Accessibility statement

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



Paul Gready is the Co-Director of the Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR). He is a social scientist with research interests in universities as sites of protection and activism, transitional and transformative justice, the arts and human rights, and human rights cities.

Paul was the founding Director of CAHR in 2007, and prior to coming to York worked at the University of London. At around the same time as he started working at CAHR he helped to establish the Journal of Human Rights Practice, where he is still a co-editor. For over two decades he has sought to strengthen interdisciplinarity in human rights practice, through both teaching and various research-related activities. Prior to entering the academy he worked for Amnesty International (on East and Southern Africa, and India), and for a number of other international and national human rights organisations.

Paul currently leads two collaborative and interdisciplinary research projects:

  • UNESCO Chair, Protecting Human Rights Defenders and Expansion of Political Space (2023-26): The Chair and associated network support research, training and capacity building, and knowledge exchange and network building relating to universities as sites of activism and protection. The Chair’s activities are funded by the Open Society Foundations. 
  • Art Rights Truth (2022-25): This AHRC funded project explores whether collaborations between artists and activists can help shape new languages for, and approaches to, human rights in the context of multiple contemporary crises. The project case studies are Covid legacies, social and environmental justice, transitional justice and its aftermaths (Canada, Colombia), and human rights in local settings (York). 

Paul is happy to consider supervising PhDs on the following topics:

  • Universities as sites of activism and protection
  • Arts and human rights activism
  • Transitional and transformative justice
  • Human rights cities



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

Recent publications:

2023. “Universities as Sites of Activism and Protection”, Paul Gready and Emma Jackson, Working Paper No. 14, Human Rights Defender Hub Working Paper Series, Centre for Applied Human Rights, University of York.

2023. “Transitional Justice as a Driver of Transformation in Colombia”, Paul Gready, et al. (CAPAZ - Instituto Colombo-Alemán par la Paz), Policy Brief 6.

2023. Transitional Justice in Tunisia: Innovations, Continuities, Challenges, eds. S. Robins and P. Gready, Routledge. 

2022. “Transitional Justice from the Margins: Collective Reparations and Tunisia’s Truth and Dignity Commission”, Paul Gready, Simon Robins, and others, Political Geography 94. 

Select other publications:

2020. “Transitional Justice and Theories of Change: Towards Evaluation as Understanding”, Paul Gready and Simon Robins, International Journal of Transitional Justice, 14/2, 280-99.

2019. “Rethinking Human Rights in York as a Human Rights City”, Paul Gready and Liz Lockey, Political Quarterly, 90/3, 383-92. 

2019. “Reflections on a Human Rights Decade, Near and Far”, Journal of Human Rights Practice, 11/2, 422-37. 

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

2014. “From Transitional to Transformative Justice: An Agenda for Practice”, Paul Gready and Simon Robins, International Journal of Transitional Justice 8/3, 339-6. 

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)