Tom Burke is Professor of Political Science at Wellesley College. During 2014-2016 he is a visiting scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California-Berkeley. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard and at the University of California-Berkeley, and a research fellow at the Brookings Institution and with the Robert Wood Johnson Scholars in Health Policy Program.

Burke's research focuses on the role of rights and litigation in public policy, and the ways in which organizations respond to rights claims. His new book with co-author Jeb Barnes, How Policy Shapes Politics (Oxford University Press, 2015), examines the political consequences of the "judicialization" of public policy. Recent publications include "Kagan the Explorer" (Judicature, 2013), "From the Courthouse to the Chalkboard" (Tulsa Law Review, 2013), "Making Way: Legal Mobilization, Organizational Response and Wheelchair Access (Law and Society Review, 2012) and "Is There an Empirical Literature on Rights?" (Studies in Law, Politics and Society, 2009).

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Burke has written about the Americans with Disabilities Act, disability politics in the European Union, American campaign finance law, and the Supreme Court's First Amendment jurisprudence. He is the co-author, with Lief Carter, of the 8th edition of Reason in Law (University of Chicago Press, 2015), and is the author of Lawyers, Lawsuits and Legal Rights: The Struggle Over Litigation in American Society (University of California Press, 2002).