• Susan Dicklitch
Professor of Government, Chair of Government



Office: HAR231



Dr. Dicklitch-Nelson is Professor of Government.  Her area of expertise is human rights,  specifically  LGBTI human rights and  Sub-Saharan Africa.  Dr. Dicklitch-Nelson has published widely on human rights and democracy in Cameroon and Uganda, including a book called The Elusive Promise of Non-governmental Organizations in Africa: Lessons from Uganda (Palgrave/McMillan).

Dr. Dicklitch-Nelson's  current research focuses on the Global Barometer of Gay Rights (GBGR) which she co- developed with  Berwood Yost, Director of the Center for Opinion Research at the Floyd Institute for Public Policy at Franklin & Marshall College. The GBGR tracks  29 indices of  rights protection or repression of sexual minorities in 188 countries. Countries are categorized on a five-point scale as   Persecutors, Intolerant, Resistant, Tolerant or Protecting, and given a grading score of A-F. A strong advocate of civic engagement, Dr. Dicklitch-Nelson  has served as an expert witness on human rights country conditions in Cameroon and Uganda in over 70 political asylum cases in Immigration Court in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. She teaches courses in  African politics, human rights and  asylum law. In Spring 2011,  the U.S. News & World Report listed her Human Rights-Human Wrongs class as one of 10 classes that impact the outside world. Dr. Dicklitch-Nelson has developed  high-impact experiential learning opportunities for students in Ghana, South Africa, Honduras, and Ecuador.





University of Toronto, 1995 

MASTER OF ARTS, Political Science

University of Toronto, 1990 

BACHELOR OF ARTS (Honors)  summa cum laude, Political Science and Geography

McMaster University, 1989


Human Rights

LGBTI rights

Political Asylum

Community-based Learning

Africa (Cameroon, Uganda, South Africa)



Dicklitch, Susan (1998) The Elusive Promise of NGOs in Africa: Lessons from Uganda (International Political Economy Series). New York: MacMillan and St. Martin's Press.

Referred Articles, Book Chapters in edited volumes:

Dicklitch, Susan and Amara M. Riley (2015) "Empowering Students to Make a Difference Now", Change Magazine of Higher Education (July/August).

Dicklitch, Susan, (2013) “Service-Learning: Blending Cognitive, Affective and Effective Learning: The Case of Human Rights-Human Wrongs”, in Ailson Rios Millett McCartney, Elizabeth A. Bennion, and  Dick Simpson (eds), From Service-Learning to Civic and Political Engagement (American Political Science Association)

Dicklitch, Susan, Kelly A. Reese and Alice Yoder (2012) "A Collaborative Community Approach to Refugee Health: The Exemplary Model of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania", The Journal of Lancaster General Hospital, (Winter), Vol. 7, No. 4, pp. 120-124. 

Dicklitch, Susan, Berwood Yost, and Bryan Dougan,  (2012) “Uganda and the Persecution of Homosexuals: Introducing the Barometer of Gay Rights (BGR)”, Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 34, No. 2, (May), pp. 448-471.

 Dicklitch, Susan (2011) “The Southern Cameroons and Minority Rights in Cameroon”, Journal of Contemporary African Studies (January 2011)

Dicklitch, Susan and Aditi Malik (2010) “Justice, Human Rights and Reconciliation in Post-Conflict Cambodia”, Human Rights Review, Volume 11, Issue 4, p.515

  Dicklitch, Susan (2009) “Uganda: From Idi Amin to Museveni”, in David P. Forsythe (ed), Encyclopedia of Human Rights, (New York: Oxford University Press)

Dicklitch, Susan (2009) “Idi Amin”, in David P. Forsythe (ed), Encyclopedia of Human Rights, (New York: Oxford University Press)

 Dicklitch, Susan and Rhoda Howard-Hassmann (2007) “Public Policy and Economic Rights in Ghana and Uganda”, in Shareen Hertel & Lanse Minkler, editors, Economic Rights: Conceptual, Measurement and Policy Issues, (Cambridge University Press)

Dicklitch, Susan (2006) “Why I left my Home and Native Land”, The Hamilton Spectator July 17 (op-ed article)

Dicklitch, Susan (2005) "Human Rights-Human Wrongs: Making Political Science Real Through Service-Learning", in Dan W. Butin (ed). Service-Learning in Higher Education (New York and London: Palgrave), pp. 127-138.

