Sheryl L. Shirley


Professor of Political Science; Coordinator, Political Science

B.A., California State Polytechnic University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin

Contact information

Rounds Hall 312
MSC # 39

About Professor Shirley

Sheryl L. Shirley is Professor of Political Science at Plymouth State University and has focused her research and teaching on human rights and social justice.  Dr. Shirley received her doctorate (1997) and master’s (1989) degrees from the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin.  She has published in the International Journal on World Peace,  the National Women’s Studies Association Journal and presented her research at international conferences of the International Studies Association (ISA) and the Latin American Studies Association (LASA).  Her current research focuses on human rights and international development, specifically on how lending by multilateral financial institutions impacts indigenous populations and women.  Dr. Shirley currently serves as Commissioner of the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights, New Hampshire’s fair employment practices agency.


  • 2009   “All that Glitters: Guatemalan Gold Processing and Dreams of Democratic Development” with Katherine Donahue.  Paper presented at the 28th Annual Congress of the Latin American Studies Association, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 11-14.
  • 2008 “Do “Good” Fences Make Good Neighbors?: A Comparative Study of the Israeli-Palestinian and U.S.-Mexican Militarized Borders” with Filiz Otucu.  Paper presented at the Annual Conference of NESTVAL, Plymouth, New Hampshire, November 1, 2008.
  • 2008  “Walls: Securing Nations or Violating Human Rights?” Paper delivered at the International Conference on Nationalism and Human Rights, Istanbul Bilgi University, Istanbul, Turkey, June 27-29.
  • 2008    “Outsourcing Counterinsurgency: Revisiting Cold War Counterinsurgency in Latin America.” Paper presented at the 49th Annual Conference of the International Studies Association, San Francisco, California, March 26-March 29.
  • 2006 “Counterterror Running Wild: Lessons from Cold War U.S. Foreign Policy toward Latin America.” Paper presented at the 37th Annual Conference of the International Studies Association- New England and Northeastern Political Science Association, Boston, MA., November 9-11.

Awards or recognition

  • 2007 and 2010 Appointments by Governor John H. Lynch to the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights
  • 1999 Recipient of the Theodora J. Kalikow Award

Courses Taught

  • Global Problems, Power, and Politics
  • American Foreign Policy
  • Women in World Politics
  • Latin American Politics