Robert John Burton

Robert John Burton

Fields of Study: Constitutional Studies, Political Theory


Areas of interest: American Political Thought, American and Comparative Constitutional Law, Early Modern Political Theory, Constitutional Theory and Interpretation, Philosophy of Law, Religion and Politics

Robert John Burton is the Menard Family Postdoctoral Fellow in Political Theory at the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Center for the Study of Liberal Democracy. Within the fields of constitutional law, American political thought, and political theory, his research centers on three relational themes: religion and liberalism, morality and law, and conscience and citizenship. His book project focuses on the latter theme, exploring the role and implications of “conscience” in the political philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Burton also conducts research in American political thought and constitutional theory more broadly, with current projects on ‘humility’ in American jurisprudence and on Aristotle and Madison’s theories of faction. From 2017-2018, he served as Editorial Intern for American Political Thought: A Journal of Ideas, Institutions, and Culture. In his teaching, Burton has extensive experience leading simulated learning scenarios, including constitutional conventions, mock trials, and U.N. summits.

Burton received his Ph.D. and M.A. in constitutional studies and political theory from the University of Notre Dame and his B.A., summa cum laude, in English and Politics from Southern Virginia University.