Tom Burke is Professor of Political Science at Wellesley College. 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 place of rights and litigation in public policy. His most recent project, with co-author Jeb Barnes, examines how the American emphasis on court-based rights shapes U.S. politics. Another project, also with Barnes, examines how organizations respond to social change laws. Recent publications include "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 role of rights in American politics. He is the co-author, with Lief Carter, of the 8th edition of Reason in Law (2010), and is the author of Lawyers, Lawsuits and Legal Rights: The Struggle Over Litigation in American Society (2002).

Lief Carter and Thomas Burke, Reason in Law

Thomas Burke, Lawyers, Lawsuits, and Legal Rights

Making Policy, Making Law: An Interbranch Perspective