Robert C. Richards, Jr.

Robert Richards Portrait
Associate Professor
(501) 683-5227
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Dr. Robert C. Richards, Jr., is an Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Open Governance Lab at the Clinton School of Public Service. Richards teaches Communication Processes and Social (Ex)Change and Ethical and Legal Dimensions of Public Service.

Richards was most recently a postdoctoral teaching fellow in the Penn State University Department of Communication Arts and Sciences. His research interests are democratic deliberation, participatory governance, and political and legal communication and information.

Richards has taught undergraduate courses in legal rhetoric, speech communication, and group communication. He conducts research as part of the Participedia Project – an international research project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada – which studies how citizens participate in governance in many different countries, and the research team that studies the Citizens’ Initiative Review method of citizen deliberation.

He has co-authored articles in numerous academic journals, including “Making Policy Information Relevant to Citizens: A Model of Deliberative Mini-Publics, Applied to the Citizens’ Initiative Review” in Policy & Politics, and “Embracing Digital Democracy: A Call for Building an Online Civic Commons” with John Gastil in PS: Political Science & Politics.

He has presented papers at the annual conferences of the National Communication Association and the Law and Society Association.

Richards received his Ph.D. from Penn State in 2016 and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2006.