Mathias Risse is the Faculty Director at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and the Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights, Global Affairs and Philosophy at the Harvard Kennedy School. 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 and Global Political Philosophy. On Global Justice is known for introducing the “grounds-of-justice” approach to global political thought. Global Political Philosophy is an introduction to political thought from a global standpoint rather than the more typical state-focused perspective. Risse is currently completing two additional books. The first is the co-authored On Trade Justice: A Philosophical Plea for a New Global Deal, forthcoming with Oxford University Press (with Gabriel Wollner). The other is On Justice: Philosophy, History, Foundations, forthcoming with Cambridge University Press.
Risse serves as Co-Director of Graduate Studies at the Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Ethics as well as Director of the McCloy program, a prestigious 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 mathiasrisse.com.