UCL Institute of the Americas


Par Engstrom

Dr Par Engstrom
Dr Par Engstrom

Associate Professor in Human Rights

Departmental Teaching Committee Chair

Postgraduate Board of Examiners Chair

MSc International Relations of the AmericasProgramme Director


Par Engstrom (BA UCL, MSc London, DPhil Oxford) is Senior Lecturer in Human Rights at the Institute of the Americas, University College London. During 2017/18 he is a faculty member at the Paris School of International Affairs, at Sciences-Po. Dr Engstrom has also been a Visiting Professor at University of São Paulo, Brazil. Dr Engstrom holds a DPhil in International Relations from Oxford University, he studied Latin American politics and development (MSc) at the Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London; and Philosophy and Economics (BA) at University College London. He is the academic coordinator of an International Network on the Inter-American Human Rights System funded by the Leverhulme Trust (2014-16), and the co-chair of the London Transitional Justice Network. He has previously held academic positions at the Human Rights Consortium (University of London), Oxford Brookes University, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Warwick University, and at various Oxford colleges. He has worked with a range of human rights organisations and as a consultant for the Association for the Prevention of Torture and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Prior to entering academia, Dr Engstrom worked at the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva.

Research Summary

Dr Engstrom has broad research interests in international relations, comparative politics and human rights, with a geographical focus on Latin America. He has expertise in the Inter-American Human Rights System, transitional justice, civil society mobilisation, strategic litigation, and torture prevention. Further research interests include the relationship between human rights and democracy; judicialization of politics; the international relations of the Americas; human rights foreign policy; theories of international relations, particularly relating to international law and institutions; and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of human rights. To date, his country-specific research has focused primarily on Argentina, Brazil and Chile. In addition, he is currently involved in human rights research related to Colombia and Mexico.

Teaching Summary

Post Graduate Taught:

AMER0014 The Politics of Human Rights in Latin America: Challenges to Democratisation

AMER0018 The International Politics of Latin America

AMER0015 The Politics of Human Rights in Latin America: Transitional Justice (Not running in 2019/20)

Research Supervision:

Dr Engstrom is happy to supervise students in any area of his research expertise. Any prospective student is welcome to email him with a short research proposal and a CV.

Current PhD research project supervision:

    Natalie Sedacca (UCL Laws), "Domestic workers' rights as human and labour rights" (indicative title), 2017-ongoing (subsidiary supervisor)

    Ivan Lobo (UCL Institute of the Americas), "Agency in Collective Action: The Role of Community Leadership on Entrepreneurial Management of Natural Resources in the Colombian Pacific Region" (indicative title), 2015-ongoing (subsidiary supervisor)

    Jaskiran Chohan (UCL Institute of the Americas), "Compliance and Resistance to the Global Corporate Food Regime in Colombia: ZRCs and Prospects of Food Sovereignty" (indicative title), 2015-ongoing (subsidiary supervisor)

    Mario Hidalgo (UCL Institute of the Americas), "Citizen Participation and Control of Corruption" (indicative title), 2015-ongoing (primary supervisor). Funded by Secretaria Nacional de Educación Superior, Ciencia y Tecnología e Innovación (SENESCYT), Ecuador

    Juan Sebastian Smart (UCL Institute of the Americas), "Social Movement Responses to Extractivism" (indicative title), 2014-ongoing (primary supervisor). Funded by Becas Chile, Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT), Chile

    Daniel Willis (UCL Institute of the Americas), "The Testimony of Space: Sites of Violence and Memory in Peru's Internal Armed Conflict" (indicative title), 2014-ongoing (subsidiary supervisor). Funded by London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP) AHRC doctoral training programme

    Maria de Vecchi, "Enforced Disapperances in Mexico: Governments' and Relatives' Discources on the Disappeared" (indicative title), 2013-ongoing (subsidiary supervisor). Funded by Consejo Nacional de Ciencia Tecnología (CONACYT), Mexico

      Completed PhD students:

        Robbie Macrory, "A Debt to Democracy? Media Regulation and Reform in Argentina and the Southern Cone", 2012-2015 (subsidiary supervisor)

        Verena Brähler, "Inequality of Security: Exploring Violent Pluralism and Territory in Six Neighbourhoods in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil", 2012-2014, completed (primary supervisor)

        Alejandra Serpente, "Diasporic Argentinean and Chilean identities in Britain: The traces of dictatorship in second-generation postmemory", 2012-2014, completed (subsidiary supervisor)