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Emilie M. Hafner-Burton

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of International Justice and Human Rights;
Director, Laboratory on International Law and Regulation;
Joint Professor, Department of Political Science


Fax: 858-822-3550

9500 Gilman Dr., 0519
La Jolla, CA 92093

Office: #1403

Personal Website


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin—Madison, 2003 (political science) 
M.A., Oxford University, department of politics, 2003 (honorary)
M.A., University of Wisconsin—Madison, 1999 (political science)
B.A., Seattle University, 1995 (political science and philosophy,
summa cum laude)



Emilie Hafner-Burton is a professor at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies and director of the School’s new Laboratory on International Law and Regulation.  Looking across a wide array of issues from environment and energy to human rights, trade and security, the Laboratory explores when (and why) international laws actually work.

Most recently, Hafner-Burton served as professor of politics and public policy at Princeton University, where she held joint appointments in the Department of Politics and the Woodrow Wilson School for International and Public Affairs. She also served as research scholar at Stanford Law School and fellow of Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC). Previously, she was postdoctoral prize research fellow at Nuffield College at Oxford University, recipient of MacArthur fellowships at Stanford’s CISAC and affiliate at the Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University.

Hafner-Burton’s research at Princeton, Oxford and Stanford examined ways to improve compliance with international law, protections for human rights, and a wide variety of other topics related to law, economics and regulation. Her research also examined applications of social network analysis to international relations, economic sanctions, and gender mainstreaming in international organizations. She has published widely on these and other subjects.

For more information, please visit Hafner-Burton's personal site.

Recent Publications

Shirk, Changing Media, Changing China

    Making Human Rights a Reality

    Princeton University Press, 2013.

In the last six decades, one of the most striking developments in international law is the emergence of a massive body of legal norms and procedures aimed at protecting human rights. In many countries, though, there is little relationship between international law and the actual protection of human rights on the ground. Making Human Rights a Reality takes a fresh look at why it's been so hard for international law to have much impact in parts of the world where human rights are most at risk.