Nicholas Bequelin

Research Scholar in Law and Senior Fellow
Nicholas Bequelin

Dr. Nicholas Bequelin is a Research Scholar in Law and Senior Fellow at Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center.

A prominent international human rights expert, Dr. Bequelin has spent most of his professional career in Asia, first completing his Ph.D. on contemporary state-building in Xinjiang, then working out of Hong Kong as a Senior Researcher for Human Rights Watch, and most recently as Amnesty International Asia-Pacific Regional Director, based in Southeast Asia.

In addition to his major human rights reports and advocacy across Asia, the United States and Europe, his publications have appeared in scholarly journals such as The China JournalThe China Quarterly, and The Journal of Asian Studies, and in many newspapers and magazines such as The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Policy. He is a frequent interviewee of major international media and has consulted for both governmental and non-governmental organizations on operating in authoritarian and low state-capacity settings.

As a Research Scholar in Law and Senior Fellow at Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center, Dr. Bequelin is focusing on two main areas. First, he is working on the new geopolitics of the international human rights system, with particular attention to China’s increasing weight in global affairs and how to respond to the challenge of the current shift from multi to plurilateralism. Second, as part of the Center’s initiative to improve trans-Atlantic cooperation on policies concerning China, he is conducting research and advocacy with policymakers on two core issues: China’s policies towards the Ukraine conflict and France’s role in EU foreign policymaking.

During a previous stint at the YLS China Center in 2015, Dr. Bequelin laid out the conceptual foundations for what became a grant-funded multi-year initiative on China’s human rights practices abroad, developed within Amnesty International. Dr. Bequelin holds a Ph.D. from the School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS), Paris, and is a graduate in Chinese from the School of Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO) and a former Honorary Research Fellow at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.