Brian Hanson Director of Programs, Research and Strategic Planning, Buffett Institute for Global Studies

Research Interest(s):  International Development, Community-based Approaches to Global Development, Development Program Evaluation, International Political Economy, Globalization, Long-term Change in Global Politics, Interest Formation

Program Area(s):  Comparative Politics; International Relations

Brian Hanson specializes in international relations and international political economy.  Hanson’s current teaching and academic program development focuses on community-based approaches to global development, evaluating development projects, integrating learning and experience in global education, and the long-term change in global politics. 

Hanson is the Director of Programs, Research and Strategic Planning at the Buffett Center of International and Comparative Studies and the director of the Global Engagement Studies Institute, an innovative experiential study abroad program in which students work on development projects in partnership with community based organizations.

Hanson also serves on the board and in leadership positions for a number of organizations addressing global politics and development, including:

  • Board Chair, GlobeMed, an international global health organization founded at Northwestern and now on 55 campuses across the country. Globemed seeks to build students into leaders for global health
  • Board Member, The Foundation for Sustainable Development, which works with grassroots development organizations to address issues of health, education, gender equity, appropriate technology, environmental sustainability and poverty alleviation
  • Vice Chair, Stanley Foundation, which promotes multilateral approaches to international peace and security challenge
  • Board Member, Holthues Trust, which supports international development and human rights work around the world
  • Member, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs program committee

Before entering academia, Hanson served as the Foreign Policy Advisor to U.S. Senator Alan Dixon of IL and in the Washington DC government affairs office of John Deere.  Hanson received his BA from Grinnell College in Iowa and did his doctoral studies in political science at MIT.

Select Publications

  • “What Happened to Fortress Europe? External Trade Policy Liberalization in the European Union,” International Organization, Vol. 52, Number 1, Winter 1998. Reprinted in Benjamin J. Cohen and Charles Lipson (eds.) Issues and Agents in International Political Economy (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999).

Courses taught

  • POL_SCI 340: International Political Economy
  • POL_SCI 370: The Fate of the State in a Globalizing World
  • INTL_ST 393: Development in the Global Context: Participation, Power and Social Change
  • INTL_ST 290: Introduction to International Development: Issues and Practices