Dr Rachel Seoighe is a criminologist and socio-legal scholar with a particular interest in political agency and resistance, contemporary detention estates – including prisons and immigration detention centres - and Sri Lankan politics and Tamil rights. Dr Seoighe completed her PhD at King's College London in 2014. Her PhD was an analysis of Sri Lankan state crime and state discourse of counter-terrorism throughout the civil war, with a critique of transitional justice and memory studies in the authorship of a 'national story' for Sri Lanka's post-war nation-building project. On completion of her PhD, she spent three months in Delhi as a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for South Asian Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University and six months as a Research Fellow in the School of Law, University of Warwick where she worked on Dr Ana Aliverti's project 'Foreign nationals before the criminal courts: immigration status, deportability and punishment.'
Dr Seoighe holds an MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice (King's College London, Distinction) and a Bachelor of Civil Law (National University of Ireland, Galway).
Learning & Teaching Interests
Justice, Punishment and Human Rights (module leader)
Explaining Crime (module leader, with Dr Santiago Amietta)
Programme leader: BA Criminology (Criminal Justice)
Research Outputs & Interests
Dr Seoighe's work investigates themes of discourse, power and nationalistic performativity, nationalism, state terror and state-corporate collusion.
State Crime and crimes of the powerful; power, resistance and political agency; state and political violence; social movements, justice struggles, criminalisation and cultural repositories of resistance; postcolonial analysis; critical approaches to the criminal justice system, punishment and procedural justice; the criminology of mobility, including immigration detention and deportation; the Sri Lankan civil war and Tamil rights.
(2016) “Discourses of Victimisation in Sri Lanka’s Civil War: Collective Memory, Legitimacy and Agency.” Social and Legal Studies. DOI: 10.1177/0964663915614097.
(2016) “Nationalistic Authorship and Resistance in Northeastern Sri Lanka.” Society and Culture in South Asia, Vol. 2 (1) pp.1-30.
(2013) "Detainee Abuse at Abu Ghraib: Sadism or Scapegoating? The Institutional and Discursive Support for Torture in the War on Terror." Jindal Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 3 (1) pp. 42-84.
(2013) "The Responsibility to Record Casualties of Armed Conflict." Global Responsibility to Protect, Vol. 5 (1) pp. 28-55 (co-authored with Susan Breau).
(2012) "Identifying and Recording Every Casualty of Armed Conflict." International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies, Vol. 5 (3) pp. 357 – 386 (co-authored with Susan Breau).
(2017, under contract) Post-War Nation Building: Atrocity, ‘transition’ and the legacies of war in Sri Lanka. London: Palgrave MacMillan.
(2016, in press) “Inscribing the Land as Sinhala-Buddhist: Nationalistic Authorship in Sri Lanka’s Post-War Northeast.” Conflict, Security & Development.
(2016) "Lost in translation? Examining the role of court interpreters in cases involving foreign national defendants in England and Wales." New Criminal Law Review (Special Issue: Criminal Justice Adjudication in an Age of Migration, Aliverti, A. and Light, M., eds.).