Isobel Barrett

Contact Details

Isobel Barrett

Personal Details

Isobel began her PhD at the School of Criminology in 2016, supervised by Dr Wendy Fitzgibbon and Dr Sam King. She previously received her MSc from the School in 2015. Her dissertation explored Portuguese colonial administration and policy in Mozambique during the New State era (1930-1974), focusing on the state’s antiracism discourse and its role in legitimising segregation and exploitation. In addition to graduating with Distinction, Isobel won the Best Student and Best Dissertation prizes.

PhD Research

Isobel’s PhD research stems from the themes explored in her Masters research and analyses them in a contemporary context. She is studying foreign nationals in Portugal, with an emphasis on those with ties to Portuguese-speaking African countries, and the relationship between (lack of) citizenship and social exclusion. Taking a historical materialist approach, this research views the sociolegal responses to migration post-decolonisation, namely increased barriers to citizenship acquisition, as structural features of an exclusive society which insulates itself from its former colonial subjects. De facto tiered citizenship upholds imperialist social order and perpetuates the exclusion of the subaltern in the globalised world.

Utilising qualitative methods, this research aims to elucidate the emancipatory discourses and discursive practices by which respondents navigate, and make sense of, an exclusive and unequal society. More theoretically, this project aims to highlight the criminological significance of state-perpetrated harm, as well as the need for postcolonial analysis in understanding the contemporary Global North nation state.

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Contact Details

The School of Criminology
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T: +44 (0)116 252 2458


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