Daria Davitti

Postdoctoral Fellow


My research focuses on the implementation of international law in complex contexts, such as situations of armed conflict, forced migration and humanitarian emergencies. My work examines the obligations and responsibility of states, international organisations, and private companies operating in such contexts. More generally, I am interested in the theoretical, political and practical dimensions of international law, its uses and conceptualisations.

The research project that I am currently carrying out here in Lund is called Liquid Borders and examines EU migration policies to interrogate how they contribute to the 'liquidity' of the EU border, for instance through externalisation, cooperation with third countries, privatisation and development aid. The project considers the implications of this border 'liquidity' in terms of responsibility for breaches of international law. The theoretical framework underpinning this project is set out in my article 'Biopolitical Borders and the State of Exception in the European Migration 'Crisis'', published in the European Journal of International Law, issue 29(4) of 2019, and is further developed in various forthcoming publications.

More generally, my research looks critically, and from a variety of perspectives, at recent EU measures adopted to implement the European Agenda on Migration and at national policies on refugee integration. I am interested in understanding what drives the on-going securitisation and privatisation of migration, and how EU policies affect access to international protection and, in turn, the health and wellbeing of people on the move. In collaboration with Dr La Chimia (University of Nottingham) I analyse the external dimension of the European Agenda on Migration, and focus in particular on the use of development aid as part of bilateral agreements with third countries to enhance cooperation on migration. This work analyses the legal and practical implications of these agreements from the perspective of both development aid and international protection. At the University of Nottingham, I am the Head of the Human Rights Law Centre's Forced Migration Unit, where current research examines EU migration policies, with a special focus on mechanisms for the offshore processing of asylum applications. The Forced Migration Unit has a strong network of NGOs, think-tanks and scholars. 

Based on my background as a human rights field officer with the United Nations (both the former Department of Peacekeeping Operations, DPKO, and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, OHCHR), my expertise relates to the protection of human rights in situations of armed conflict. My research in this area of law examines the intersection between international human rights law and international investment law in conflict situations. My monograph with Hart Publishing (2019) focuses on the protection of the right to water in the context of extractive sector investment in countries like Afghanistan. 

I currently supervise the following PhD students: 

Emma Allen, Keele University (UK) 'Climate Change and Disappearing Island States – Deterritorialisation, Sovereignty and Statehood in International Law' (with Dr Mario Prost, Keele). Emma's project is funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC);

Ruth Brittle , University of Nottingham (UK) 'The Best Interests of the Child in Refugee Asylum Determinations' (with Prof Ralph Sandland, Nottingham). Ruth's project is funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC);

Sara Palacios Arapiles, University of Nottingham (UK) 'The Erithrean National Service: Persecution amounting to Slavery?' (with Dr Annamaria La Chimia, Nottingham). Sara's project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC);

My former LLM supervisee Caterina Parodi was awarded the EMA Thesis Prize 2016/2017 to publish her thesis.



Recent research outputs

Daria Davitti, 2019 Dec 1, In : European Journal of International Law. 29, 4, p. 1173-1196

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Daria Davitti, 2019 May 1, (Accepted/In press) 1 ed. Oxford: Hart Publishing Ltd. (Human Rights Law in Perspective)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Daria Davitti, 2019, (Accepted/In press) Revolutions in International Law: The Legacies of 1917. Greenman, K., Orford, A., Saunders, A. & Tzouvala, N. (eds.). Cambridge University Press (CUP)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

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