Cher Weixia Chen

Cher Weixia Chen

Cher Weixia Chen

Associate Professor

International Studies, Legal Studies, and Social Justice and Human Rights

Dr. Cher Weixia Chen is an Associate Professor in the School of Integrative Studies, the founder of the Human Rights and Global Justice Initiative, a Senior Scholar of the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being, and a faculty fellow of the Institute for a Sustainable Earth, George Mason University. Dr. Chen co-created the undergraduate Social Justice and Human Rights concentration , Social Justice and Human Rights minor, and MAIS Social Justice and Human Rights concentration. She coordinates and teaches courses in the International Studies, Legal Studies, and Social Justice and Human Rights concentrations.

Dr. Chen’s scholarship focuses on the issues of human rights (particularly the rights of marginalized groups such as women’s rights and indigenous rights) and international and comparative legal studies.

Dr. Chen is the recipient of the 2021 Oscar Mentoring Excellence Award.

Current Research

  • Book manuscript (with Alison Dundes Renteln): International Human Rights: A Survey (provisional title, under contract with Cambridge University Press).
  • Book manuscript: sexual harassment in the workplace
  • Project: the well-being of social justice and human rights (SJHR) activists

Selected Publications


Chen, Cher Weixia. Compliance and Compromise: The Jurisprudence of Gender Pay Equity. Brill/Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2011. Reviewed by Jennifer Woodward, in Law and Politics Book Review, available at

Articles and Book Chapters

Gring-Pemble, Lisa and Cher Weixia Chen. “Patriarchy Prevails:  A Feminist Rhetorical Analysis of Equal Pay Discourses”. Women and Language 41, no. 2 (2018): 79-103.

Chen, Cher Weixia. “Indigenous Rights in International Law.” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of International Studies. By Renée Marlin-Bennett. Oxford University Press, 2017.

Gorski, Paul and Cher Weixia Chen. “Frayed All Over:” The Causes and Consequences of Activist Burnout Among Social Justice Education Activists."Educational Studies 51, no. 5 (2015): 385-405, DOI:10.1080/00131946.2015.1075989.

Chen, Cher Weixia and Paul Gorski. “Burnout in Social Justice and Human Rights (SJHR) Activists: Symptoms, Causes, and Implications." Journal of Human Rights Practice 7, no. 3 (2015): 366-390. DOI:10.1093/jhuman/huv011.

Chen, Cher Weixia and Mike Gilmore. “Biocultural Rights: A New Paradigm to Protect the Rights of Indigenous Peoples." International Indigenous Policy Journal 6, no. 3 (2015):1-19. Retrieved from:

Chen, Cher Weixia. “遵守与妥协 :男女同工同酬的法理学 (The Jurisprudence of Gender Pay Equity)”(in Chinese/Mandarin, translated by Youyiwang & Huijie Zhang). In Social Law Review, edited by Yue Jiang, 256-264. China: Social Sciences Academic Press, 2014.

Chen, Cher Weixia. “Global v. Local: The Issue of Lethal Injection in China." In Global Bioethics and Human Rights: Contemporary Issues, edited by Wanda Teays and Alison Dundes Renteln. Rowan & Littlefield, 1st edition, 2014; 2nd edition, 2020.

Chen, Cher Weixia. “A Critique of ‘Lost of Face’ Arguments in Cultural Defense Cases: A Comparative Study." In Multicultural Jurisprudence: Comparative Perspectives on the Cultural Defense, edited by Marie-Claire Foblets and Alison Dundes Renteln, 247-260. Hart Publishing Co, 2009.

Grants and Fellowships

2021-2022   Chen, Cher Weixia. (PI, with Graziella Mccarron, Melody Porter & Steve Grande). “Understanding & Supporting the Well-Being of College-Level Social Justice and Human Rights Advocates/Activists in the State of Virginia.” 4-VA Collaborative Research Grant.

2021   Chen, Cher Weixia. Faculty Research Development Award. “Universalism v. Cultural Relativism: A Global Survey of the Norm on Prohibition against Sexual Harassment in the Workplace”. College of Humanities and Social Sciences. GMU.

2020   Chen, Cher Weixia (PI, with Graziella Mccarron & Xiaomei Cai). “The Well-being of Social Justice and Human Rights (SJHR) College Student Activists at the Washington Metropolitan Area”. Office of Undergraduate Education/ Office of the Provost Summer Team Impact Projects Grant, GMU 

2017   Chen, Cher Weixia. “The Well-Being of Social Justice and Human Rights (SJHR) Activists in China and South Africa: A Comparative Study”. Faculty Research and Development Awards, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, GMU 

2013-2015   Chen, Cher Weixia (co-PI, with Paul Gorski). “Sustaining Movements for Social Change: Bringing Well-Being Practices into Social Justice and Human Rights (SJHR) Advocacy Communities.” Center for Consciousness and Transformation, GMU 

Courses Taught

INTS 101: Narratives of Identity

INTS 102: Global Networks & Communities
INTS 300: Law and Justice
INTS 303: Introduction to International Studies
INTS 362: Social Justice and Human Rights

INTS 475/575, WMST 600: International Women's Rights, Law and Policy

INTS 540: Contemporary Issues in Social Justice and Human Rights


Ph.D. Politics and International Relations, University of Southern California
M.A. East Asian Studies, University of Southern California
LLM (Master of Laws). National University of Singapore
LLB (Bachelor of Laws). Beijing University, China

In the Media