Dr Andrew Fagan

Senior Lecturer
Essex Law School
Dr Andrew Fagan
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872885

  • Location

    5S.6.4, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    Autumn Term: on Study Leave



I was born and raised in a single-parent family in an ungentrified part of London. I didn't complete my formal education and left school aged 14. After numerous twists and turns, I returned to education in my mid-20s. I have a daughter, Claudia and a grandson, Jesse. When not at Essex, I am mostly taking refuge in our home in rural France with my partner, Julia, and our Belgian Shepherd dog: Scout. I play tenor saxophone and enjoy obscure European cinema! I have been teaching human rights at Essex since 1998 in the Department of Philosophy, the School of Law and the Human Rights Centre. I have occupied several positions within the Human Rights Centre, including; Deputy Director, Research Director, Director of Academic Studies and I am currently Co-Director of Postgraduate Studies (Human Rights) within the School of Law. I have extensive multi-disciplinary teaching experience and interests, spanning the theory and practice of human rights. My research focuses upon the normative, political and cultural challenges to human rights. I am particularly interested in the contributions which radical philosophies and politics can make to defending human rights against multiple challenges. I have taught and lectured upon human rights across the world; including, Central Asia, East Asia, Europe, South East Asia and North and South America. Additional publications 'Are Human Rights Bad for Women?', Thomson Reuters (June 29th 2017) 'UK faces difficult questions over its human rights record in universal periodic review' (with Munira Ali) Human Rights Centre Blog (12 May 2017) 'Into a Bizarre Future: why the liberal promise of true liberty is a lie', The Conversation (January 23rd 2017) 'Resons to be Fearful: liberal democracy and scapegoating minorities', Fabian Review (November 15th 2016) 'The continuing fight against homophobia (co-authored with Alan Msosa), in The Conversation (May 17th 2016) 'Our global responsibility to end discrimination' (co-authored with Alan Msosa) in The Vice Chancellor's Blog, University of Essex (May 17th 2016) Clouds on the horizon for Burmas fledging democracy, in The Conversation (March 30 2016) 2015 the year in elections: Myanmar, in The Conversation, (January 1st 2016). Human Rights an essential weapon in our moral armoury against terrorism, Vice Chancellors Blog, University of Essex, December 10th 2015) 'The Rohingya, Genocide and a New Dawn for Myanmar?' E-International Relations (Dec. 6th 2015) What will an election victory for Aung San Suu Kyi's party mean for Myanmar? in The New Statesman (November 10th 2015). Burmas Ruling Party Has Turned on Itself but the opposition is falling apart too, in The Conversation (August 14th 2015). The Spectre of Identity Politics in Burma, in The Conversation (July 30th 2015) The Aftermath of Charleston: the Confederate Flag and a Right to Dixie? Essex Human Rights Centre Blog, (June 25th. 2015) Je Suis Charlie: Religion, Expression and Our Idols. Essex Human Rights Centre Blog (January 9th. 2015)


  • BS.c. (Hons.) Social Anthropology and Psychology (University of London)

  • MA Political Theory (University of Essex)

  • Ph.D. Political Philosophy (University of Essex)

Research and professional activities

Current research

(Constructively) Critical perspectives upon human rights

Critical theory

Minority cultural rights

Identity politics and human rights

Religion and human rights

Gender and human rights

Hate speech and human rights

Conferences and presentations

The Challenge of Identity Politics to a Rights-Based Constitutional Future for Myanmar. University of Essex, Human Rights Centre, Speakers Series. 3rd November 2015.

Colchester, United Kingdom, 2015

Towards the Rehabilitation of Perfectionist Agency. American Political Science Association Annual Conference, San Francisco. 5th September 2015.

San Francisco, United States, 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.

Albany, United States, 2015

The Limits of Chandran Kukathass Theory of Diversity. Multiculturalism in Contemporary Britain Conference, University of California, Berkeley. 18th November 2014.

Berkeley, United States, 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.

