The emphasis of Stephen Marks's work is on public health and human rights, drawing on the disciplines of international law, international politics, international organizations, and international economics.
Professor Marks's recent research has focused on the right to health, global health governance, integrating human rights into sustainable human development; mental health; poverty; tobacco control; and the right to development. He has published recent books, articles or book chapters in each of these areas. His earlier work has dealt with biotechnology and human rights; impunity for mass atrocities; terrorism and human rights; cultural rights; access to medicines, and human rights education. . He directs the Program on Human Rights in Development (PHRD).
He recently co-edited a book on Advancing the Human Right to Health (Oxford University Press, 2013). His book Health and Human Rights: Basic International Documents, is now in its third edition. Professor Marks is collaborating with Prof. Balakrishnan Rajagopal of MIT on a book of Critical Issues on Human Rights and Development for publication in 2020 by Edward Elgard Publishing. He was also consultant editor of Realizing the Right to Development: Essays in Commemoration of 25 Years of the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development, published by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2013. He is Co-Chair, Human Rights Thematic Group, Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA) (2013-present) and served on the Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) form 2010 to 2017. In 2019 the Council of the AAAS elected him as an honorary fellow.
He teaches courses at HSPH and in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.