Alasdair Roberts (academic)
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Alasdair Roberts Academic
Alasdair S. Roberts
Born1961 (age 58–59)
New Liskeard, Ontario, Canada
Alma materQueen's University, University of Toronto Law School, Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government
Scientific career
Fieldsadministrative law, public policy, government secrecy, governmental reform

Alasdair S. Roberts (born 1961) is a Canadian professor at the School of Public Policy, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and author of articles and books on public policy issues, especially relating to government secrecy and the exercise of government authority.


Professor Alasdair Roberts and Mass. Attorney General Martha Coakley at the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service on February 11, 2014.

Alasdair Roberts was born in New Liskeard, Ontario, Canada and grew up in Pembroke, Ontario, Canada, where he graduated from Fellowes High School. He began his BA in politics at Queen's University in 1979. He received a JD from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 1984, a master's degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1986, and a Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard University in 1994.[1]

Political experience

Roberts was a vice-president of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario from 1982 to 1984, during the Big Blue Machine era. He was a member of the executive for the youth wing of the party from 1980 to 1982. Roberts was a Red Tory who supported policies such as universal public health insurance and strong human rights legislation. He was an ex officio delegate to the federal Progressive Conservative leadership election of 1983 where he supported David Crombie.

Academic career

Massachusetts Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill (right) and Roberts participate in a roundtable discussion at the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service, Suffolk University Law School, October 3, 2008.

In 2017, Professor Roberts was appointed as a professor of political science and director of the School of Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.[2]

In 2015-2017, Roberts was a professor of public affairs in the Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri. From 2008 to 2014, Roberts was the Jerome L. Rappaport Professor of Law and Public Policy at Suffolk University Law School.[3] He was also Faculty Director of the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service. Before that, he was a professor of public administration in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and also Director of the Campbell Public Affairs Institute at the Maxwell School. Until 2001, he was an associate professor in the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University, and also served as Associate Director of the School from 1993 to 1995.

He is also a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, a public member of the Administrative Conference of the United States, an Honorary Senior Research Fellow of the Constitution Unit, School of Public Policy, University College London, and co-editor of the journal Governance.

He received the Grace-Pépin Access to Information Award in 2014 for his research on open government.[4]

He has been cited in publications including The Boston Globe,[5]The Christian Science Monitor,[6]The San Diego Union-Tribune,[7]The Times (London),[8]Prospect,[9] and the National Journal.[10] His essays have appeared in numerous periodicals in the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, and elsewhere, including The Guardian,[11]Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy,[12]Government Executive,[13]Prospect,[14]The Globe and Mail (Toronto),[15]Dnevnik,[16]Saturday Night,[17] and The Washington Post.[18]


  • Can Government Do Anything Right? Polity Books, published in 2018;
  • Four Crises of American Democracy: Representation, Mastery, Discipline, Anticipation,[19] Oxford University Press, published in 2017;
  • The End of Protest: How Free Market Capitalism Learned to Control Dissent,[20] published in 2013;
  • America's First Great Depression: Economic Crisis and Political Disorder after the Panic of 1837,[21] published in 2012;
  • The Logic of Discipline: Global Capitalism and the Architecture of Government, published in 2010,[22] which received an honorable mention from the book award committee of the Section on Public Administration Research of the American Society for Public Administration;
  • The Collapse of Fortress Bush: The Crisis of Authority in American Government,[23] published in 2008;
  • Blacked Out: Government Secrecy in the Information Age,[24] published in 2006, which received the 2006 Louis Brownlow Book Award from the National Academy of Public Administration, the 2007 book award from the Section on Public Administration Research of the American Society for Public Administration, the 2007 Best Book Award of the Academy of Management's Public and Nonprofit Division, and the 2007 Charles Levine Memorial Book Prize of the International Political Science Association's Research Committee on the Structure of Government.


  1. ^ Curriculum vitae: Alasdair Roberts.
  2. ^ "Alasdair Roberts Named Director of the UMass School of Public Policy". School of Public Policy. March 28, 2017. Archived from the original on April 20, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ "Alasdair Roberts Named to Rappaport Chair at Law School." Suffolk University. 24 March 2008.[1]
  4. ^
  5. ^ Moskowitz, Eric. "DeLeo proposes ethics overhaul as skepticism reigns." The Boston Globe. 25 March 2009. [2]
  6. ^ Grier, David. "Military spending: up and away." Christian Science Monitor. 24 October 2007. [3]
  7. ^ Walker, S. Lynne. "For Mexico, open records unlock doors." The San Diego Union-Tribune. 20 November 2005. [4]
  8. ^ O'Neill, Sean. "Freedom to interfere? No minister, it's too sensitive." The Times. 3 October 2005. [5]
  9. ^ "How Should We Rate 2008?" Prospect. January 2009
  10. ^ Roh, Jane. "...But That Won't Mitigate A Really Bad Decade In Iraq." The Gate. National Journal. 21 December 2007. [6] Archived 2007-08-11 at
  11. ^ "The dangers of guardian rule." Archived 2012-03-02 at the Wayback Machine Guardian Public. 12 January 2009.
  12. ^ Roberts, Alasdair. "The War We Deserve." Foreign Policy. November/December 2007. [7]
  13. ^ Van Slyke, David and Alasdair Roberts. "Good Intentions, Bad Idea." Government Executive. 27 August 2007. [8] Archived 2011-09-18 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Roberts, Alasdair. "System Failure." Prospect. October 2005
  15. ^ Roberts, Alasdair (July 7, 2005). "The seven-year botch". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2020.
  16. ^ Roberts, Alasdair. "What Does NATO Expect?" Dnevnik. 15 October 2003. [9]
  17. ^ "Roberts, Alasdair. "The Insider." Saturday Night. October 2005" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-24. Retrieved .
  18. ^ Roberts, Alasdair. "The Bush Years, In a Word." The Washington Post. 1 January 2007. [10] Archived 2011-07-24 at the Wayback Machine
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  21. ^
  22. ^ Alasdair Roberts (27 May 2010). The Logic of Discipline: Global Capitalism and the Architecture of Government. Oxford University Press.
  23. ^ Roberts, Alasdair. The Collapse of Fortress Bush: The Crisis of Authority in American Government. New York: New York University Press, 2008. [11]
  24. ^ Roberts, Alasdair. Blacked Out: Government Secrecy in the Information Age [12]

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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