Sean Madden

Sean Madden

Birmingham Law School
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


  • University of Warwick - LLM International Development Law and Human Rights (2014-2017)
  • Aston University – BSc Political Science with English Language (2007-2011)


I am currently in my first year of PhD study, having previously studied for a Master’s degree at the University of Warwick, and an undergraduate at Aston University.

I work part-time in the third sector, for a small mental health charity, having previously been employed for several years in the NHS.

I am passionate about all issues pertaining to the environment and human rights, and have written on these issues for BLS blog and other publications.

In my spare time I enjoy music, football, reading, and I am a member of the Green Party.

Doctoral research

PhD title
Feeding a Humanitarian Disaster: International Law, Human Rights, and Industrialised Agriculture
Professor Mohammad (Shahab) Shahabuddin and Dr Walters Nsoh
Law PhD / PhD by Distance Learning / MPhil / MJur


My thesis examines the relationship between international law, human rights, and industrialised agriculture from a post-colonial perspective, utilising Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL).

It contends that excesses of industrialised agriculture are enabled by a system of international law and finance developed by states of the Global North, with primacy given to their conceptions of development and sovereignty. As such, the perspectives and epistemologies of those living in post-colonial states – and in particular, minority groups within these states – are marginalised and subordinated, both by the global institutions of law and finance, but also by governments wishing to attract investment, or make use of natural resources. Violations of human rights law, environmental depredation, and food insecurity are inevitable consequences of a global legal system that prioritises economic development over all else, and, by design, gives little agency to the most vulnerable.

Other activities

  • Member of the Socio-Legal Studies Association