Dr. Jessica Flanigan

Associate Professor of Leadership Studies and Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law, Richard L. Morrill Chair in Ethics & Democratic Values


Jessica Flanigan is the Richard L. Morrill Chair in Ethics and Democratic Values at the University of Richmond, where she teaches Leadership Ethics, Ethical Decision Making in Healthcare, and Critical Thinking. Her research addresses the ethics of public policy, medicine, and business. In "Pharmaceutical Freedom" (Oxford University Press, 2017) she defends rights of self-medication. In "Debating Sex Work" (Oxford University Press, forthcoming) she defends the decriminalization of sex work.

Flanigan has also published in journals such as Philosophical Studies, The Journal of Business Ethics, Leadership, The Journal of Moral Philosophy, and the Journal of Political Philosophy. She is currently writing a book about the ethics of pregnancy and a book about language and ethics. She is a proponent of effective altruism.

Selected Publications


Flanigan, Jessica, Pharmaceutical Freedom: Why Patients Have a Right to Self-Medicate (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017).


Flanigan, Jessica. “Sweatshop Regulations and Workers' Choices,” Journal of Business Ethics 153.1 (2018), 79-94. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-016-3395-0 

Flannigan, Jessica, "Duty and Enforcement," Journal of Political Philosophy 27.3 (2018), 341-362. https://doi.org/10.1111/jopp.12173 

Flanigan, Jessica, "All Liberty Is Basic," Res Publica 24.4 (2018), 455-474. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11158-017-9368-z 

Flanigan, Jessica, "Philosophical Methodology and Leadership Ethics," Leadership 14.6 (2018), 707-730. https://doi.org/10.1177/1742715017711823 

Flanigan, Jessica, “Rethinking Freedom of Contract,” Philosophical Studies 174.2 (2017), 443-463. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11098-016-0691-6 

Flanigan, Jessica, “Seat Belt Mandates and Paternalism,” Journal of Moral Philosophy 14.3 (2017), 291-314.  https://doi.org/10.1163/17455243-46810050 

Flanigan, Jessica, “Obstetric Autonomy and Informed Consent,” Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 19.1 (2016), 225-244. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10677-015-9610-8 

Flanigan, Jessica, “Non-Culpable Ignorance and HIV Criminalization,” The Journal of Medical Ethics, 40.12 (2014), 798-801. Editor's Choice. DOI: 10.1136/medethics-2012-101119

Flanigan, Jessica, “Economic Freedom and the ACA,” Public Affairs Quarterly, 27.3 (2013), 215-241. 

Flanigan, Jessica, “Public Bioethics,” Public Health Ethics, 6.2 (2013), 170-184. https://doi.org/10.1093/phe/pht022 

Flanigan, Jessica, "Charisma and Moral Reasoning,” Religions, 4.2 (2013), 216-229. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel4020216 


Ph.D., Princeton University 2012
Program in Political Philosophy

M.A., Washington University 2006
Political Science

B.A., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 2004
Philosophy and Political Science

Contact Information

119F Jepson Hall
(804) 287-6353
(804) 287-6062 (Fax)

Areas of Expertise

Political Philosophy