Kent Law School

Critical perspectives research led teaching



Emilie Cloatre is a socio-legal scholar whose main research interests lie in the intersection between law and contemporary 'science and society' issues, including pharmaceutical flows, access to health, and the politics of climate change regulation. Her approach to law is influenced by insights from Science and Technology Studies, and in particular by Actor-Network Theory. Her publications include Pills for the Poorest: an Exploration of TRIPS and access to Medicines in sub-Saharan African (Palgrave McMillan, 2013 - awarded the 2014 Hart Socio-Legal Book prize) and Knowledge, Technology and Law (Routledge, 2014, with Martyn Pickersgill).

She is currently Principal Investigator for 5-year Wellcome Trust project (Investigator Award, 2017-2022) entitled “Law, knowledges and the making of ‘modern’ healthcare: regulating traditional and alternative medicines in contemporary contexts”. This project aims to explore the regulation of traditional and alternative medicines in Europe and Africa, interrogating both the historical and socio-cultural context of current regulatory systems, and their effects on local practices. It will do so through a socio-legal exploration of the regulation of traditional and alternative medicines in two regions where policy conversations have been particularly intense, and current regulatory systems remarkably varied (Europe and Africa). It will focus on six case studies, in three sub-regions that offer an overview both of the diversity of contexts in which those questions arise, and of the diversity in regulatory responses that states have adopted: France and England; Ghana and Senegal and Mauritius and La Reunion. For more information on the project, please see the project website

Before joining Kent in 2010, she was a lecturer at the School of Law, University of Nottingham, and ESRC postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Science and Society, University of Nottingham. She has held visiting positions at the Centre for the Study of Law and Society, University of California at Berkeley; the Genomics Forum, University of Edinburgh; the School of Law, University of Singapore; and the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration. She is principal investigator for the AHRC Network Technoscience, Law and Society: Interrogating the Nexus.

For more information on her work on access to medication, please see here. Please see here for reviews of Pills for the Poorest in the Journal of Law and Society, in Social and Legal Studies and New Genetics and Society. See here for a short interview on the book in New Books in Medicine.

Research interests: Law, Science and Technology; Environmental Law; Governance and Regulation; Law, Political Economy and Development; Legal Methods and Epistemology; Legal Theories and Philosophy

