Hannah Dickinson

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PhD topic: The EU’s regulatory response to the illegal caviar trade

Supervisors: Prof. Rosaleen Duffy and Prof. Dan Brockington

Hannah has been awarded a European Research Council PhD Studentship at the University of Sheffield to conduct research on the EU’s approach to wildlife trafficking, as part of the Biodiversity and Security (BIOSEC) project.

Hannah’s PhD research seeks to interrogate the framing of wildlife trafficking as a transnational organized crime, by exploring what effects this framing has had on EU regulatory mechanisms specifically related to the EU’s approach to combating the illicit trade in caviar.

The characterisation of poaching and wildlife trafficking as a criminal issue rather than a conservation issue has resulted in the worrying emergence of regulatory strategies that are informed by security logics, and represent a so-called ‘securitization of criminal wildlife practices.

The EU is the world’s largest caviar importer, and the illegal trade in caviar in the EU has been repeatedly linked to organized criminal groups. Responding to this, Hannah’s research will ‘Follow-the-Thing’ – following sturgeon and caviar across the global production network, in order to explore how the framing of poaching and wildlife trafficking as an organized crime, results in EU bodies and institutions enrolling specific forms of ‘securitized’ responses to counter the illicit trade in caviar.

Hannah started her PhD in the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield in September 2016 after being awarded a European Research Council Studentship. She worked for the Faculty of Social Sciences for a year previously, having recently completed an MSc in Geopolitics and Security at Royal Holloway, University of London (2015), and a BA Geography at the University of Oxford (2014).

You can follow Hannah on Twitter: @HannahDCKNSN
For more information about the BIOSEC project: https://biosecproject.org/