Staff Biography

Dr Darren O’Byrne is a Reader in Sociology and Human Rights at Roehampton Univeristy. He is the author of a ground-breaking core text on human rights from a social science perspective, and more recently co-author of a major new contribution to the theorisation of global transformations. He has also written on aspects of globalization, especially global citizenship, and was Founding Chair of the Global Studies Association (GSA) from 2000 until 2005. His other major interest is sociological theory (on which he has recently published a textbook), with a particular focus on Critical Theory, especially the work of Jurgen Habermas. He is former co-convener of the Theory Study Group of the British Sociological Association, and teaches the compulsory HE2 theory module for Sociology students.

As a human rights specialist Darren played a crucial role in the establishment of Crucible, the centre of excellence in human rights education. He has been a speaker on behalf of Amnesty International for many years and brings his knowledge of human rights to both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, including the prestigious MA Erasmus Mundus in Human Rights Practice, and Roehampton’s own distinctive suite of MA programmes which includes the MA in Human Rights and International Relations and the MA in Human Rights and Society. He has presented research papers, including invited keynotes, at conferences around the world.


BA, HTC (Soc), PhD

Research Interests

Having recently developed a distinctive new framework for interpreting the dynamics of global change in the co-authored text Theorising Global Studies (with A. Hensby) Darren is currently adapting this model to specific areas, including business and human rights. He is also working on issues of standardisation, quality assurance, intellectual integrity and the importance of human rights understanding in higher education.

  • Human Rights
  • Globalization
  • Social Theory
  • Citizenship and the State


Membership of professional bodies

Co-Convener, British Sociological Association Theory Group (2004 – 2007)
Chair, Global Studies Association (2000-2005)


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