Department of Political Science


Dr Tom Pegram

Tom Pegram

Dr Tom Pegram

Associate Professor in Global Governance and Deputy Director of the Global Governance Institute


Tom Pegram is an Associate Professor in Global Governance and Deputy Director of the Global Governance Institute (GGI). His research focuses on global/transnational governance, regulatory politics and international organizations, with a emphasis on human rights, international standards, and national human rights institutions (NHRIs).

Tom Pegram’s research has featured in the journals International Organization, the European Journal of International Relations, the American Journal of International Law, Governance, Global Policy, Human Rights Quarterly, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, among others. His article (with Prof. Katerina Linos, Berkeley Law), ‘What Works in Human Rights Institutions’, published in AJIL, won the International Studies Association’s Diplomatic Studies Section Article Award 2018.

He is the co-editor (with Prof. Ryan Goodman, NYU) of Human Rights, State Compliance, and Social Change: Assessing National Human Rights Institutions (Cambridge University Press, 2012). He is also co-editor (with Prof. David Coen, UCL) of Major Works Collection: Global Governance II (Routledge, 2018).

He is the author of various book chapters, policy intervention reports, and his articles have appeared in The Guardian, The Irish Times, The Washington Post (Monkey Cage) and The Conversation.

In addition to research, Tom Pegram also has extensive practical experience working with policy-makers and practitioners at the local and international level. He regularly convenes policy-research workshops in his capacity as GGI Deputy Director. Recently, he participated in a landmark international policy study on torture prevention. He has also appeared before parliamentary committees in the UK.

Prior to joining UCL, Tom Pegram he was Assistant Professor in Political Science (International Relations) at Trinity College Dublin and the Director of the Policy Institute.  Tom has held research fellowships at New York University and Harvard University Law Schools and holds a DPhil in Politics from Nuffield College, University of Oxford, where he remains an Associate Member. He has been a visiting scholar at the School of Political Science & International Studies, University of Queensland, Australia, as well as the Quality of Government Institute, Gothenburg University, Sweden.

Updates on global governance and human rights research (including working papers) can be found on his personal website.

Selected publications

For a full list of publications, see CV (June 2018).



Book Chapters

Works in Progress

  • Principled Agents? The Regulatory Politics of Human Rights Governance, monograph in preparation for submission
  • Par Engstrom and Tom Pegram, ‘The Problem of Agent Designation: Overcoming Principal Moral Hazard within the Torture Prevention Regime’, in preparation for submission
  • Shahar Hameiri and Tom Pegram, ‘Global Governance in an Age of Fragmentation: The Promise and Limitations of State Transformation’, in preparation for submission
  • Katerina Linos and Tom Pegram, ‘Who Guards the Guardians? Global Monitoring, Performance Assessment and Human Rights Policy Change’, in preparation for submission (funded by a British Academy Small Research Grant).

Selected policy interventions

Teaching and supervision

Tom teaches the core module Global Governance on the MSc in Global Governance and Ethics. He also co-teaches the module International Human Rights Standards and Institutions.

He welcomes applications to supervise PhD students in any area of his research expertise. Any prospective research student is welcome to email him with a short research proposal and a CV.

Current and recent doctoral supervisees include:

  • Domenico Zipoli (commenced March 2016) – Domenico is researching the important interactions of national human rights institutions with the United Nations treaty body system for advancing human rights promotion and protection in domestic jurisdictions. With Dr Malcolm Langford, University of Oslo.
  • Guillermo Jimenez (2013-2018) – Guillermo examined non-judicial institutions of administrative justice with particular interest in the Latin American democratization context. With Professor Jeff King, UCL Laws.