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Chloë M Gilgan

Dr, Mrs

Former affiliations
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Law
  • PhD, Law
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Personal profile

Research interests


  • Conflicts and transition
  • Human Rights
  • International Law
  • Migrants and Refugee Law
  • Public and Constitutional Law
  • Critical race and gender and decolonial/global analyses of any of the above

I am not currently undertaking any PhD supervision since I am on research leave.

My research and expertise are in public international law, particularly in the areas of international human rights, international refugee law, use of force law, international humanitarian law and international criminal law.  My research is interdisciplinary as it often adopts an international relations and foreign policy framework for understanding issues around the practice of global laws and norms.  Additionally, I have research expertise in US/UK comparative constitutional law, with a special interest in free speech.

My PhD thesis examined the UK responses to Syrians fleeing mass atrocities during the current humanitarian crisis and how responsibility has been discussed and defined.  The research aimed to understand how the UK’s commitment to protecting the human rights of people who are forcibly displaced is defined by the relevant government agencies and how those views compare to those of civil society and humanitarian organisations that advocate and practice in the field.  The PhD research sought to uncover and understand the gaps between the theory and the practice of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) norm, particularly how it interacts with refugee protection, thus contributing to the on-going debate on how to implement policies designed to prevent and respond to mass atrocities in practice.  Empirically, the research involved analysis of official UK government discourse on Syria and Syrian refugees followed by field research involving elite interviews and several informal off-the record conversations within the relevant agencies and organisations tasked with responding to the current humanitarian crisis in Syria.

Through my ongoing association with the European Centre for R2P and through connections with NGO partners, my PhD research has been presented at various government offices, published as Written Evidence by the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, and will soon be translated into policy briefs for government and NGOs during the post-doctoral fellowship.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Localising the Responsibility to Protect? The UK and Syrian Refugees, Law

30 Sept 201427 Sept 2018

Award Date: 5 Apr 2019

JD in Law, New York Law School

1 Sept 200518 May 2008

Award Date: 18 May 2008