Colleen Murphy

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Roger and Stephany Joslin Professor of Law
Professor of Philosophy and Political Science
Director, Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program


Colleen Murphy is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and the Roger and Stephany Joslin Professor of Law. Professor Murphy also holds courtesy appointments as a Professor of Philosophy and of Political Science. She is the Director of the Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program in the Illinois Global Institute and Chair of the campus Illinois Scholars at Risk Committee. Since joining the faculty at Illinois, Professor Murphy has served as the Acting Executive Director of the Illinois Global Institute, a Humanities Research Institute – Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellow in Legal Humanities, a Public Voices Fellow and an Associate of the Center for Advanced Study at Illinois, as well as a Visiting Professor at the 4.TU Centre for Ethics in the Netherlands. Prior to joining the Illinois faculty, Professor Murphy was on the faculty at Texas A&M University and held a Laurence Rockefeller Visiting Faculty Fellowship at the Princeton University Center for Human Values.  

Professor Murphy is a scholar and teacher in the areas of moral, political, and legal theory. Her research focuses specifically on political reconciliation and transitional justice in response to entrenched injustice, and on the legal and ethical dimensions of risks. She is the author of The Conceptual Foundations of Transitional Justice (Cambridge University Press, 2017), which received the 2017 North American Society for Social Philosophy Book Award and the Wayne R. LaFave Award for Excellence in Faculty Scholarship from the University of Illinois College of Law. She is also the author of A Moral Theory of Political Reconciliation (Cambridge University Press, 2010). Murphy is the co-editor of several interdisciplinary edited volumes, including Climate Change and its Impacts: Risks and Inequalities (Springer 2018), Risk Analysis of Natural Hazards (Springer 2015) and Engineering Ethics for a Globalized World (Springer 2015). She has also authored or co-authored more than 70 peer-reviewed journal articles, law review articles, and anthologized book chapters in prominent venues including the American Journal of Political Science, Law and Philosophy, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Risk Analysis, and the University of Illinois Law Review.  

Professor Murphy is the co-Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Transitional Justice and serves on the Editorial Boards of Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Law and PhilosophySustainable and Resilient Infrastructure, and the Palgrave Handbooks in the Philosophy of Law Book Series.  She is a member of the Executive Board for the National Institute for Engineering Ethics and has received over $1M of funding to support her research from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the Qatar National Research Fund, and the US Army Corps of Engineers. Professor Murphy has delivered more than 150 invited lectures at universities throughout the United States and in 12 additional countries worldwide. She has also written or recorded more than a dozen popular op-eds and podcasts about her research for venues including the Boston ReviewChicago TribuneThe Conversation, and Ms. Magazine

Murphy holds a M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.

Visit Professor Murphy’s website and follow her on Twitter @drcolleenmurphy.


PhD, MA University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
BA University of Notre Dame

Areas of Expertise

Engineering Ethics
Tort Law
Transitional Justice
Political Theory


Regulating Risk
Transitional Justice

Selected Publications

The Conceptual Foundations of Transitional Justice (Cambridge University Press, 2017)

A Moral Theory of Political Reconciliation (Cambridge University Press, 2010)

Climate Change and Its Impacts: Risks and Inequalities (Springer, 2018) (co-edited with Paolo Gardoni and Robert McKim)

Risk Analysis of Natural Hazards: Interdisciplinary Challenges and Integrated Solutions (Springer, 2015) (co-edited with Paolo Gardoni and Arden Rowell)

Engineering Ethics for a Globalized World (Springer, 2015) (co-edited with Paolo Gardoni, Hassan Bashir, Charles E. Harris, Jr., and Eyad Masad)

Reconciliation, (rev.) Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2020 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), (with Linda Radzik)

A Scale of Risk, 34 Risk Analysis 1208 (2014) (with Paolo Gardoni)

On Principled Compromise, CXX Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 47 (2020)

#MeToo, Time’s Up, and Theories of Justice, 2019 University of Illinois Law Review 45 (2019) (with Jennifer Robbennolt and Lesley Wexler)

  • Reprinted in Tracy Thomas (ed.), Women and the Law (Thomson Reuters, 2019)
  • Review:  Marcia McCormick, Worklaw JOTWELL (2018)
  • Review: Brooke Coleman, Courts Law JOTWELL (2018)

How Nations Heal, Boston Review (Jan. 21, 2021)

See All Publications