Hannah E. Britton

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Political Science, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Associate Professor
Primary office:
Blake Hall
Room 504E
1541 Lilac Lane
Lawrence, KS 66045


Hannah Britton is an associate professor in the departments of political science and women, gender, and sexuality studies. Britton's scholarship focuses on women and politics, gender and African politics, the prevention of gender-based violence, and human trafficking. Britton is also the Director of the Center for the Study of Injustice at the Institute of Policy & Social Research at the University of Kansas. In this role, she coordinates KU's Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Initiative (ASHTI), which is a working group of faculty and students engaged in teaching and research about slavery, labor exploitation, and commercial sexual exploitation. She is the lead researcher on a project in the Midwest examining the factors that may leave someone vulnerable to exploitation. Hannah also coordinates a working group of faculty and graduate students using qualitative research methods in their teaching and scholarship.

Teaching Interests

  • Comparative Politics
  • African Politics
  • Gender and Politics
  • Human Trafficking
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Feminist Theory


For the past twenty years, my research has focused on the intersection of gender, sexuality, nationality, and ethnicity as factors affecting social status, political power, and violence prevention. Much of my early scholarship focused on improving the socio-economic and political position of women in post-conflict settings, in particular in southern Africa. More recently, my work examines how individuals and communities address the risk, protective, and resiliency factors affecting (1) human trafficking, including sex and labor exploitation and (2) intimate-partner violence and gender-based violence. My twenty years of field-based research in South Africa and Namibia and my more recent work in the Midwest U.S. provide a wealth of experience in designing community-based research projects. My primary research methodology has been field-based research in both rural and urban settings, and I have employed a range of qualitative research methods including interview research, focus group research, participant observation, document analysis, and content analysis. Through this field-based research, I have extensive knowledge of reaching hidden populations, of working in urban and rural areas, of establishing networks of community partners, and of designing researcher and participant safety measures.

Research Interests

  • Comparative Politics
  • Gender and Politics
  • African Politics
  • Human Trafficking


Hannah Britton is the Director of the Center for the Study of Injustice and the Director of the Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Initiative at KU.

Selected Publications

Schwarz, C. Kennedy, E. & Britton, H. (2017). 'Sliding Backwards': Structural Injustice, Sex Work, and Human Trafficking. Feminist Formations, 29(2), 1-25.

Schwarz, C. Unruh, E. Cronin, K. Evans-Simpson, S. Britton, H. & Ramaswamy, M. (2016). Human Trafficking Identification and Service Provision in the Medical and Social Service Sectors. Health and Human Rights, 18(1), 181-191. https://www.hhrjournal.org/2016/04/human-trafficking-identification-and-service-provision-in-the-medical-and-social-service-sectors/ https://www.hhrjournal.org/2016/04/human-trafficking-identification-and-service-provision-in-the-medical-and-social-service-sectors/

Schwarz, C. & Britton, H. E. (2014). "Queering the Support for Trafficked Persons: LGBTQ Communities and Human Trafficking in the Heartland.". Social Inclusion, 3(1), 63-75.. http://www.cogitatiopress.com/ojs/index.php/socialinclusion/article/view/172

Britton, H. E., & Dean, L. (2014). Policy Responses to Human Trafficking in Southern Africa: Domesticating International Norms. Human Rights Review, 15(3), 305-328.

Britton, H. E., & Shook, L. (2014). 'I Need to Hurt Your More': Namibia's Fight to End Gender-Based Violence. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 40(1), 153-175. http://hdl.handle.net/1808/19152

Britton, H. E., & Price, T. (2013). 'If Good Food Is Cooked in One Country, We Will All Eat From It': Women and Civil Society in Africa. In . (Ed.), The Handbook of Civil Society in Africa.

Britton, H. E., & Fish, J. N. (2009). Engendering Civil Society Society in the Democratic South Africa. In H. E. Britton, S. Meintjes, & J. N. Fish (Eds.), Women's Activism in South Africa: Working Across Divides. University of KwaZulu Natal Press.

Britton, H. (2009). Women's Activism in South Africa: Working Across Divides (H. E. Britton, S. Meintjes, & J. N. Fish, Eds.). University of KwaZulu Natal Press.

Britton, H. E. (2008). South Africa: Challenging Traditional Thinking on Electoral Systems. In M. Tremblay (Ed.), Women and Legislative Representation: Electoral Systems, Political Parties and Sex Quotas. Palgrave.

Britton, H. E. (2006). South Africa: Mainstreaming Gender in a New Democracy. In G. Bauer & H. E. Britton (Eds.), Women in African Parliaments. Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Britton, H. E. (2006). Trading Places: Juxtaposing South Africa and the United States. In R. Riley & N. Inayatullah (Eds.), Interrogating Imperialism: Conversations on Gender, Race and War. Palgrave.

Britton, H. E., & Bauer, G. (2006). Women in African Parliaments: A Continental Shift? In G. Bauer & H. E. Britton (Eds.), Women in African Parliaments. Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Britton, H. E. & Bauer, G. (Eds.). (2006). Women in African Parliaments (H. E. Britton & G. Bauer, Eds.). Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Britton, H. E. (2006). Organizing Against Gender Violence in South Africa. Journal of South African Studies, 32(1), 145-163.

Britton, H. E. (2005). Women in the South African Parliament: From Resistance to Governance, University of Illinois Press.

Britton, H. E. (2002). Coalition Building, Election Rules, and Party Politics: South African Women's Path to Parliament. Africa Today, 49(4), 32-67.

Britton, H. E. (2002). The Incomplete Revolution: South African Women's Continued Search for Liberation. International Feminist Journal of Politics, 4(1), 1-29.

Britton, H. E. (2001). New Struggles, New Strategies: Emerging Patterns of Women's Political Participation in the South African Parliament. International Politics, 38(2), 173-199.

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