About LSE Human Rights

LSE Human Rights is ideally situated to act as an educational and scholarly bridge, connecting the aspirations of the human rights community and of human rights activists with the worlds of academe, of economics, politics and of business

Mary Robinson, Former UN High Commissioner on Human Rights



LSE Human Rights is a trans-disciplinary centre of excellence for international academic research, teaching and critical scholarship on human rights. It attracts world-class academics and outstanding scholars and has been home to highly-qualified and committed students from across the world and from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. LSE Human Rights is a place for academics, policy-makers and practitioners to engage with robust academic research that strengthens knowledge, analysis and understanding of contemporary human rights issues, including social, economic and political issues related to human rights.

LSE Human Rights engages in research related to global poverty and international human rights law, critical approaches to international law, atrocities and suffering, human rights in the UK and Europe, warfare and military transformations, human rights in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, human rights and non-state actors, development and human rights, cosmopolitanism and the politics of solidarity, and philosophies of violence.

LSE Human Rights generates sharp, stimulating debates, advances research and intellectual agendas about human rights and seeks to inform ethical and policy debates about human rights in the UK, Europe and globally.

LSE Human Rights gives space to human rights issues that are little-explored, that may be unconventional, experimental or challenging, and which arise from diverse disciplinary traditions. It is committed to ethically-informed public engagement, including with human rights communities world-wide.

LSE Human Rights’ teaching includes a series of short certificate courses examining different aspects of human rights principles and practice. Each course runs once per year.

LSE Human Rights and the Department of Sociology

Important and exciting changes are planned for the Centre for the Study of Human Rights, LSE. In Michaelmas Term 2017, the Centre will move to the Department of Sociology and be relaunched as LSE Human Rights.  LSE Human Rights will be the key focal point at LSE for interdisciplinary human rights teaching, research, and public engagement. LSE Human Rights will benefit considerably from the strong support and commitment of the Department of Sociology and other departments at LSE, including the Department of Law. LSE Human Rights will relocate to a new dedicated cluster space within the Department of Sociology and will develop further its engagement with new academic colleagues working in human rights areas. The new organisational structure of LSE Human Rights will improve its academic capacity to better meet the challenges of human rights today. The Stan Cohen Library will be housed in Sociology in recognition of a key founder of the Centre and renowned sociologist, the late Stan Cohen, a former colleague in the Department. 

Current Centre activities will continue in LSE Human Rights, and new activities are planned in several areas. These include the development of a new human rights Executive Masters programme, potentially a second Masters in Politics and Human Rights, and further high profile public engagement activities and research projects.  LSE Human Rights will also offer two new short courses in 2018 in migration and in cybersecurity, and these will join the existing portfolio of six short courses on international human rights, war, women’s rights, children’s rights, advocacy and business. LSE Human Rights will remain committed to public engagement, including through its highly successful public events programme, the human rights blog, newsletter, social media, and other planned activities. The Scholars at Risk programme will continue to be managed by LSE Human Rights and will expand its fundraising capacity to assist more scholars in the future.  Current Centre funding and research staff will remain in place under the umbrella of LSE Human Rights, overseen by and under the governance of the Department of Sociology. LSE Human Rights will have its own Strategy Committee, comprised of a subset of current Advisory Board members along with Department staff representatives and other interested collaborative partners internal to the LSE. 

Commenting on the relaunch of LSE Human Rights incoming Director of the LSE, Dame Minouche Shafik said:

During this period of escalating attacks on human rights in many parts of the world and on many of the freedoms we take for granted, I am delighted to affirm LSE’s commitment to human rights, ones that are key to LSE’s mission of international education, research and public engagement. I warmly support the transition of LSE Human Rights into the Department of Sociology, a transition that will expand its interdisciplinary activities and increase further the profile of human rights across and outside the School.  I look forward to working with LSE Human Rights colleagues and wish it every success for the future.


London School of Economics
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE

Location on campus:
First Floor, Dept of Sociology
St Clement’s, Clare Market
Email: sociology.media@lse.ac.uk