Roberts is the director of the School of Public Policy and a professor of political science. He writes extensively on problems of governance, law, and public policy. His most recent book, Strategies for Governing, was published by Cornell University Press in 2020.
He is the author of Can Government Do Anything Right? (Polity Books, 2018), Four Crises of American Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2017), The End of Protest: How Free-Market Capitalism Learned to Control Dissent, (Cornell University Press, 2013), America’s First Great Depression (Cornell University Press, 2012), The Logic of Discipline: Global Capitalism and the Architecture of Government (Oxford University Press, 2010), The Collapse of Fortress Bush: The Crisis of Authority in American Government (New York University Press, 2008), and Blacked Out: Government Secrecy in the Information Age, (Cambridge University Press, 2006). Blacked Out received the Brownlow Book Award from the US National Academy of Public Administration and three other academic book awards. The Logic of Capitalism received an honorable mention from the Best Book award committee of the American Society of Public Administration’s Section on Public Administration Research. Roberts has also won several awards for his journal articles.
Roberts was elected as a fellow of the US National Academy of Public Administration in 2007. From 2009 to 2017, he was co-editor of the journal Governance. He serves on the editorial boards of several other journals in the field of public administration.
He has a PhD in public policy and a master's of public policy from Harvard University and a JD from the University of Toronto.