Ethics: A Journal of Moral, Political, and Social Philosophy

Editor-in-Chief, 2008-2018

Founded in 1890, Ethics publishes scholarly work in moral, political, and legal philosophy from a variety of intellectual perspectives, including social and political theory, law, and economics. In addition to major articles, Ethics also publishes review essays, discussion articles, and book reviews. Having been an associate editor of Ethics from 2005-8, Dr. Richardson served as the editor-in-chief for the succeeding ten years.  During that time, he oversaw a significant reduction in turnaround time for authors, an innovative, indirect foray into online content via discussions of articles selected by the editors of the philosophy blog PEA Soup, the publication of fifty-eight short "retrospective essays" on articles from the journal's past to celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2014-15, and a significant increase in the number of pages allocated for each published issue.

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Human Development and Capability Association

President, 2014-2016

The Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA) is a global community of academics and practitioners that seeks to build an intellectual community around the ideas of human development and the capability approach, and relate these ideas to the policy arena. The association promotes research within many disciplines, ranging from economics to philosophy, development studies, health, education, law, government, sociology, and more. Dr. Richardson was elected president of the HDCA in 2013. Georgetown University hosted the annual meeting of the association September 11–13, 2015. The theme of that meeting was “Capabilities on the Move: Mobility and Aspirations.”  He remains actively involved in the association.

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International Panel on Social Progress


The International Panel on Social Progress was a large-scale collaborative effort organized by an independent and global group of leading academics. Its aim is to provide a compendium of what the humanities and the social sciences have to offer that's useful to promoting and to assessing social progress. Its report, to be published in 2018 by Cambridge University Press in three volumes, under the title Rethinking Society for the 21st Century, consists of some 22 chapters on topics such as climate change, social justice, war, and democratic governance. Each chapter was written by a different international team of about ten authors.  

The report is framed at the outset  by two chapters, one giving an empirical overview of the state of things, the other setting out the main values and principles that should guide our thinking about social progress. Dr. Richardson was one of the two Coordinating Lead Authors of the latter, "compass-setting" chapter, the other being Dr. Erik Schokkaert of the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. In “Values and Purposes for Social Progress,” which appeared in the Autumn, 2018 edition of The Newsletter, a publication of the International Institute for Asian Studies, Dr. Richardson has summarized the chapter.

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