Christopher N.J. Roberts
University of California, Los Angeles, B.A.
Professor Christopher N.J. Roberts joined the Law School faculty in the summer of 2011 as an associate professor. He brings an interdisciplinary law, sociology, and public policy perspective to human rights and international law. He is an affiliated faculty member of the Department of Sociology.
In 2010, he completed the joint doctoral program in public policy and sociology at the University of Michigan. He was a visiting scholar in the Center for the Study of Law and Society at the University of California Berkeley School of Law, Boalt Hall, in 2008-10.
Professor Roberts received the University of Michigan's ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award for his examination of the development of the modern international human rights concept from 1944-66. His current research focuses on the substantial and often-overlooked opposition against the formation of the International Bill of Human Rights. His work shows how those who opposed human rights and the creation of new categories of rights holders actually helped shape the very foundations of the modern international system of human rights. Because this opposition was absorbed into the framework of the emerging concept, he argues, for more than 60 years human rights have been encumbered by "internal contradictions" that continue to constrain implementation. Publication of this work is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press under the title The Contentious History of the International Bill of Human Rights.
His article, "Bitter Pills Old and New: The Dynamics of Health Care Reform," appears in the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law (Nov. 2012), and his book chapter that outlines a new sociological approach for the study of human rights appears in The Handbook of Sociology and Human Rights (2012). His article "Toward a New Sociology of Rights: A Genealogy of 'Buried Bodies' of Citizenship and Human Rights" appears in the Annual Review of Law and Social Science (with Margaret R. Somers, 2008).
Professor Roberts' research interests include human rights, citizenship, tort law, international law, legal history, legal and social theory, law and society, and the process of legal concept formation.
For further information on Professor Roberts, please see his curriculum vitae.