HOF094: Howard Adelman

Howard Adelman retired as Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at York University in 2003 where he had taught from 1966. He then became a visiting research scholar and professor at Princeton University for two years followed by a three year stretch as senior research fellow at the Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance at Grifith University in Brisbane, Australia. He has been a prolific writer, coauthor or editor of 29 scholarly books and almost 200 articles and book chapters, in addition to numerous other papers, addresses, and professional reports.

As a scholar, he is best known for his work in applied philosophy dealing with refugees, immigration policy and genocide. His major study co-authored with Astri Suhrke entitled Early Warning and Conflict Management: Joint Evaluation of Emergency Assistance to Rwanda (1996) was part of the 5-volume study International Response to Conflict and Genocide: Lessons from the Rwanda Experience. In 1999, he co-edited The Path of a Genocide: The Rwanda Crisis from Uganda to Zaire. Adelman served as an associate editor for the Macmillan three-volume Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity (2005). Three late book publications cover intervention, refugee return and displacement: Military Intervention and Non-Intervention in the Twenty-First Century: An Australian Perspective, with Charles Sampford. 2009. New York: Routledge; Rites of Return, with Elazar Barkan. 2009. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press; Protracted Displacement in Asia: No Place to Call Home. Aldershot, England; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2008.

However, Adelman is possibly best known for leading the movement for the private sponsorship of Indochinese refugees, Operation Lifeline, founded in 1979. He was the founder of The Refugee Studies Project that evolved into York’s Centre for Refugee Studies of which he was the director for 5 years. He was also editor of the academic journal, Refuge, for ten years. In December 2016, Adelman was named a Member of the Order of Canada for his activist work on behalf of and his scholarship on refugees.