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Joel Oestreich

Joel E. Oestreich, PhD

Department of Politics
Department of Global Studies and Modern Languages
Phone: 215.895.6794


  • BA, History and Government, Cornell University
  • MPhil, International Relations, Oxford University
  • PhD, Political Science, Brown University

Curriculum Vitae:

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I am Professor of Politics and Global Studies at Drexel University, specializing in International Relations. My primary areas of research include international organizations, international finance, development and human rights. I have published three books: on how U.N. agencies design and implement human rights policies, on the conditions of independence for international organizations, and on the rights-based approach to development. I have also published on the rights of indigenous peoples, the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the meaning of “equity” among develop experts, among other topics. Classes that I have taught include courses on international relations theory and practice, human rights, international organizations, and ethical issues in international affairs.

My current research continues my interest in international organizations and human rights based approaches to development. My 2017 book from Oxford University Press examined the link between development and human rights in India. Current research focuses on how the Universal Periodic Review process can inform UN development policy, and how global power shifts are changing the UN Secretariat.

I have been a visiting Research Scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, and visiting Teaching Fellow at the University of Abomey-Calavi, in Benin. I am currently Chair of the International Organization Section of the International Studies Association (ISA). I founded and directed the “ISA at UNAI” program, which brings together ISA scholars with their counterparts at the UN for discussion of important issues. From 2007-2018 I was the Director of the International Area Studies/Global Studies major at Drexel.

When not teaching, reading or writing, I enjoy rowing on the Schuylkill River and am a member of the Vesper Boat Club.

Selected Publications:

    • “Headwinds and Tailwinds to the Rights-based Approach to Development,” forthcoming from The Journal of Human Rights
    • “The World Bank’s Equity Agenda After Ten (or so) Years” Global Governance 24, 2018.
    • “SDG 10: Reduce Inequality in and Among Countries.” Social Alternatives 37, 2018.
    • Human Rights and Development: Rhetoric and Reality in India. Oxford University Press, 2017. 
    • "International Organizations as Independent Actors: A Framework for Analysis." Editor. Routledge, 2012. 
    • "Power and Principle: Human Rights Programming in International Organizations". Georgetown University Press, 2007.