Justin B. Dyer Justin B. Dyer

Field: American Politics
Office: 218 Professional Bldg.
Phone: 573-882-3777
Email: DyerJB@missouri.edu
CV (pdf)

Justin Dyer (Associate Professor) has been with the department since 2009. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Texas and specializes in American politics.

He is the director of the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy.

Research Statement

My research spans the fields of American political development, political philosophy, and constitutional law. A particular focus of my research has been the interaction between the American political tradition and the perennial philosophy of natural law. Related projects include articles and books on American antislavery constitutionalism, the political thought of Abraham Lincoln, abortion politics in historical context, and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s appropriation and use of natural-law philosophy in the struggle for civil rights.

Currently I am completing a book project, with Micah Watson, on C.S. Lewis’ engagement with the classical natural-law tradition. With respect to American politics, I have also turned my attention recently to state constitutionalism and the development of the Missouri Constitution.

Courses Taught

  • American Government
  • Introduction to Political Theory
  • Constitutional Rights
  • The American Constitution
  • Judicial Behavior (Graduate)
  • Public Law (Graduate)

Recent Representative Publications


Dyer, Justin Buckley. 2013. Slavery, Abortion, and the Politics of Constitutional Meaning. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Dyer, Justin Buckley. 2012. Natural Law and the Antislavery Constitutional Tradition. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Dyer, Justin Buckley. 2012. American Soul: The Contested Legacy of the Declaration of Independence. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.


Dyer, Justin Buckley. 2015. “Lewis, Barth, and the Natural Law.” Journal of Church and State 57(1): 1-17.

Dyer, Justin Buckley and Kevin E. Stuart. 2013. “Public Reason and the Theological Framework of Martin Luther King’s ‘Letter from Birmingham City Jail.’” Politics and Religion 6(1): 145-163.

Dyer, Justin Buckley. 2010. “Revisiting Dred Scott: Prudence, Providence, and the Limits of Constitutional Statesmanship.” Perspectives on Political Science 39(3): 166-74.

Dyer, Justin Buckley. 2010. “Slavery and the Magna Carta in the Development of Anglo-American Constitutionalism.” PS: Political Science and Politics 43(3): 479-482.

Dyer, Justin Buckley. 2009. “After the Revolution: Somerset and the Antislavery Tradition in Anglo-American Constitutional Development.” Journal of Politics 71(4): 1422-1434.

Dyer, Justin Buckley. 2009. “Lincolnian Natural Right, Dred Scott, and the Jurisprudence of John McLean.” Polity 41(1): 63-85.

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