David Richards

Associate Professor of Human Rights & Political Science, University of Connecticut
Chapter Member: Connecticut SSN
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About David

Richards' research focuses on human rights. Overarching themes in Richards' writings include gender-violence law, torture, and metrics for assessing the human rights practices of countries. Richards has consulted with many governments, intergovernmental organizations, and NGOs

In the News

Interviewed in "Presentation of the National Human Rights Program 2014 -- 2018," Mexico, January 25, 2022.
Quoted by Hannah Dellinger in "Connecticut Nonprofits Brace for Impact of VAWA Expiration," AP News, January 4, 2019.
Opinion: "How Laws Around the World Do and Do Not Protect Women From Violence," David Richards (with Jillienne Haglund), The Washington Post, February 11, 2015.
Guest on Connecticut Public Radio, January 16, 2015.
Quoted by Ophir Bar-Zohar in "Israel Earns Another Failing Score on Freedom of Religion Index," Haaretz, December 14, 2011.


"Exploring the Consequences of the Normative Gap in Legal Protections Addressing Violence against Women" (with Jillienne Haglund), in The Legal Protection of Women From Violence Normative Gaps in International Law, edited by Edited By Rashida Manjoo, Jackie Jones (Exploring the Consequences of the Normative Gap in Legal Protections Addressing Violence against Women , 2019), 236.

States a conceptual and empirical examination of the consequences of the normative gap in international law addressing violence against women and girls.  Finds the domestic normative gap complicit in higher levels of domestic violence, higher rape prevalence, higher female HIV rates, lower human development, and higher acceptance of violence against women and girls.

"The Cingranelli and Richards (CIRI) Human Rights Data Project1" Human Rights Quarterly 32, no. 2 (2010): 401-424.

Provides information about government respect for a broad array of human rights in nearly every country in the world. Covers 26 years, 15 separate human rights practices, and 195 countries, it is one of the largest human rights data sets in the world.  Gives an overview of the CIRI project and our response to some critiques of the CIRI physical integrity rights index.

"Violence Against Women and the Law" (with Jillienne Haglund) (Routledge, 2015).

Explores the strength of laws addressing four types of violence against women--rape, marital rape, domestic violence, and sexual harassment--in 196 countries from 2007 to 2010. Analyzes why these laws exist in some places and not others, and why they are stronger or weaker in places where they do exist.

"Some Psycho-Social Correlates of US Citizen Support for Torture" (with Mandy M Morrill and Mary R Anderson). Nordic Journal of Human Rights 30, no. 1 (2012): 63–95.

Uses an original survey to both ascertain US citizens’ attitudes about the use of torture, and to begin to explore why they have these views. Takes this information to construct the Torture Acceptability Index (TAI) to measure individuals’ overall level of acceptance of torture.

"Women’s Status and Economic Globalization" (with Ronald Gelleny). International Studies Quarterly 51 (2007): 855-876.

Examines the relationship between women’s status and economic globalization. Discusses the expectations of both proponents and skeptics of globalization are discussed with regard to women’s status, and a series of statistical examinations of this relationship are performed using data on 130 countries.

"Good Things to Those Who Wait? National Elections and Government Respect for Human Rights" (with Ronald Gelleny). Journal of Peace Research 44, no. 4 (2007).

Reviews the relationship between democratic national legislative and presidential elections and government respect for human rights in over 100 countries from 1981 to 2000.