Faculty Expert Profile

Hahrie Han

  • Director of Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute
  • Professor of political science


  • SNF Agora Institute
  • Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

Languages spoken

  • English

Hahrie Han is the inaugural director of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Agora Institute and a professor of Political Science. Han specializes in the study of civic and political participation, collective action, organizing, and social change. She particularly focuses on the role that social movements and civic associations play in generating participation and building power for social and political change.

Han recently authored an op-ed in the New York Times entitled, "When Does Activism Become Powerful?". She writes, "People's power depends not on what they have, but how they use what they have. To build power, outrage needs organization." She also recently authored an article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review in which she writes that "fixing democracy demands the building and aligning of people's motivations and authority to act." The article was part of the magazine's Realizing Democracy project funded by the Ford Foundation. The series seeks to make sure that any reforms of democracy address "underlying systemic roots of exclusion and inequality," according to the magazine.

Han and her co-authors have a book coming out this fall that examines how organizations turn people's activism into political power. The book is entitled, Prisms of the People: Organizing and Power in the 21st Century and will be published by University of Chicago Press in December 2020. Her most recent book, How Organizations Develop Activists, was published by Oxford University Press and examines the strategies used by the most effective civic associations in health and environmental politics. She also co-authored the book, "Groundbreakers: How Obama's 2.2 Million Volunteers Transformed Campaigning in America," which has become required reading for all field organizers in the 2020 Trump campaign.

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