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‘Reconciling Rights and Economics: Assessing the Claims for Integration’

The divide between human rights and economics has always been notorious. On the one hand, human rights are normative, moralistic and legalistic in nature. On the other hand, economics is a positive science, which contains little room for moral considerations and relies on organic processes. This divide is starkest in the fields of economic and human development, where financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are often at cross-purposes with rights organisations such as the UN Human Rights Council and Human Rights Watch. Because of this, various frameworks have been put forward with the aim of integrating the disciplines into a unified welfare framework. My thesis will examine the most significant of these – Amartya Sen’s ‘capabilities framework’ – in order to determine whether an integrated approach would benefit development efforts around the world, or whether they would be better served by maintaining the distance between the two concepts.


I came to Queen’s in 2011, gaining my LLB (First Class Honours) in 2014 and my LLM (Law and Governance, Distinction) a year later. I won a number of awards over the course of my studies, including the Stanley Maurice Austin Memorial Prize, Lord Lowry Prize, Sweet and Maxwell Prize, James MacQuitty Law Scholarship and DEL Strategic Priority Studentship. My main interest is the study of ‘human welfare’ and how the law functions to foster sustainable human development, which overlaps with areas such as Constitutional Law, Development Law, International Law and Legal Theory. I have held a number of roles within the School of Law, most recently as an undergraduate Teaching Assistant for Constitutional Law in Context and an A-Level Law Tutor with the Widening Participation Unit. I am also the Secretary of the Queen’s Political Review, and have pending and published works with the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, Royal Irish Academy and Oxford University Press.



Professor John Morison


Dr Graham Brownlow (Queen's Management School)