Professor Paul Gready



Paul Gready is the Director of the Centre for Applied Human Rights and convenor of the MA in Applied Human Rights.

Paul has worked for Amnesty International (on East and Southern Africa, and India) and a number of other international and national human rights organisations, and has wide-ranging experience as a human rights consultant.

Most of Paul's practitioner and consultancy experience has been in Africa, with a particular focus on South Africa. He has served as a member of various advisory groups, for example on human rights and development (Amnesty International Dutch Section, Special Programme on Africa; Novib, Oxfam).

Usually linking academic and practice-based concerns, Paul has published on a number of human rights-related topics, notably transitional justice and human rights and development. His research and project work has been supported by funders including the ESRC, the Leverhulme Trust, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

For over a decade he has also been involved in the development of interdisciplinary, practice-based human rights teaching curricula.

Paul is the lead researcher on:



Paul teaches on Defending Human Rights and he coordinates the field trip to South Africa.

In the Autumn term Paul convenes Social Sciences and Human Rights Practice. In the Spring term Paul convenes Culture and Protest.



Paul conducts research on transitional justice, development and human rights, culture and human rights practice, and human rights practice and strategy.


Paul welcomes PhD applications in the fields above.

PhD topics currently being supervised include:

  • Transitional justice, multiple masculinities, and male victims of sexual violence
  • State-civil society interactions to address violence/vigilantism in post-transitional South Africa
  • Reparations and transformation in Tunisia
  • Land and transformative justice in Egypt
  • Institutionalised gangs: re-envisioning the socio-political construction of the security forces in Jamaica
  • Landgrabbing in Tanzania: understanding rights discourses 'from below'


Selected publications


2013. Towards a Theory of Change: Human Rights and Development in the new Millennium, eds. P. Gready and W. Vandenhole, Routledge.

2011. The Era of Transitional Justice: The Aftermath of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa and Beyond, P. Gready, Routledge.

2006. No-nonsense Guide to Human Rights, O. Ball and P. Gready, New Internationalist.

2005. Reinventing Development? Translating Rights-based Approaches from Theory into Practice, eds. P. Gready and J. Ensor, Zed Books.

2004. Fighting for Human Rights, ed. P. Gready, Routledge.

2003. Writing as Resistance: Life Stories of Imprisonment, Exile, and Homecoming from Apartheid South Africa, P. Gready, Lexington Press.

2003. Political Transition: Politics and Cultures, ed. P. Gready, Pluto Press.

Recent refereed articles and book chapters (single authored unless otherwise stated)

2013. "Organisational Theories of Change in the Era of Organisational Cosmopolitanism: lessons for ActionAid's human rights-based approach", Third World Quarterly 34 (8): 1338-59.

2010. "'You're Either with Us or Against Us': Civil Society and Policy Making in Post-Genocide Rwanda", African Affairs 109 (437): 637-57.

2010. "Introduction - 'Responsibility to the Story'", Journal of Human Rights Practice 2 (2): 177-90.

2009. "Reasons to be Cautious about Evidence and Evaluation: Rights-based Approaches to Development and the Emerging Culture of Evaluation", Journal of Human Rights Practice 1 (3): 380-401.

2009. "An Unfinished Enterprise: Visions, Reflections and an Invitation" (with Brian Philips), Journal of Human Rights Practice 1 (1): 1-13.

2009. "Telling Truth? The Methodological Challences of Truth Commiddions", in F. Coomans, F. Gunfeld and M. Kamminga (eds.) Methods of Human Rights Research, Maastrict Series in Human Rights, Intersentia.

2009. "Novel Truths: Literature and Truth Commissions", Comparative Literature Studies 46 (1): 156-76.

2008. "The Public Life of Narratives: Ethics, Politics, Methods", in M. Andrews, C. Squire and M. Tamboukou (eds) Doing Narrative Research in the Social Sciences, Sage.

2008. "Rights-based Approaches to Development: What is the Value-Added?" Development in Practice 18(6): 735-47.

2008. "Culture, Testimony and the Toolbox of Transitional Justice", Peace Review 20 (1): 41-8.

External activities


Currently a member of the Board of the Child Soldiers International and Adviser to Silence Speaks at the Center for Digital Storytelling.

Editorial duties

Co-editor of the Journal of Human Rights Practice. Regular reviewer of articles for other journals in the fields of human rights, conflict, transitional justice and development.

Paul Gready

Contact details

Prof. Paul Gready
Centre for Applied Human Rights
University of York
6 Innovation Close
Science Park
Heslington, York
YO10 5ZF

Tel: +44 (0)1904 325831

Office hours

Wednesdays 10:00 - 12:00

(Autumn 2016)