Dicklitch, Susan (2005) "Uganda", in Neal Tate (ed) Governments of the World (New York: MacMillan Reference USA).

 Dicklitch, Susan and Heather Rice (2004), “The Mennonite Central Committee and Faith-Based NGO Aid to Africa”, Development in Practice, Vol. 14, No. 5, August, pp. 660-672

Dicklitch, Susan (2004) “African Corruption is a Crime Against Humanity”, Christian Science Monitor, 9 August 2004.

Dicklitch, Susan (2004) Book review of The Origins of Indigenism: Human Rights and the Politics of Identity, Americas, Vol. 61, No. 1, pp. 146-148.

 Dicklitch, Susan and Doreen Lwanga  (2003) “The Politics of Being Non-Political: Human Rights Organizations and the Creation of a Positive Human Rights Culture in Uganda”, Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 2, pp. 482-509

 Dicklitch, Susan (2003) “Real Service = Real Learning: Making Political Science Relevant Through Service-Learning”, PS: Political Science and Politics, October 2003, pp. 773-776

Dicklitch, Susan (2003) “Two college students fight for Obi’s freedom”, Christian Science Monitor, 30 December 2003.

Dicklitch, Susan (2002) "A Basic Human Rights Approach to Democracy in Uganda”, Journal of Contemporary African Studies, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 203-222

Dicklitch, Susan (2002), “Failed Democratic Transition in Cameroon: A Human Rights Explanation”, Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 24, No. 1, (February), pp. 152-176

 Dicklitch, Susan (2002) “NGOs and Democratization in Transitional Societies: Lessons From Uganda”, in Daniel N. Nelson and Laura Neack (eds), Global Society in Transition: An International Politics Reader (New York & The Hague: Kluwer).]

Dicklitch, Susan (2001)  “NGOs and Democratization in Transitional Societies: Lessons From Uganda”, International Politics, Vol. 38, No. 1, (March 2001)

 Dicklitch, Susan (2001) "Action for Development: Promoting Women & A Rights Protective Society in Uganda", in Claude E. Welch, (ed). NGOs & Human Rights: Promise & Performance (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania), pp.182-203

Dicklitch, Susan (2001) Book review of Mahmood Mamdani (ed) Beyond Rights Talk and Culture Talk: Comparative Essays on the Politics of Rights and Culture, in Canadian Journal of African Studies, Vol. 35, Part 3, pp. 618-619.

 Dicklitch, Susan (2000) "The Incomplete Democratic Transition in Uganda", in Bensabat-Kleinberg, Remonda and Janine Clark (eds). Economic Liberalization, Democratization and Civil Society in the Developing World. (International Political Economy Series). New York:  MacMillan and St. Martin's Press.

 Dicklitch, Susan (2000) Book review of Senyo B-S Adjibolosoo, Economics and Development: Rethinking Development Theory and Policy: A Human Factor Critique, in African Studies Review, Vol. 43, No. 3, pp. 145.

 Dicklitch, Susan (1999) Book review of Alison Van Rooy (ed) Civil Society and the Aid Industry, in Canadian Journal of African Studies, vol. 33, Part 1, pp. 204.

Dicklitch, Susan (1998) "Indigenous NGOs and Political Participation in Uganda Under the NRM Regime: 1986-1994", in Holger Bernt Hansen and Michael Twaddle (eds). Developing Uganda. Ohio: James Currey Press.

 Dicklitch, Susan (1997), Book review of Kampala Women Getting By: Wellbeing in the time of AIDS by Sandra Wallman (London, James Currey), in The Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 35, No. 4, pp. 745-778.

Dicklitch, Susan (1997) Book review of Beckett, Young, Dilemmas of Democracy in Nigeria, in The International Journal of African Historical Studies, Vol. 30, No. 3, pp. 608-609.

Dicklitch, Susan (1995-96) "Uganda: A Microcosm of Crisis and Hope in Africa", Special Issue:  "Africa's Prospects", International Journal (Canadian Institute of International Affairs), LI, 1, Winter: 103-125

Dicklich, Susan (1993) “Violence Against Women: The Need for a Special Focus”, Arise Magazine, January-June, Kampala Uganda, pp. 10-11, 15.

