Rachel Dickson Hillyard



Before undertaking PhD studies, I completed a BA in International Studies and Modern History and a LLM in Criminal Justice and Human Rights. My current research brings together these interests.

I am an active member of the University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES), serving on their student committee for a two year term.

Recently I have presented at the Critical Legal Conference in Kent and the Global Symposium for Critical Studies in Lucca. My teaching experience includes contemporary European politics; politics, media and conflict; and legal theory. I also work in the development of academic skills in the university with both undergraduate and postgraduate taught students.


My research is an inter-disciplinary law and politics project; particularly the relational reality of both disciplines. I use the ‘toolbox’ provided by Michel Foucault to critique the European Union’s response to the migrant crisis. I problematize concepts of solidarity for the rights-based approach advanced by the Union for both the migrant seeking entry and the Union as an international rights actor.

I explore the alternative position that the EU is addressing migration through a language of rights in order to ameliorate the symptoms of a wider condition of solidarity. The legal and policy frameworks are interrogated to show how the strategies and mechanisms deployed constitute tactics of governmentality. The project therefore contributes to widening scholarship on how the EU incorporates the ‘conduct of conduct’ in its activities.

Within this, I am also interested in the idea of the EU’s Area of Freedom, Security and Justice as a home; not only the privileges, but also the exclusions, upon which it operates. I explore how a particular migrant subject is produced in relation to this home and how tactics developed to protect the migrant’s rights can be read as restrictive and exclusionary.