David Forrest

  • Associate Professor of Politics and Comparative American Studies
  • Chair of Law and Society


  • BS, political science, Arizona State University, 2006
  • PhD, political science, University of Minnesota, 2014


David Forrest is an associate professor of politics and comparative American studies at Oberlin College. His research examines, most generally, the interplay between political organization and social, economic, and political inequalities. He is particularly interested in how organized efforts to produce social change challenge and/or reinforce patterns of inequality in the United States.

He teaches courses on U.S. politics, interest groups and social movements, the politics of inequality, and political power.

Spring 2024

Introduction to American Politics — POLT 100
Power and American Democracy — POLT 371
Senior Portfolio — LAWS 500

Fall 2024

Politics of Inequality in the United States — POLT 282
The American Right — POLT 284
Senior Portfolio — LAWS 500


David Forrest Interviews Sociologist John Arena

March 13, 2024

Associate Professor of Politics David Forrest recently interviewed sociologist John Arena. The interview centers on Arena's new book Expelling Public Schools: How Antiracist Politics Enable School Privatization in Newark. The book and the interview offer a deep dive into the politics of public education in Newark and debates over the role of antiracism in contemporary progressive movements.

David Forrest Recent Essay Published in "Qualitative and Multi-Method Research"

February 7, 2024

Associate Professor of Politics David Forrest has an essay in the most recent issue of Qualitative and Multi-Method Research. The essay is about philosopher Charles Taylor's contributions to interpretive social science.

David Forrest Book Excerpt Published in "Social Policy"

October 12, 2022

An excerpt from David Forrest's book A Voice but No Power was published in the latest issue of Social Policy, a magazine for community and labor organizers.

David Forrest Releases New Book

August 22, 2022

David Forrest's new book, A Voice but No Power: Organizing for Social Justice in Minneapolis (University of Minnesota Press), was released this week. The book examines the work of social justice organizations in Minneapolis following the 2008 recession. Through this examination, it explains why social justice organizations more broadly so often displace as much as empower popular struggles for egalitarian and emancipatory change. And it explores how they can better reach their potential as advocates for the abolition of exploitation, discrimination, and other unjust practices. The book is available in paperback and can currently be purchased from the University of Minnesota Press at a 40% discount using this code: MN89530 (code expires Oct. 1, 2022).

David Forrest publishes essay

August 5, 2021

Assistant Professor of Politics David Forrest published an essay about Steven Lubet and urban ethnography in Politics, Groups, and Identities.

David Forrest Publishes Essay

July 10, 2020

David Forrest, assistant professor of politics, published an essay on Tucker Carlson and America's "new populist right" at Truthout.org.