David Brian Robertson
Curator’s Teaching Professor of Political Science, University of Missouri-St. Louis
One University Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 62121
(314) 516-5855, (314) 954-1039
Areas of Expertise & Civic InvolvementsRobertson studies the way American political institutions affect economic, labor, social, and environmental policy. He has written about the development of U.S. organized labor and labor market policy; the design of the U.S. Constitution and its effects on public policy; and the development and impact of U.S. federalism. Robertson frequently comments on U.S. and Missouri politics and policy on local television and radio, and he has given more than 150 public presentations to community groups, interest groups, and educational forums, speaking to audiences that citizens of all partisan and political persuasions.
SSN Key Findings, August 2014
SSN Basic Facts, May 2012
The Original Compromise: What the Constitution’s Framers were Really Thinking (Oxford University Press, 2013).
Explains the reasoning of the Constitutional Convention, organized topically like the Federalist Papers but based on the actual Convention debates.
Federalism and the Making of America (Abingdon, UK, and New York: Routledge, 2011).
Explains the way U.S. federalism has served as a political battleground from the nation’s founding to the present, and probes how federalism helps to shape economic development and policies addressing racial, social, and environmental issues.
The Constitution and America’s Destiny (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005).
Explains the politics of the 1787 Constitutional Convention and its impact on U.S. democracy, national authority, federalism, and national policy-making.
Capital, Labor, and State: The Battle for American Labor Markets from the Civil War to the New Deal (Rowman and Littlefield, 2000).
Traces the development of organized labor and business in the United States, and explains why this country implemented more business-centered labor market policies than other industrialized democracies.
"Political Conflict and Lesson-Drawing" Journal of Public Policy 11, no. 1 (1991): 55-78.
Examines the politics of drawing lessons from the approaches other nations have taken to tackle key policy issues.
The Development of American Public Policy: The Structure of Policy Restraint (with Dennis R. Judd) (Scott, Foresman, 1989).
Explains the development of U.S public policy since 1787, with special attention to race, cities, educational and environmental policy.
Media ContributionsRobertson has served as a Political Analyst for KSDK-TV (NBC) since 2000, and has appeared over 400 times on television and radio, including NBC Nightly News, C-Span, BBC Television, BBC Radio, National Public Radio, KSDK television, St. Louis Public radio (NPR affiliate), and KMOX radio. He has been quoted in the print media in The Economist, The Times (London), The Guardian (London), Hokkaido Shimbun (Japan), Hindustan Times (India), The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, U.S. News and World Report, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The St. Louis Beacon, Congressional Quarterly, and The National Journal. Here is a selection of his media contributions:
David Brian Robertson quoted on UMSL's budget crisis in Dale Singer, "UMSL Changes Course amid Budget Crunch, Will Dissolve Newly Created Public Policy School" St. Louis Public Radio, November 2, 2015.
Guest to discuss 2010 election results on KSDK, November 3, 2010.
Talks and Briefings
"Why is It So Difficult for the American Government to Deal with Climate Change?," The 2010 Whitney and Anna Harris Conservation Forum on “Global Climate Change: Environmental Impacts, Human Society, and Policy,” Missouri Botanical Garden, November 1, 2010.
"2010 Election Debriefing," Labor and Employment Relations Association, IBEW Hall, St. Louis, MO, November 1, 2010.
"Elections November 2010: How the Federal, State and Particularly the Governor’s Race in Illinois Will Impact Politics, Budgets and Local Governments," Downstate Illinois City Managers Conference, Fairview Heights, IL, November 1, 2010.
"Federalism," talk for visitors from the Moscow School of Political Studies, May 1, 2005.
"The Political Landscape, 2013," Lifelong Learning Institute, Washington University , September 2013.
"Federalsim," University of Missouri-St. Louis, May 2013.
"The Political Landscape, 2012," Lifelong Learning Institute, Washington University, April 2012.
"Jobs and Job Creation," Panelist, Missouri Association for Social Welfare, November 2011.
"Constitution Day Panel on Presidential Power," Panelist, Missouri Bar - Higher Education Channel (HEC), September 2011.