Rule of Law and Accountability

Handa Center Welcomes New Research Fellow Adam Kochanski

The Handa Center is excited to welcome a new research fellow, Adam Kochanski. Adam joined us after completing his PhD in Political Studies at the University of Ottawa in Canada, where he focused on transitional justice issues.

Below is a brief Q&A to get to know Adam and his research.

What did you do your PhD in? Please briefly describe your course of study.

I recently completed my PhD in Political Studies at the University of Ottawa in Canada under the supervision of Roland Paris. My dissertation investigated the role of domestic political interests and asymmetric power relations on local transitional justice processes in Cambodia and Mozambique. I carried out four months of fieldwork in each country, which was an exhilarating experience!

How does the work of the Handa Center relate to your work? Why did you choose to come here?

I’m tremendously fortunate to take up my SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at Stanford’s Handa Center, which offers an unrivalled environment for my postdoctoral studies both in terms of its distinguished community of scholars and practitioners and engagement in transitional justice issues in Southeast Asia. I’m delighted to join the Handa Center and look forward to my time here over the next two years.

What do you plan to accomplish during your time at Stanford?

During the first year of my fellowship, I plan to revise my dissertation into a book manuscript and submit an article that summarizes my doctoral research findings. In year two, I hope to design a course that I’ll teach here at Stanford as part of the Handa Center’s minor in Human Rights. I’ll also start work on my SSHRC-funded postdoctoral project, titled Justice Without Borders: Normative Change in the Age of Human Rights Accountability, where I’ll be exploring whether and how regional norms challenge global ideas about transitional justice in Cambodia and Indonesia.

What do you like to do when you are not researching and writing? Personal hobbies, interesting tidbits to share?

I’m rarely sitting still and spending as much of my time outside as possible! I’m an avid hiker, yogi, runner, and basketball player. Since I live in San Francisco and commute to Stanford, I’m driven to explore the city, hike Yosemite, watch Giants games, and maybe even try surfing! I also love to travel, which has most recently taken me to the Norwegian fjords and the top of Table Mountain in Cape Town.

If people are interested in meeting with you are you available? How can people contact you?

I’m eager to connect with faculty and graduate students working on international politics, human rights, and law. I’ll be working most of the time at the Handa Center, so feel free to say hello in person or by e-mail: akochanski [at]

We look forward to supporting Adam’s efforts to publish and teach during his time at Stanford.  Please welcome Adam to campus!