Accessibility statement

Professor Paul Gready
Co-Director of the Centre for Applied Human Rights



Paul is the Co-Director of the Centre for 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. His research interests include human rights practice, transitional justice, human rights and development, culture and human rights, and human rights cities.

Most of Paul's current research focuses on the development of critical and constructive alternatives to the mainstream. This work is informed by the belief that the current political moment requires new ways of thinking and working. Current projects include:

  • Transformative justice, as an alternative to transitional justice (funded by the ESRC, ESRC Impact Award and NWO, with a particular focus on Egypt and Tunisia). 
  • Development alternatives, a collaboration with ActionAid to explore alternatives to mainstream development, initially in Bangladesh and Uganda (AHRC/GCRF, AHRC Impact Award) 
  • York: Human Rights City, research accompanying the evolution of the UK's first Human Rights City (funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Joseph Rowntree Foundation)



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 human rights practice, transitional justice, human rights and development, culture and human rights, and human rights cities.


Paul welcomes PhD applications in the fields above.


Selected publications


2018. From Transitional to Transformative Justice, eds P. Gready and S. Robins, Cambridge University Press.

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)

2017. "Rethinking Civil Society and Transitional Justice: Lessons from Social Movements and 'New' Civil Society" (with Simon Robins), International Journal of Human Rights, 21 (7): 956-75.

2016. "What do Human Rights Mean in Development?" (with Jon Ensor), in D. Hammett and J. Grugel (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of International Development, Palgrave.

2016. "Human Rights Practice and the City: A Case Study of York (UK)" (with Emily Graham, Eric Hoddy and Rachel Pennington), in B. Oomen, M. Davis and M. Grigolo (eds) Global Urban Justice: The Rise of Human Rights Cities, Cambridge University Press.

2014. "From Transitional to Transformative Justice: An Agenda for Practice" (with Simon Robins), International Journal of Transitional Justice 8 (3): 339-61.

2014. "Failures and Successes of Human Rights-based Approaches to Development: Towards a Change Perspective" (with Wouter Vandenhole), Nordic Journal of Human Rights, 32 (4): 291-311.

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.

External activities


Currently a Trustee of International Service and Adviser to Silence Speaks at the Center for Digital Storytelling. Previously served on the Board of Child Soldiers International.

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

Professor 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 

Autumn term 2021

Thursday 11am - 13:00  

(by appointment only)