Lisa S. Alfredson

International Development Program Director, Assistant Professor

My work at GSPIA focuses on the processes of creating and implementing human rights for vulnerable and discriminated groups, such as victims of gender violence, the poor, refugees, children, LGBTI groups, and modern familial slaves. My interdisciplinary approach addresses the role of human rights across fields including international development, human security, and international affairs. In particular I explore rights-based advocacy and empowerment, rights violations and inequality, and the ways international and national laws and norms discriminate or empower based on one’s intersectional identity. I have authored an award-winning book (Creating Human Rights) and over a dozen articles, chapters, and global reports. I was appointed the Kabak Faculty Fellow in Human Rights at the Global Studies Center (UCIS) for 2021-2022, to promote engaged learning and scholarship on human rights and social justice. I have served as Law and Public Policy Chair at the National Women’s Studies Association over six years, supporting research networks on gender in law and policy. I have worked with numerous international and child rights NGOs providing global research, building regional advocacy coalitions, and lobbying UN and intergovernmental bodies for human rights change. My goal is to use my expertise to fuse theory and practice and promote human rights in the world.

Courses Taught

  • Human Rights: Politics and Practice
  • Human Security
  • NGO Advocacy in International Politics
  • Sex and Human Security
  • Strategies of Global Inquiry
  • Global Studies
  • Scope and Method in Global Studies. 

    Education & Training

  • PhD London School of Economics and Political Science
Recent Publications
  • “Making human rights universals from the ground up.” In Tirado Chase, Anthony (ed). Routledge Handbook on Human Rights and the Middle East and North Africa.  London: Routledge. 2017. 
  • “Gender, Violence and Human Security,” Review of Books,  American Journal of Sociology.  Vol. 120 No. 4. January 2015.
  • Creating Human Rights: How Non-Citizens Made Sex Persecution Matter to the World. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press (2008, 2009; e-print 2013).
Research Interests
  • Human rights 
  • Gender violence 
  • Refugees 
  • Children in armed conflict 
  • Advocacy in international politics