Student Collaborations

Co-authored article with Bryan Dougan'11

Dicklitch, Susan, Berwood Yost, and Bryan Dougan,  (2012) “Uganda and the Persecution of Homosexuals: Introducing the Barometer of Gay Rights (BGR)”, Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 34, No.2, (May), pp. 448-471.

Co-authored article with Aditi Malik '09

" Justice, Human Rights and Reconciliation in Post-Conflict Cambodia”, Human Rights Review.

Co-authored article, based on Hackman Research with Heather Rice'03

“Faith-based NGOs and Foreign Aid to Africa: The Case of the MCC” with Heather Rice

Article based on Hackman Research with Christa Frank'01 

Human Rights NGOs and the Creation of a Rights-Protective Society in Cameroon with Christa Frank

Course Information


IST:425: Human Rights/Human Wrongs/IST426: Political Asylum Practicum

This course is structured as a senior seminar, community-based learning course.  It focuses on human rights and human wrongs in general, emphasizing political asylum in the United States.  The major component of the course, aside from the weekly seminar readings and discussions, centers on the political asylum project.  Students work on a political asylum case in the context of a community partnership.  Students work in teams of two and compile evidence, testimony, and detainee affidavits that are used in an immigration court of law for the political asylum detainee's case.  Students have direct hands-on experience working with asylum seekers currently incarcerated in the York Country Prison Department of Homeland Security detention facility.  Students present and evaluate individual cases in a mock trial.  Permission of the instructor required.

GOV472: Citizenship

This community-based learning seminar undertakes a broad and interdisciplinary examination of the concept and practice of citizenship.  We begin by exploring the historical development of citizenship in the United States. What does it mean to be a "good citizen", a 2nd class citizen? What rights, responsibilities and obligations do citizens have? Does this vary according to nation? What happens when you lose your citizenship or are born stateless?

We conclude the course by examining the philosophic bases of civil rights and civic obligations in our liberal democracy and explore some current issues surrounding citizenship in both a national and global context.  Students will work with resettled refugees in Lancaster County. The community-based learning component of this class will introduce students to the challenges of losing citizenship in another country and being resettled here in the United States.

GOV328: Evil vs. Good: The Struggle for Human Rights

Humans have been killing humans since the beginning of time.  Why is this?  Are humans inherently evil, overwhelmed by the sin of nature?  Are humans driven to commit human rights abuses for power, money, love or revenge?  How can we explain the atrocities that continue to be committed by humans against humans?  Can there ever be a world free of human rights abuses or are humans destined to destroy humankind?  Edmund Burke once said, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing."  This class will be devoted to understanding: What are human rights, Why do human rights abuses occur, and What can be done to curb future human rights abuses?

GOV326: African Politics

Sub-Saharan Africa has undergone profound economic, social and political change in the last four decades.  In the 1990s, new hope was placed in the adoption of multiparty democracy in many African countries.  This course analyzes the social, political and economic evolution of "development" and "democracy" in Africa.

GOV223: Comparative Politics of Developing Areas

This course probes the scope and nature of social and political change in the so-called "Third World"; debates on human rights and development trade-offs, prospects for revolutionary change, and what democracy means for non-western societies.

IST325: Human Rights in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Since the dismantling of apartheid in 1994, South Africa has witnessed a profound transformation. But many things have also remained the same and continue to plague the majority of the South Africa population. This course is a 5-week, intensive one-course credit, community-based learning seminar. Students will spend two weeks at Franklin & Marshall College and then five weeks in South Africa, working alongside our community partners in Khayelitsha, South Africa: Amandla EduFootball, at the Chris Campbell Memorial Facility (CCMF)

This course broadly examines the key human rights issues in post-apartheid South Africa, while focusing on one segment of South African society: the youth. Specifically, we will examine youth and violence (gender & violence, LGBTI issues), youth and public health issues (sexual health, puberty, addiction, gangs, HIV/AIDS) and youth and sport (soccer, cricket, rugby and how sport divides and unites South Africans) in its relationship to the prospects for the securement of a human rights protective regime and a human rights respective society in South Africa.