Ms Siobhán Airey
LLM in International Human Rights Law (NUI Galway); M.Equality Studies (Uni. College, Dublin); B Comm. Studies (Dublin City Uni.)
Siobhán is currently completing her doctorate in law at the University of Ottawa under the supervision of Prof Penelope Simons. She has an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland, Galway; a Masters in Equality Studies from the School of Social Justice, University College Dublin and a Bachelors in Communications Studies from Dublin City University. She has worked in policy advocacy and research on social justice, equality and human rights in Ireland, Europe, Asia and Canada for several years.
Her doctoral research is supported by a Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Fellowship and she has been awarded a number of Canadian and international fellowships and awards to support her research, including the Nicole Sénecal Graduate Scholarship in International Law, the Juan Celaya Grant on Globalisation and Law from Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law, and the Beverley Jackson Fellowship from the Canadian Federation of University Women. She has been a visiting scholar at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy and the Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations, Brussels, Belgium.
Summary of research
Siobhán’s research focuses on the role of law and knowledge instruments in constituting the juridical nature of global governance instruments and, in particular, their effects on shaping the legal subjectivities of people and of states in different areas of governance.
Siobhán’s doctoral research analyses Official Development Assistance (ODA or official aid) as an instrument of global governance. She argues that the combination of the role for law in ODA-funded legal and regulatory change initiatives and the juridical nature of ODAs governance framework are key to understanding the governance role of ODA within the wider international legal and policy arena on development.
Drawing from an analysis of the governance of ODA in three sites (international (OECD); regional (EU and East Africa) and domestic (the United Republic of Tanzania)) and based on empirical research in Brussels and Tanzania, Siobhán argues that the absence of an international legal agreement on ODA does not preclude the existence of a recognisable and very influential governance framework on ODA.
This governance framework has a unique signature of legal and knowledge instruments (data, indexes, indicators etc.) that constitute a particular governance ‘weave’. This framework legitimises the development project pursued through ODA and operates as a conciliatory governance space at international, regional and domestic levels where an uneasy balance can be created between competing demands on states to respect, protect and fulfil rights contained in different international legal agreements (e.g. trade and human rights).
In order to properly analyse the law-knowledge nature of this governance framework, Siobhán develops a conceptual framework drawing from insights from Foucault, Carl Schmitt and Latour. Her research aims to help improve our understanding of the rapidly evolving domains, actors and instruments of global governance and their effects on the distribution of resources.
Post-doctoral research goals
In her post-doctoral research, Siobhán aims to build on this research by drawing from insights from feminist legal theory and critical geography, along with ideas on the body and performativity in order to further explore agency, resistance and rule in global governance. I am particularly keen to explore ideas on the region and approaches to regionalism captured in ODA.
Critical thinking on law and society; legal theory and philosophy; post-colonial perspectives; law, development and governance; building research communities.