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Stanley Cohen (1942-2013)

Stan CohenWith each of us in different ways, Stan moved us with his enormous warmth and courage and he inspired us with his powerful intellect and knowledge.  He was a central figure in the founding, growth and success of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at LSE.  He was a world class sociologist, criminologist and public intellectual who taught and mentored innumerable academic colleagues, activists and students.

Stan had a long and distinguished career. He was born in South Africa and read Sociology and Social Work at the University of Witwatersrand. In 1963 he moved to the UK where he was a social worker and also a PhD student at LSE. He held jobs at the Universities of Durham, Essex, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. LSE was very fortunate in having him join in 1998. His health was by then ailing but his intellectual vitality was ever present.

Stan was a wonderful and generous human being. In many ways, he was the heart of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at LSE. He is deeply missed even as his vision and his work continues to influence and shape the Centre.

Stan Cohen Collection

The LSE Human Rights Reference Library is home to the Stan Cohen Collection: a selection of him books, reports, journals etc. that have been entrusted to the Centre by Stan's family.

The Stan Cohen Collection is a wide-ranging selection spanning Stan’s interests in deviance, sociology, psychology, criminology, human rights and much more. It also includes a selection of Stan's own published work.

The Stan Cohen Prize

Each year, the Stan Cohen prize is awarded for the best LSE MSc Human Rights dissertation. Stan Cohen Prize winners 2005-2016 (PDF)

From Moral Panics to States of Denial: a celebration of the life and work of Stan Cohen


On 10 December 2013, UN International Human Rights Day, we hosted a event, featuring contributions from friends and colleagues, honoured Stan and reflected on his legacy 

Speakers: Professor Robin Cohen, Professor David Downes, Daphna Golan, Thomas Hammarberg, Professor Harvey Molotch. Chair: Margo Picken

Audio recording| I Video recording I Picture gallery and information on contributors

In Memoriam

Read and contribute to our memorial page for Stan Cohen.

Dr Claire Moon contributed an essay to a special section of Crime, Media, Culture ( vol. 9 no. 2 193-196) dedicated to Stan Cohen's indelible contribution to criminology and human rights Moon's contribution is entitled "'Looking without seeing, listening without hearing': Cohen denial and human rights". 'Stan Cohen (1942-2013): An Appreciation' also included contributions by Nachman Ben-Yehuda, Eugene McLaughlin and Jock Young.

Obituary in The Independent by David Downes, 24 February 2013

BBC Radio 4's 'Thinking Allowed' first broadcast 18 February 2013, featuring contributions from Dr Claire Moon (senior lecturer in the sociology of human rights) and Professor Conor Gearty (former director of the Centre)

Obituary in The Guardian by Laurie Taylor, 28 January 2013