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School of Law

Ellen Allde


PhD Student




Thesis Title

Law in resistance: an intersectional critique of the humanitarianism and exceptionalism of camps

Summary of Research

This project critiques the intersectional dimensions of governance within refugee camps by situating women seeking asylum as the focal point for continued differentiation within a paradigm of permissible exceptionalism. The mobility projected onto refugees whilst they simultaneously experience immobility within borders, creates the perception of either an absence of law or reliance on humanitarian law.

This project will bring together the critical theory contributions of the ‘state of exception’ and ‘humanitarian border’ under a decolonial and intersectional theoretical framework. Further, this will consider the influence that gendered and colonial histories may have on refugee protection, notably through the language of vulnerability, authenticity and humanitarianism. In centring the agency and resistance of women seeking asylum, this multidisciplinary project will combine legal theoretical and doctrinal analysis with the empirical accounts of women living or having lived in refugee camps. Women’s engagement with law within this space remains largely unexplored.


Ellen completed her LLM in Human Rights Law at Queen Mary University of London, as well as a BA in Law and International Relations at SOAS, University of London. She is a member of Inner Temple, anticipating her Call to the Bar in March 2022.

Ellen has experience in research and providing legal assistance in areas of family law, EU law, housing, and immigration law. Her research interests relate to the study of mobility and rights, utilising intersectional and decolonial theories.

Ellen’s research is funded by the Queen Mary University of London Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholarship (Queen Mary-LTDS).

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