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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
October 22, 2017
Canadian Excellence
Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann, PhD, FRSC

Rhoda Howard-Hassmann, PhD, FRSC

Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights (2003); Professor, Department of Political Science and Balsillie School of International Affairs;

Contact Information

Fax: 226-772-3001
Office Location: BSIA Room 305 67 Erb W. Waterloo ON
Office Hours: by appointment
Languages Spoken


Academic Background
Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
  • B.A., (Political Science), McGill University, 1969
  • M.A., (Sociology) McGill University, 1972
  • Ph.D., (Sociology) McGill University, 1976


International human rights;

Economic human rights;
Comparative genocide studies;
Sociology and politics of human rights;
Women's international human rights;
Gay and Lesbian rights;
Human rights and retrospective justice;
Human rights and globalization

Click here for the Political Apologies and Reparations Website:

Click here for the Rights & Rightlessness Blog:

Choose the links below for news of Dr. Howard-Hassmann's recent books: 

The Age of Apology:  Facing Up to the Past

Economic Rights in Canada and the United States

Reparations to Africa

Can Globalization Promote Human Rights?

Willing to supervise MA and PhD students on the following topics:
Human rights (Canada and international), including economic rights, human rights and globalization, human rights and development, human rights in Africa, women's rights, children's rights, gay and lesbian rights, theory of human rights.
Comparative genocide studies.
Human rights and retrospective justice, including transitional justice, truth commissions, etc.


Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann, Ph.D., FRSC

Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann, Ph.D., FRSC: Short Biography (August 1, 2013)

Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann is Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, where she holds a joint appointment in the Department of Global Studies and the Balsillie School of International Affairs. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from McGill University (1976), and as of 1993 is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 2006 she was named the first Distinguished Scholar of Human Rights by the Human Rights Section, American Political Science Association. She worked in the Department of Sociology at McMaster University from 1976 to 2003, where she originated and directed McMaster's now defunct undergraduate minor Theme School on International Justice and Human Rights (1993-99).

Dr. Howard-Hassmann is the author of Colonialism and Underdevelopment in Ghana (1978), Human Rights in Commonwealth Africa (1986), Human Rights and the Search for Community (1995), Compassionate Canadians: Civic Leaders Discuss Human Rights (2003), Reparations to Africa (2008), and Can Globalization Promote Human Rights? (2010). She is also co-editor of an International Handbook of Human Rights (1987); Economic Rights in Canada and the United States (2006); and The Age of Apology: Facing up to the Past (2008). Compassionate Canadians was named 2004 Outstanding Book in Human Rights by the Human Rights Section, American Political Science Association; Economic Rights in Canada and the United States was named a notable book for 2008 by the United States Human Rights Network, a coalition of 200 non-governmental organizations. Dr. Howard-Hassmann was also a Senior Editor of the Encyclopedia of Human Rights (2010), which won the Dartmouth Medal from the Reference and User Services Association. Dr. Howard-Hassmann has also published numerous articles and book chapters on human rights and development in Africa; women's rights; gay and lesbian rights; Canadian foreign and refugee policy; and theoretical, methodological and sociological issues in international and Canadian human rights. Her current research interest is state-induced famine: she is also co-editor of a book in progress entitled Slippery Citizenship.

From 1987 to 1992 Professor Howard-Hassmann was Editor or Co-Editor of the Canadian Journal of African Studies, and she remains on its Editorial Board. She is also a member of the Editorial Boards of Citizenship Studies, Human Rights and the Global Economy, Human Rights and Human Welfare, Human Rights Quarterly, Human Rights Review, Journal of Human Rights, and Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights. She established and remains editor of a website on political apologies, which can be visited at She maintains a blog, Rights & Rightlessness, which can be accessed at .

Dr. Howard-Hassmann conducted research in Ghana in 1974 and 1977. In August 1992, she was visiting scholar at the Institute for Social and Economic Research, Rhodes University, South Africa, and from July through December 2000 she was visiting scholar at the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights, University of Utrecht. She has been Marsha Lilien Gladstein Distinguished Visiting Professor of Human Rights at the University of Connecticut (2001); James Farmer Visiting Professor of Human Rights at University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia (2003); and Torgny Segerstedt Visiting Professor of Human Rights, University of Goteborg, Sweden (2005). She has conducted human rights training sessions for the Canadian Human Rights Foundation and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute in Sweden.