Alasdair Roberts (academic)

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This article is about the academic Alasdair Roberts. For the Scottish folk musician, see Alasdair Roberts (musician).
Alasdair S. Roberts
Born 1961 (age 53–54)
New Liskeard, Ontario, Canada
Residence Boston, Massachusetts
Fields administrative law, public policy, government secrecy, governmental reform
Alma mater Queen's University, University of Toronto Law School, Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government

Alasdair S. Roberts (born 1961) is a Canadian professor at Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts, 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. Treasurer Steve Grossman at the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service on Jan. 30, 2014.

A native of New Liskeard, Ontario, Canada, Roberts 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]

Academic career[edit]

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.

Roberts is currently the Jerome L. Rappaport Professor of Law and Public Policy at Suffolk University Law School's Rappaport Center.[2] Previously, 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. Before that, 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 and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow of the Constitution Unit, School of Public Policy, University College London, and also co-editor of the journal Governance.

He has been cited in publications including The Boston Globe,[3] The Christian Science Monitor,[4] The San Diego Union-Tribune,[5] The Times (London),[6] Prospect,[7] and the National Journal.[8] His essays have appeared in numerous periodicals in the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, and elsewhere, including The Guardian,[9] Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy,[10] Government Executive,[11] Prospect,[12] The Globe and Mail (Toronto),[13] Dnevnik,[14] Saturday Night,[15] and The Washington Post.[16]


His book Blacked Out: Government Secrecy in the Information Age,[17] 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 Governance.

His most recent book, The Logic of Discipline: Global Capitalism and the Architecture of Government, was published in 2010.[18] Another book, The Collapse of Fortress Bush: The Crisis of Authority in American Government[19] was published in 2008.


  1. ^ Curriculum vitae: Alasdair Roberts.
  2. ^ "Alasdair Roberts Named to Rappaport Chair at Law School." Suffolk University. 24 March 2008.[1]
  3. ^ Moskowitz, Eric. "DeLeo proposes ethics overhaul as skepticism reigns." The Boston Globe. 25 March 2009. [2]
  4. ^ Grier, David. "Military spending: up and away." Christian Science Monitor. 24 October 2007. [3]
  5. ^ Walker, S. Lynne. "For Mexico, open records unlock doors." The San Diego Union-Tribune. 20 November 2005. [4]
  6. ^ O'Neill, Sean. "Freedom to interfere? No minister, it's too sensitive." The Times. 3 October 2005. [5]
  7. ^ "How Should We Rate 2008?" Prospect. January 2009
  8. ^ Roh, Jane. "...But That Won't Mitigate A Really Bad Decade In Iraq." The Gate. National Journal. 21 December 2007. [6]
  9. ^ "The dangers of guardian rule." Guardian Public. 12 January 2009.
  10. ^ Roberts, Alasdair. "The War We Deserve." Foreign Policy. November/December 2007. [7]
  11. ^ Van Slyke, David and Alasdair Roberts. "Good Intentions, Bad Idea." Government Executive. 27 August 2007. [8]
  12. ^ Roberts, Alasdair. "System Failure." Prospect. October 2005
  13. ^ Roberts, Alasdair. "The Seven-Year Botch." The Globe and Mail. 7 July 2005. [9]
  14. ^ Roberts, Alasdair. "What Does NATO Expect?" Dnevnik. 15 October 2003. [10]
  15. ^ Roberts, Alasdair. "The Insider." Saturday Night. October 2005
  16. ^ Roberts, Alasdair. "The Bush Years, In a Word." The Washington Post. 1 January 2007. [11]
  17. ^ Roberts, Alasdair. Blacked Out: Government Secrecy in the Information Age. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006. [12]
  18. ^ Alasdair Roberts (27 May 2010). The Logic of Discipline: Global Capitalism and the Architecture of Government. Oxford University Press. 
  19. ^ Roberts, Alasdair. The Collapse of Fortress Bush: The Crisis of Authority in American Government. New York: New York University Press, 2008. [13]

External links[edit]