Dr. Thad Williamson is associate professor of leadership studies and philosophy, politics, economics and law (PPEL). A sought-after professor and civic activist, his research focuses on urban politics and sprawl, community economic development, politics in the city of Richmond, and sports, justice and ethics. He writes regularly on current issues for a wide variety of popular and scholarly publications and is frequently quoted in the media.
Williamson serves on the Mayor’s Anti-Poverty Commission and on the Richmond Regional Economic Development Strategy Committee. He has also served on the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Redistricting.
His latest book, co-edited with Martin O’Neill and published by Blackwell-Wiley, is Property-Owning Democracy: Rawls and Beyond. The book provides an in-depth assessment of John Rawls’s conception of what a just political economy might look like in practice yet available.
Other recent books include Leadership and Global Justice, co-edited with Douglas A. Hicks and published on Palgrave Macmillan Press, and Sprawl, Justice, and Citizenship: The Civic Costs of the American Way of Life, published by Oxford University Press.
Empirically, Sprawl, Justice, and Citizenship uses Census Data and the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey to assess the impact of sprawling neighborhoods on quality of life, social trust, political ideology and political participation. Normatively, the book critically compares how utilitarian, liberal egalitarian and civic republican normative perspectives assess sprawl as a policy issue.
He is currently working on a book-length study of contemporary Richmond, in collaboration with Dr. Amy Howard, the executive director of the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement at the University of Richmond. The book will assess the role of leadership in addressing the city’s most pressing problems over the past generation.
Williamson is involved in several grassroots organizations in the Richmond area, and serves on the advisory board of the Partnership for Smarter Growth. His professional experience includes work in Washington at both the Institute for Policy Studies and the National Center for Economic and Security Alternatives. He is a 2012 recipient of the University's Distinguished Educator Award.
His additional books include Making a Place for Community: Local Democracy in a Global Era and More Than a Game: Why North Carolina Basketball Means So Much to So Many.
Seven habits of civically engaged human beings (Tikkun Daily)
Fri., Mar. 15, 2013
Opinion: Improving Richmond city school performance (Style Weekly)
Tue., Feb. 5, 2013
Opinion: The cost of a society with no safety net (Style Weekly)
Wed., Dec. 12, 2012
State senator switches endorsement in council race (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Thu., Oct. 25, 2012
Williamson discusses poverty in Richmond (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Mon., Oct. 15, 2012
Bike-race bickering must stop (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Fri., Sep. 14, 2012
Richmond city public schools and budget recommendations
Tue., Apr. 24, 2012
Williamson comments on plan to sell public housing
Mon., Mar. 26, 2012
Professor opines on free expression of ideas (Style Weekly)
Thu., Mar. 15, 2012
Leadership studies professor comments in USA Today on stereotypes
Fri., Feb. 17, 2012
Why the Occupy movement won't go away (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Fri., Nov. 4, 2011
Williamson opines on solving Richmond's poverty problem (Style Weekly)
Tue., Oct. 11, 2011
Williamson writes on power in the Richmond region
Tue., Jul. 12, 2011
Williamson's book on sprawl reviewed
Mon., Jun. 20, 2011
Williamson comments on Richmond mayor at midterm
Wed., Feb. 16, 2011
UR professor explores the pull of the suburbs
Sun., Oct. 10, 2010
Professor writes on "Suburban Injustice" for Style Weekly
Wed., May. 26, 2010
Professors opine on World Cup 2010 for Christian Science Monitor
Tue., Jun. 29, 2010
Williamson co-authors an article in The Nation on "The Cleveland Model"
Mon., Mar. 1, 2010
Dollars & Sense blog on populism and union lockouts
Thu., Sep. 24, 2009
Professor suggests Richmond's 'powerful' actually powerless
Thu., Aug. 21, 2008
New York Times quotes Williamson on the magic of Man City soccer
Tue., Aug. 4, 2009
Williamson writes on Obama voting machine in Style
Thu., Nov. 6, 2008
Williamson comments on Obama's effort to win the Virginia vote
Fri., Aug. 29, 2008
History and Religious Studies
Community Economic Development
City of Richmond Politics
Sports, Justice, and Ethics