Joel Oestreich, PhD

Director of International Area Studies; Associate Professor

Joel Oestreich

Office: 2024 MacAlister
Phone: 215.895.6794

Curriculum Vitae: Download PDF


  • BA, magna cum laude, History and Government, Cornell University, 1987
  • MPhil, International Relations, Oxford University, 1990
  • PhD, Political Science, Brown University, 2001


I am an associate professor of Political Science at Drexel University specializing in international relations. My primary areas of research include international organizations, international finance, development, and human rights. I have published two books: one on how U.N. agencies design and implement human rights policies, the other on the ability of international organizations to act independently on the international stage.  I have also published on the rights of indigenous peoples; the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child; and on the goals and impact of anti-globalization movements, among other topics.  Classes that I have taught include courses on international relations theory and practice, United States foreign policy, and ethical issues in international affairs.

My current research continues my interest in international organizations (IOs) and human rights. I have recently returned from a trip to India on a Fulbright fellowship, studying implementation of human rights based approaches to development.  An article on this is forthcoming from the journal Global Governance, and I am currently writing a book-length manuscript on human rights and development in India.

I am also the Director of the International Area Studies program at Drexel University.

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


  • "The United Nations and the Rights-Based Approach to Development in India" forthcoming in Global Governance.
  • "Teaching Ethics and International Affairs: A Colloquium," International Studies Perspectives 3 (February 2012).
  • International Organizations as Independent Actors: A Framework for Analysis. Editor. Routledge, 2012.
  • "International Organizations in International Relations Theory." The Ashgate Research Companion to Non-State Actors, Ashgate Press, 2011.
  • "UNICEF: A Human Rights Agency?" Encyclopedia of Human Rights, Oxford University Press, 2010.
  • "Introducing Feminist Thought Into the International Relations Classroom," International Studies Perspectives 3 (August 2007).
  • Power and Principle: Human Rights Programming in International Organizations. Georgetown University Press, 2007.
  • "The Human Rights Responsibilities of the World Bank: a Business Paradigm," Global Social Policy 4 (April 2004).
  • "What Can Businesses Do To Meet The Demands of Anti-Globalization Protestors?" Business and Society Review 107 (Summer 2002).
  • "Liberal Theory and Minority Group Rights,"Human Rights Quarterly 21 (February 1999).
  • "UNICEF and the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child," Global Governance 4 (April 1998).