Dr. Darren J. O’Byrne is Reader in Sociology and Human Rights and Director of the Crucible Centre for Human Rights Research at the University of Roehampton in London. He is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading scholars in the fields of globalization theory and the sociology of human rights. His publications have, for the most part, been in these two areas. In respect of the former, his 2003 monograph The Dimensions of Global Citizenship developed a distinctive critical-theoretic approach to globalization, drawing on the work of Habermas. He developed this further in his important article ‘Toward a Critical Theory of Globalization’ in 2005. In 2011, he co-wrote Theorizing Global Studies, a major survey and mapping of the main theoretical models of contemporary global change. He has also made contributions to the debate over cosmopolitanism and the idea of ‘global civil society’.
In respect of the latter, his 2002 text Human Rights: An Introduction was championed as the first inter-disciplinary text-book in the field of human rights. His 2012 article "On the Sociology of Human Rights" in the journal, Sociology, is now regarded as one of the central articles in this emerging area of sociological research, making as it does the claim that human rights exists as a language-structure within which actors make sense of, and claims against, their worlds. In 2015 he brought these two strands of research together in his definitive work, "Human Rights in a Globalizing World," which interrogates the multiple possibilities for the future of human rights within the competing projects of global transformation.
Darren is also a renowned teacher of sociological theory and wrote a popular student-focused text, Introducing Sociological Theory, in 2011. Another of his current interests is the growth of managerialism and consumerism in the higher education sector in the UK, which he has discussed from the perspective of critical theory is various co-authored articles. Another recent publication has addressed the issue of ecocide from a social constructionist perspective.
Darren was the founding Chairperson of the Global Studies Association in the UK and continues to take an active role in that organisation and its associated conferences and networks.