Mathias Risse Photo
Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy
Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Philosophy and Public Administration

Mathias Risse is Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Philosophy and Public Administration and Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. His work primarily addresses questions of global justice ranging from human rights, inequality, taxation, trade and immigration to climate change, obligations to future generations and the future of technology. He has also worked on questions in ethics, decision theory and 19th century German philosophy, especially Nietzsche. In addition to the Harvard Kennedy School, he teaches in Harvard College and the Harvard Extension School, and he is affiliated with the Harvard philosophy department. He has also been involved with executive education both at Harvard and in collaboration with international organizations. Risse is the author of On Global Justice (Princeton University Press) and Global Political Philosophy (Palgrave Macmillan), as well as On Trade Justice: A Philosophical Plea for a New Global Deal (Oxford University Press, with Gabriel Wollner) and the forthcoming On Justice: Philosophy, History, Foundations (Cambridge University Press). Risse serves as Co-Director of Graduate Studies at the Edmond J Safra Center for Ethics, as well as Director of the McCloy program, a well-known fellowship program for German students. He is also affiliated with the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. Risse has been the organizer of a number of major international conferences at Harvard and a co-organizer of several more such events in East and South East Asia (Singapore, Seoul and Shanghai), as a way of fostering collaboration among political philosophers and representatives of other fields across cultural divides. He has been a visiting professor at the National University of Singapore. New York University Abu Dhabi and Leuphana University in Germany. Risse grew up in a village in Westphalia, Germany. He studied in Bielefeld, Pittsburgh and Jerusalem, and then received his PhD from Princeton in 2000 and taught in the Department of Philosophy at Yale before coming to Harvard in 2002. He lived in Harvard's Eliot House for six years, and now resides in Somerville with his wife. See also



Academic Journal/Scholarly Articles

Book Chapters

HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series

Research Papers/Reports


Human Rights
International Relations & Security
Fairness & Justice

Mailing Address

Harvard Kennedy School
79 John F. Kennedy St.
Cambridge, MA 02138