Robert John Burton, Ph.D. is the Menard Family Postdoctoral Fellow in Political Theory at the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s Center for the Study of Liberal Democracy. His research and teaching focuses on the First Amendment, religion and law, and theories of conscience in the history of political philosophy. His current book project is titled, A Conscience Safe for Politics: Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and the Formation of the Modern Conscience. Burton also conducts research in American political thought and constitutional theory more broadly, including “Constitutional Humility: The Contested Meaning of a Judicial Virtue” (recently published in American Political Thought), “Tocqueville, Religious Liberty, and the Nexus of Freedom,” and “Aristotle and Madison on the Cause of Faction.” 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, British literature, and spending time with family.