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Cloatre, E. (2013). Pills for the Poorest: an Exploration of TRIPS and Access to Medication in sub-Saharan Africa. [Online]. Palgrave MacMillan. Available at:
Cloatre, E. and Enright, M. (2018). Transformative Illegality: How Condoms 'Became Legal' In Ireland, 1990-1993. Feminist Legal Studies.
Cloatre, E. (2018). Regulating Alternative Healing in France, and the Problem of 'Non-Medicine'. Medical Law Review [Online]:1-26. Available at:
Cloatre, E. (2018). Law and ANT (and its Kin): Possibilities, Challenges, and Ways Forward. Journal of Law and Society 45:646-663.
Cloatre, E. and Enright, M. (2017). 'On the Perimeter of the Lawful': Enduring Illegality in the Irish Family Planning Movement, 1972-1985. Journal of Law and Society [Online] 44:471-500. Available at:
Cloatre, E. and Pickersgill, M. (2014). International Law, Public Health, and the Meanings of Pharmaceuticalization. New Genetics and Society [Online] 33:434-449. Available at:
Cloatre, E. and Dingwall, R. (2013). 'Embedded Regulation': The Migration of Objects, Scripts and Governance. Regulation and Governance [Online]. Available at:
Rooke, C., Cloatre, E. and Dingwall, R. (2012). Actor-Network Theory and the regulatory governance of nicotine in the United Kingdom: how nicotine gum came to be a medicine, but not a drug. Journal of Law and Society [Online] 39:39-57. Available at:
Cloatre, E. and Wright, N. (2012). A Socio-legal Analysis of an Actor-world: the Case of Carbon Trading and the Clean Development Mechanism. Journal of Law and Society [Online] 39:76-92. Available at:
Cloatre, E. (2008). Brevets pharmaceutiques occidentaux et accès aux médicaments dans les pays pauvres : le cas de Djibouti face au droit international de la propriété intellectuelle. Sciences Sociales et Santé 26:51-70.
Cloatre, E. (2008). TRIPS and Pharamaceutical Patents in Djibouti: An ANT Analysis of Socio-Legal Objects. Social and Legal Studies 17:263-281.
Book section
Cloatre, E. (2018). Traditional medicines, law, and the (dis)ordering of temporalities. in: Beynon-Jones, S. and Grabham, E. eds. Law and Time. Routledge.
Cloatre, E. and Cowan, D. (2018). Legalities and Materialities. in: Philipopoulos-Mihalopoulos, A. ed. Routledge Handbook for Law and Theory. Routledge.
Cloatre, E. (2017). Actor-network Theory and the Empirical Critique of Environmental Law: Unpacking the Bioprospecting Debates. in: Brooks, V. and Philipopoulos-Mihalopoulos, A. eds. Research Methods in Environmental Law : A Handbook. Edward Elgar, pp. 80-104.
Cloatre, E. and Enright, M. (2017). McGee v Attorney General. in: Enright, M., McCandless, J. and O'Donoghue, A. eds. Northern / Irish Feminist Judgments: Judges' Troubles and the Gendered Politics of Identity. Oxford: Hart Publishing.
Cloatre, E. (2016). Biodiversity, knowledge and the making of rights: : reviewing the debates on bioprospecting and ownership. in: Bowman, M., Davies, P. and Goodwin, E. eds. Research Handbook on Biodiversity & Law. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 361-386.
Cloatre, E. (2015). Shifting labels and the fluidity of the 'legal'. in: Cowan, D. and Wincott, D. eds. Exploring the legal in socio-legal studies. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 97-115.
Cloatre, E. and Pickersgill, M. (2014). Introduction. in: Cloatre, E. and Pickersgill, M. eds. Knowledge, Technology and Law. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 1-15.
Edited book
Cloatre, E. and Pickersgill, M. (2014). Knowledge, Technology and Law: At the Intersection of Socio-Legal and Science & Technology Studies. Cloatre, E. and Pickersgill, M. eds. Routledge.
Cloatre, E. (2016). Book review: Sociological Reflections on the Neurosciences. Medical Law International [Online] 16:252-258. Available at:
Cloatre, E. (2014). Kristin Peterson's Speculative Markets. Somatosphere [Online]:1. Available at:
Cloatre, E. (2014). Review: Matching Organs with Donors. Social and Legal Studies [Online] 23:131-134. Available at:
Cloatre, E. (2013). Book Review: Reframing Rights. Medical Law Review [Online] 21:165-170. Available at:
Internet publication
Cloatre, E. and Pickersgill, M. (2014). Leaving your brain to science [AHRC Science in Culture Blog Post]. Available at:
Cloatre, E. and Pickersgill, M. (2014). Think-Tanks and the Governance of Science [Medical Humanities Blog guest post]. Available at:
Cloatre, E. and Pickersgill, M. (2013). The material life of science and law [AHRC Science in Culture Blog guest post]. Available at:
Showing 26 of 28 total publications in KAR. [See all in KAR]
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Teaching and Supervision

  • Public Law 2 (LW592)
  • Law, Science and Technology (LW600)
  • Law, Science and Society

I am happy to consider supervision in the following areas:

  • Law and medicine (including eg. access to health; regulation of traditional medicine; medicine and global justice)
  • Law, science and technology
  • Law and the politics of knowledge
  • Critical development studies
  • Law, science and global justice
  • Critical ethnographies of law
  • Law and anthropology
  • Socio-legal studies and Science and technology studies (STS)
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Last Updated: 12/12/2017