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Dr. Colleen Murphy

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Contact Information

College of Law
504 East Pennsylvania Avenue
M/C 594
Champaign, IL 61820


Colleen Murphy is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Roger & Stephany Joslin Professor of Law in the College of Law. Murphy also holds courtesy appointments as a Professor of Philosophy and of Political Science. She is the Chair of the campus committee for the Illinois Scholars at Risk Program. At University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Murphy has served as the Director of the Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program in the Illinois Global Institute (IGI), Acting Executive Director of the IGI, a Humanities Research Institute – Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellow in Legal Humanities, and an Associate of the Center for Advanced Study.  She has held a Laurence Rockefeller Visiting Faculty Fellowship at the Princeton University Center for Human Values, a Public Voices Fellowship for the University of Illinois System, and a Visiting Professorship 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.  

Murphy's 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 of A Moral Theory of Political Reconciliation (Cambridge University Press, 2010).  Murphy is the co-editor of several interdisciplinary edited volumes, including Technology and Equality (Rowman and Littlefield 2024), 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-review journal articles, law review articles, and anthologized book chapters.  

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, FQP/PPI Filosofia e questioni Pubbliche/ Philosophy and Public Issues, 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. Murphy has delivered more than 160 invited keynotes and 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. 

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Research Interests

Jurisprudence, Transitional Justice, Political Philosophy, Risk ethics, Engineering Ethics

Additional Campus Affiliations

Roger & Stephany Joslin Professor, College of Law
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, College of Law
Professor, College of Law
Professor, Philosophy
Professor, Political Science
Director, Women & Gender in Global Perspectives
Professor, Women & Gender in Global Perspectives
Professor, European Union Center
Professor, Center for African Studies

Recent Publications

Lykes, M. B., & Murphy, C. (2023). Decolonizing Transitional Justice: Soft, Radical or Beyond Reform. The International Journal of Transitional Justice, 17(3), 361-369.

Murphy, C. (2023). Accountability for Violations of the Laws of Armed Conflict: Domestic First, International Second. Mind, 132(528), 952-958. Article fzad024.

Murphy, C. (2023). Minimum Moral Thresholds at War's End. In G. Parsons, & M. A. Wilson (Eds.), How to End a War: Essays on Justice, Peace, and Repair (pp. 92-110). Cambridge University Press.

Murphy, C., & Zvobgo, K. (2023). Transitional justice for historical injustice. In C. Lawther, & L. Moffett (Eds.), Research Handbook on Transitional Justice (2 ed., pp. 421-435). Edward Elgar Publishing.

Boakye, J., Guidotti, R., Gardoni, P., & Murphy, C. (2022). The role of transportation infrastructure on the impact of natural hazards on communities. Reliability Engineering and System Safety, 219, Article 108184.

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