Students Staff

Academic Staff

Dr Andrew Fagan MA, PhD (Essex)

Position in departmentDirector of Postgraduate Studies
Staff positionSenior Lecturer
Telephone01206 872885
Academic support hoursThursdays 2-3pm Fridays 3-4pm

I see human rights as providing a powerful instrument for a broader radical political vision in which extreme poverty, racism, sexism, xenophobia and identity-based hatred and discrimination can be condemend and confronted. For me, human rights offers a compelling moral vocabulary that enables communities of people to mobilise against oppression and discrimination.


 BS.c (Hons.) Social Anthropology & Psychology, (University of London)

MA Poltical Theory (University of Essex)

Ph.D. Philosophy (University of Essex)

Current research

  • Minority rights
  • Cultural rights
  • Cultural identities and human rights
  • Religion and human rights
  • Gender and human rights
  • Human rights in Burma
  • Hate speech and human rights


Research interests

Dr Andrew Fagan (BS.c (Hons.), MA, Ph.D.) has been teaching human rights at Essex since 1998. He has occupied several positions within the Human Rights Centre, including; Deputy Director, Research Director, Director of Academic Studies and is currently Director of Postgraduate Studies. Andrew has extensive multi-disciplinary teaching experience and interests, spanning the theory and practice of human rights. His research principally focuses upon normative issues in the political philosophy of liberalism and is actively researching in the emerging field of human rights and cultural diversity. Andrew has taught and lectured upon human rights across the world; including, Central Asia, East Asia, Europe, South East Asia and South America. Andrew is actively engaged in supporting the on-going reform process in Myanmar, travelling there regularly to undertake grass-roots capacity building human rights training for groups such as the National League for Democracy and Generation 88 and was one of the very first academics in the world to do so. In 2013 he was also the very first academic to provide a course of summer school lectures in Kazakhstan. Andrew is an internationally recognised scholar, having published many books and articles, including; Human Rights: Confronting Myths & Misunderstandings (2009) and the Human Rights Atlas (2010). He is currently working on a book entitled Human Rights and Cultural Diversity for Edinburgh University Press.

Teaching responsibilities

HU100: Foundations of Human Rights

HU901: Theories and Applications in Human Rights

HU921: Contemporary Issues in Human Rights & Cultural Diversity 

LW901: International Human Rights Law 


Selected publications

  • Andrew Fagan, Human Rights and Cultural Diversity (Edinburgh University Press, 2017)
  • Andrew Fagan, ‘Cultural Harm and Determining the Limits of a Right to Cultural Identity’ Human Rights Quarterly (forthcoming, May 2017)
  • Andrew Fagan, 'Unable to Leave: the Right of Exit & Multiculturalism, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy: Special Edition on Multiculturalism in Contemporary Britain', (forthcoming, 2017) 
  • Andrew Fagan & Hans Fridlund, Relative Universality, Harmful Cultural Practices and the Human Rights Council’, Nordic Journal of Human Rights, Vol. 34: No.1, pp.1-19 (2016)
  • Andrew Fagan, 'Defending Corporate Social Responsibility: Myanmar and the Lesser Evil', International Journal of Human Rights, Vol. 19: 6, 867-882 (2015)
  • Andrew Fagan, ‘Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights’, in Thomas Cushman (ed.) Routledge International Handbook of Human Rights, (New York: Routledge, 2013), pp. 9-22  
  • Andrew Fagan, The Atlas of Human Rights: Mapping Violations of Freedom Around the Globe (University of California Press, 2010) 
  • Andrew Fagan, Human Rights: Confronting Myths and Misunderstandings (Edward Elgar, 2009)


Selected presentations

  • Human Rights & Cultural Diversity. Mini-conference and book launch. University of Essex, Human Rights Centre. 22 February 2017
  • The Challenge of Identity Politics to a Rights-Based Constitutional Future for Myanmar’. University of Essex, Human Rights Centre, Speakers Series. 3rd November 2015.
  • Towards the Rehabilitation of Perfectionist Agency. American Political Science Association Annual Conference, San Francisco. 5th September 2015.
  • The Rights of Domestically Abused Women and Rights to Culture. Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities, State University of New York, Binghampton University. 5th February 2015.
  • The Limits of Chandran Kukathas’s Theory of Diversity. Multiculturalism in Contemporary Britain Conference, University of California, Berkeley. 18th November 2014.
  • Into the Belly of the Whale: Cultural Rights and Anti-perfectionist Liberalism. Departmental Visiting Speakers’ Series, Philosophy Department, University of Essex. 30th October 2014.

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