Richard A. Wilson

Gladstein Chair and Professor of Anthropology and Law
860-570-5398
Office: Hosmer 212
  • Human Rights
  • International Criminal Tribunals
  • Post Conflict Justice

Richard Ashby Wilson is the Gladstein Distinguished Chair of Human Rights and Professor of Law and Anthropology at UConn School of Law, and founding director of the Human Rights Institute at UConn. Wilson is a scholar of transitional justice who currently teaches courses on post-conflict justice, law and society, and an interdisciplinary graduate level course on the anthropology, history, law and philosophy of human rights.

He is the author or editor of 10 books on international human rights, humanitarianism, truth and reconciliation commissions and international criminal tribunals. His book Writing History in International Criminal Trials was selected by Choice in 2012 as an “Outstanding Academic Title” in the law category. His forthcoming book, Incitement On Trial: Prosecuting International Speech Crimes (Cambridge University Press, 2017), explains why international criminal tribunals struggle to convict individuals for inciting speech and proposes a new model of prevention and punishment.

Having received his BSc. and Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and Political Science, Professor Wilson held full-time faculty positions at the Universities of Essex and Sussex, as well as visiting professorships at the Free University-Amsterdam, University of Oslo, the New School for Social Research, and the University of Witwatersand, South Africa. He has held prestigious fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He has consulted for various policy agencies, including UNICEF in Sierra Leone, and he served as Chair of the Connecticut State Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights from 2009 to 2013, during which time the committee focused attention on high school dropout rates and racial profiling in police traffic stops.

In 2017-18, Wilson will be a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, working on a research project on incitement and hate speech in the United States since 2016.

Richard Ashby Wilson (2017) Incitement On Trial: Prosecuting International Speech Crimes, (Cambridge University Press).

Richard Ashby Wilson (2016) “Expert Evidence on Trial: Social Researchers in the International Criminal Courtroom.” American Ethnologist. Issue 43(4):730-744.

Richard Ashby Wilson (2015) “Inciting Genocide With Words.” Michigan Journal of International Law. Volume 36, Issue 2. Spring. pp.278-320.

Richard Wilson, Writing History in International Criminal Trials (Cambridge University Press, 2011)
Recent Faculty Notes
Richard Ashby Wilson Publishes New Book
Sep 12, 2017 -

Cambridge University Press will release a book by Professor Richard Ashby Wilson, Incitement on Trial: Prosecuting International Speech Crimes, on Aug. 31, 2017. The book explores the legal questions that arise in prosecuting incitement and proposes a new way of regulating the risks of political speech. It includes an analysis of Wilson's original research on the types of hate speech most likely to raise tolerance for violence. Read more ...

Richard Wilson to Speak at Princeton Conference
May 8, 2017 -

Professor Richard Wilson will speak at a three-day conference entitled War Frenzy: Exploring the Violence of Propaganda at Princeton University. The interdisciplinary conference, to be held May 12-14, 2017, aims to explore "internal mechanisms and external effects of war propaganda." Wilson's speech, Holding Propagandists Accountable?: Problems of Causation and Agency in Law and Social Research, will be the keynote address on Saturday, May 13.

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