Stanley Cohen (1942-2013)


With 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 LSE Human Rights. 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 LSE Human Rights. He is deeply missed even as his vision and his work continues to influence and shape our work.

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 an 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. 

Listen to the audio 

Watch the video

In Memoriam

Read our memorial page for Stan Cohen.

Dr Claire Moon contributed an essay to a special section of Crime, Media, Culture (2013 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.

Obituary in The Guardian by Laurie Taylor, 28 January 2013.