Faculty Research Profiles


As Professor of International Law and Co-Director of The Center for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Program, Hurst Hannum is active on academic and policy fronts around the world.

Hannum returns to teaching at Fletcher in September 2008, after a leave of two and a half years, during which he served as the Sir Y.K. Pao Professor at the University of Hong Kong. At the University, Hannum taught at Asia's only LL.M. in Human Rights program, while at the same time continuing his ongoing writing and research projects.

In 2006, Hannum published the 4th edition of one of the leading casebooks in the field of human rights,Human Rights Problems of Law, Policy and Practice, with new co-authors S. James Anaya (University of Arizona) and Dinah Shelton (George Washington University). Unfortunately, new developments at the United Nations Human Rights Council—which met for the first time in June 2006—have necessitated updates that will be available on-line to teachers and students. Hannum follows the Council's activities closely and participated in three of its sessions during its inaugural year on behalf of the Geneva-based International Service for Human Rights.

In addition to work on the United Nations’ human rights mechanisms, Hannum remains involved in issues related to self-determination, autonomy, and minority rights. Following on earlier UN consultancies concerning East Timor and Western Sahara, as well as work in 2001-2003 on negotiations between Aceh rebels and the government of Indonesia, Hannum has recently participated in meetings examining autonomy in China and Mindinao. While in Hong Kong, he organized a conference on the concept of universal suffrage and its applicability to Hong Kong's unusual political system.

On the non-human-rights policy front, Hannum works on a consulting basis with the International Center for Alcohol Policies, based in Washington, D.C. The center, supported by major international alcohol companies including Pernod Ricard, Coors Brewing Company, and Diageo PLC., works on corporate social responsibility practices and develops partnerships with governments, multilateral organizations, NGOs, scientific researchers, and public health officials. Many of these practices stem from the Dublin Principles, a set of guidelines outlining mutually acceptable means of cooperation, based on ethical principles, among all those concerned with alcohol consumption and its effects. Hannum brings significant expertise to this issue, having helped develop these principles at the 1997 Dublin conference. In the past few years, Hannum has spoken on these issues at meetings in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, and Paris.

Hannum's regular course offerings include the introductory course, “International Human Rights Law”, as well as two seminars. The fall seminar, “Nationalism, Self-Determination, and Minority Rights”, is an inter disciplinary course exploring the theoretical foundations for claims of nationhood and self determination. In the spring, the course “Current Issues in Human Rights” offers students the opportunity to discuss a number of contemporary human rights issues in greater depth, such as democracy, economic and social and economic rights, and humanitarian intervention.