Colchester, United Kingdom, 2014

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Dangerous Ideas: Essays and Manifestos as Social Criticism Capstone (CS301)

  • Human Rights, Social Justice and Social Change (HU928)

  • Human Rights: Global Diversity and Global Challenges (HU930)

  • Gender, Race, Identity and Human Rights (HU931)

  • Human Rights Clinic (HU902)

Previous supervision

Susan Patricia Stallabrass
Susan Patricia Stallabrass
Thesis title: Conceptualising, Engaging and Acting on the Social Gradient: The Right of Everyone to the Enjoyment of the Highest Attainable Standard of Health
Degree subject: Human Rights
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 21/12/2023
Matthew James Sheader
Matthew James Sheader
Thesis title: Structure, Institutions and Ngoisation: A Critical Realist Approach to Normative Change in Myanmar Civil Society
Degree subject: Human Rights
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 14/5/2018
Benjamin Joseph James Barnard
Benjamin Joseph James Barnard
Thesis title: Do Rights-Based Moralities Cause Climate Change? Balancing the Rights of Current Persons and the Needs of the Future Generations
Degree subject: Human Rights
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 9/2/2018
Levi Mvula
Levi Mvula
Thesis title: Maternal Mortality and Morbidity: The Extent of Malawi's Compliance with its Human Rights Obligations
Degree subject: Human Rights
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 8/4/2015


Journal articles (22)

Fagan, A., (2024). The Subject of Human Rights: From the Unencumbered Self to the Relational Self. Nordic Journal of Human Rights, 1-19

Fagan, A., (2023). Taking Social Class Seriously. Human Rights Quarterly. 45 (2), 260-282

Fagan, A., (2021). Human Rights in a Time of Populism: Challenges and Responses. HUMAN RIGHTS QUARTERLY. 43 (2), 416-+

Fagan, A., (2019). The Gentrification of Human Rights. Human Rights Quarterly. 41 (2), 283-308

Fagan, A., (2018). The challenge of cultural diversity: the limited value of the right of exit. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy. 21 (1), 87-108

Fagan, A., (2017). Cultural harm and engaging the limits of a right to cultural identity. Human Rights Quarterly. 39 (2), 319-340

Fagan, A. and Fridlund, H., (2016). Relative Universality, Harmful Cultural Practices and the United Nations' Human Rights Council. Nordic Journal of Human Rights. 34 (1), 21-39

Fagan, A., (2015). Defending corporate social responsibility: Myanmar and the lesser evil. The International Journal of Human Rights. 19 (6), 867-882

Fagan, A., (2010). Lambert Zuidervaart: Social Philosophy After Adorno. Human Studies. 33 (1), 109-115

(2009). How Autonomous Is Medical Decision Making?. AMA Journal of Ethics. 11 (8), 631-635

Fagan, A., (2008). Back to Basics: Human Rights and the Suffering Imperative. Essex Human Rights Review. 5 (1), 91-96

Fagan, A., (2007). Autonomy ? Ellen Frankel Paul, Fred D. Miller Jr and Jeffrey Paul. The Philosophical Quarterly. 57 (227), 311-313

Fagan, A., (2007). Review of Autonomy, (2003) Ellen Frankel Paul, Fred D. Miller Jr and Jeffrey Paul (eds), Cambridge University Press, isbn: 9780521534994. Philosophical Quarterly. 57 (227), 311-313

Fagan, A., (2006). Escaping the Cultural Context of Human Rights. Human Rights and Human Welfare. 6, 193-202

Fagan, A., (2006). Challenging the Right of Exit Remedy in the Political Theory of Cultural Diversity. Essays in Philosophy. 7 (1), 185-214

Fagan, A., (2005). Paradoxical Bedfellows: Nihilism and Human Rights. Human Rights Review. 6 (3), 80-101

Fagan, A., (2004). Challenging the Bioethical Application of the Autonomy Principle within Multicultural Societies. Journal of Applied Philosophy. 21 (1), 15-31

Fagan, A., (2003). Review of Yvonne Sherratt, 'Adorno?s Positive Dialectic'. Philosophy In Review. 23 (4), 286-288

Fagan, A., (2003). Review of Brian Orend, Human Rights. 'Human Rights: A Minimal Utopia?'. Philosophy In Review. 23 (2), 134-135

Fagan, A., (2003). Practicing Universality: the Inter-disciplinary Imperatives of Human Rights. Human Rights and Human Welfare. 3 (2), 95-102

Fagan, A., (2003). Review of William S. Wilkerson and Jeffrey Paris, eds., New Critical Theory: Essays on Liberation. Philosophy In Review. 23 (4), 301-303

