eugene Register-Guard on Apr. 18, 2012
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