Tom Burke is Professor of Political Science at Wellesley College. During 2014-2015 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 place of rights and litigation in public policy. His forthcoming book, How Policy Shapes Politics (Oxford University Press, 2015), with co-author Jeb Barnes examines the political consequences of using courts and litigation in public policy. Another project, also with Barnes, probes how organizations respond to social change laws. 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 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).