In a recent review article, Jeff Popke (2006, p. 510) calls for a ‘more direct engagement with theories of ethics and responsibility’ on the part of human geographers, and for a reinscription of the social as a site of ethics and responsibility. This requires that we also continue to develop ways of thinking through our responsibilities toward unseen others—both unseen neighbours and distant others—and to cultivate a renewed sense of social interconnectedness. Popke suggests that a feminist-inspired ethic of care might be instrumental in developing this expanded, relational and collective vision of the social, which is particularly prescient given the contemporary economic downturn throughout the globe. Thus, as the ‘moral turn’ in geography continues to evolve, this special issue seeks to bring together geographers working within feminist or feminist-inspired frameworks, and with a shared interest in the changing geographies of ethics, responsibility and care. The collection of papers has its origins in conference sessions on Care-full Geographies, organised by the Guest Editors at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers in 2007. In this editorial we seek to position the papers within broader debates about care, responsibility and ethics that have emerged in geography and the wider social sciences in recent years, and to highlight the key issues that have framed these debates.