Robert John Burton

Position title: Menard Family Post-doctoral Fellow


Spring 2021

ILS 200: Great Political Speeches
POLI SCI 470: The First Amendment

Fall 2020

POLI SCI 470: The First Amendment

Robert John Burton is the Menard Family Post-doctoral 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 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 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 was born and raised in Alberta, Canada. He 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. In addition to writing and teaching, he loves long-distance running, classic literature, and spending time with family.