Sidney Milkis

White Burkett Miller Professor of Governance and Foreign Affairs

Fast Facts

  • Author of Rivalry and Reform
  • White Burkett Miller Professor of Governance and Foreign Affairs
  • Cavaliers' Distinguished Teaching Professor


Areas Of Expertise

  • Social Issues
  • Governance
  • Elections
  • Founding and Shaping of the Nation
  • Political Parties and Movements
  • Politics
  • The Presidency

Sidney M. Milkis is the White Burkett Miller Professor of Governance and Foreign Affairs, Cavaliers' Distinguished Teaching Professor, and professor of politics. His research focuses on the American presidency, political parties and elections, social movements, and American political development. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate students, he regularly gives public lectures on American politics and participates in programs for international scholars and high school teachers that probe the deep historical roots of contemporary developments in the United States. 

Milkis has a BA degree from Muhlenberg College and a PhD in political science from the University of Pennsylvania.

Sidney Milkis News Feed

The likely continuation of divided government and legislative stalemate has dampened the enthusiasm of the Democratic Party’s base in the aftermath of Joe Biden’s stirring victory. However, recent history reveals that presidents can accomplish a great deal on their own.
Sidney Milkis MC Presents
Sidney Milkis, a presidential scholar at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, said the greatest presidents are “at the center of developing a new political order,” one built around “a new philosophy, a new set of institutional arrangements, a new set of policies.” Biden has a chance to do this, Milkis says, by inventing a new model of the presidency for the context he inherits: “Trump has shown us how dangerous this cult of personality is, and Biden can be looked at as an antidote to that. Enough of the country is looking for leadership that would be normal, would be focused on building a coalition.”
Sidney Milkis POLITICO Magazine
Join Miller Center Director William Antholis, Democracy Initiative Co-Director Melody Barnes, former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Miller Center Professor Sidney Milkis, and UVA Law School Professor Michael Gilbert for a discussion of the ongoing uncertainties and challenges facing the country following this week's historic presidential election.
Sidney Milkis Miller Center Presents
According to Sidney Michael Milkis, White Burkett Miller professor in the Department of Politics and senior fellow at the Miller Center, voting at the polls is a civic duty for Americans and an election represents “the soul of the country.” This belief in civic responsibility is what has been driving him to the polls to cast his ballot. “I like to go to the polls,” Milkis said. “I like to soak it in because I think voting is an important part of being a citizen in the country … [and] an important part of our civic culture. We're such an individualistic society that one of the few communal activities we have is voting.”
Sidney Milkis The Cavalier Daily
As this scenario played out, “there were threats of violence and talk of the Virginia or Pennsylvania militias marching on the Capitol if Jefferson wasn’t elected,” says Sidney Milkis of the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs, who spoke to TIME as part of a presidential-history partnership between TIME History and the Miller Center.
Sidney Milkis TIME
Has the presidency of Donald Trump spawned a new social movement? What are the core beliefs of his supporters? And how will that affect the presidential election in November? Join us for a conversation with Sid Tarrrow (Cornell University) and Megan Ming Francis (University of Washington), moderated by Sid Milkis, whose book Rivalry and Reform explores the relationships between presidents and social movements.
Sidney Milkis Miller Center Presents