Fagan, A., (2002). Between God and Democracy. Human Rights and Human Welfare. 2 (2), 15-22

Books (5)

Ferstman, C. and Fagan, A., (2020). Covid-19, Law and Human Rights : Essex Dialogues. A Project of the School of Law and Human Rights Centre. University of Essex. 978-1-5272-6632-2

Fagan, A., (2017). Human Rights and Cultural Diversity. Edinburgh University Press. 9781474401166

Fagan, A., (2010). The Atlas of Human Rights: Mapping Violations of Freedom Around the Globe. University of California Press. 9780520261235

Fagan, A., (2009). Human Rights: Confronting Myths and Misunderstandings. Edward Elgar. 978-1-84844-161-3

Dine, J. and Fagan, A., (2006). Human rights and capitalism: A Multidisciplinary perspective on globalisation. 1845422686. 9781845422684

Book chapters (11)

Fagan, A., (2020). The Politics of Identity in the UK: Before, During and After Covid-19. In: Covid-19, Law and Human Rights : Essex Dialogues. A Project of the School of Law and Human Rights Centre. Editors: Ferstman, C. and Fagan, A., . University of Essex. 149- 157. 978-1-5272-6632-2

Bald, C., Carter, L., Ferstman, C., Fagan, A., Gilbert, G. and Wyllie, A., (2020). The Impact on Vulnerable Populations. Vulnerability: A Discussion. In: Covid-19, Law and Human Rights : Essex Dialogues. A Project of the School of Law and Human Rights Centre. Editors: Ferstman, C. and Fagan, A., . University of Essex. 147- 148. 978-1-5272-6632-2

Cusato, E., Casla, K., Fagan, A., Jones, E. and Kamiloglu, O., (2020). Some Conceptual Framings: A Discussion. In: Covid-19, Law and Human Rights : Essex Dialogues. A Project of the School of Law and Human Rights Centre. Editors: Ferstman, C. and Fagan, A., . University of Essex. 3- 4. 978-1-5272-6632-2

Fagan, A., (2018). Minority Rights in Myanmar: Negotiating Identity Politics and Human Rights. In: The Noble Banner of Human Rights: Essays in Memory of Tom Lantos. Editors: Biro, A-M., Lantos-Swett, K. and Fischer, M., . Brill. 240- 275. 978-90-04-37695-3

Fagan, A., (2013). Rights, Natural and Human. In: Encyclopedia of Modern Political Thought. Editors: Claeys, G., . CQ Press. 9780872899100

Fagan, A., (2012). Ethical Shopping and Trusting Morality. In: The Processes and Practices of Fair Trade: Trust, Ethics and Governance. Editors: Granville, B. and Dine, J., . Routledge. 9780415575669

Fagan, A., (2012). Philosophical foundations of human rights. In: Handbook of Human Rights. 9- 22. 9780415480239

Fagan, A., (2011). Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights. In: Handbook of Human Rights. Editors: Cushman, T., . Routledge. 491- 491. 9780415480239

Fagan, A., (2006). Buying right: Consuming ethically and human rights. In: Human Rights and Capitalism: A Multidisciplinary Perspective on Globalisation. 115- 141. 1845422686. 9781845422684

Fagan, A., (2006). Human Rights. In: Essentials of Philosophy and Ethics. Editors: Cohen, M., . Routledge. 129- 131. 1509546057. 9781509546053

Fagan, A., (2003). Cultural Relativism, Tolerance and Respect for Autonomy. In: Ethical Issues in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care: Issues in Contemporary Practice. Editors: Scott, W. and Draper, H., . Butterworth-Heinemann. 65- 76

Other (5)

Fagan, A., Adorno (refereed encyclopaedia entry),The Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy

Fagan, A., Human Rights (refereed encyclopaedia entry),The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Fagan, A., (2015).What will an election victory for Aung San Suu Kyi's party mean for Myanmar?,The New Statesman

Fagan, A., (2015).The Rohingya, Genocide and a New Dawn for Myanmar,E-International Relations

Fagan, A., (2005).Adorno: an Introduction,Samkaaleen Soach (trans. Contemporary Thinking)

Grants and funding


Human Rights Atlas

Economic & Social Research Council

+44 (0) 1206 872885


5S.6.4, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

Autumn Term: on Study Leave