Dr Hannah Dickinson

Doctoral researcher


The EU is the world’s largest caviar importer, and the illegal trade of caviar within the EU has been linked to organised criminal groups and corruption (external PDF).

Hannah’s research examines the dynamics of illegal caviar trade from a European perspective. The research uses a ‘Follow-the-Policy’ methodology. This method starts at centres of EU policy-making in Brussels and the Hague, and moves to downstream sites of policy implementation at nodes in the caviar production network in Romania and the UK. Thus examining how policies designed to curb illegal caviar trade are produced and implemented.

Hannah’s research takes a Geopolitical Ecology approach to explore the (geo)political impacts surrounding the regulation and enforcement against illegal caviar trade within the European Union. The research specifically explores how different EU institutions, EU member states and NGOs are involved in regulating the caviar industry. It also examines how concerns about security and organised crime influence the design and implementation of these regulatory mechanisms.

The research seeks to highlight the gaps in regulations, and determine the impacts of these gaps and grey areas. How have these gaps in regulations been exploited by both organised criminals and geopolitical actors? What are the reasons behind these exploitations? What have been the geopolitical-ecological impacts of the gaps and grey areas in regulations?

Hannah’s research ultimately seeks to bring nuances to the conversation around the intersections of caviar, crime and corruption; by drawing upon post-humanist and more-than-human approaches to conceptualise sturgeon and caviar as geopolitical subjects and actors who co-produce the Geopolitical-ecologies of caviar trade in the European Union.

Hannah started her PhD in the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield in September 2016 after being awarded a European Research Council (ERC) 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