Priscilla Claeys

I received my PhD in Political and Social Sciences from the University of Louvain (UCL) in 2013. While doing research on legal mobilizations within the transnational agrarian movement La Via Campesina, I worked as a Special Advisor to the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, from 2008 to 2014. I also worked closely with Geoffrey Pleyers and was very involved in his research group on social movements in the global age (SMAG). 

After completing my PhD, I worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Collège d’Etudes Mondiales in Paris (2014-2015) and at the French Institute of Pondicherry in India (2015-2016). In Paris, I explored the role of agriculture in the ecological transition and learned a lot from working with Prof. Dominique Méda. I also studied the involvement of peasant and indigenous movements in global climate discussions with Deborah Delgago Pugley. In Pondicherry, I conducted research on the emerging human right to land, and initiated a new research project on domestic workers with Audrey Richard Ferroudji. 

Prior to becoming an academic, I worked for a number of human rights organizations and development NGOs, including FIAN in Belgium, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) in France, and the Maquila Solidarity Network, Rights & Democracy, and Oxfam in Canada. 
I hold a MA in business administration from the Louvain School of Management (UCL) and a MA in environmental management from the Free University of Brussels (ULB).


Book chapters

  • Claeys, P. (2014) ‘Droit à la terre et contrôle des territoires. Du rôle du droit dans les luttes agraires’. Au-Delà de l’accaparement; Ruptures et continuités dans l’accès aux ressources naturelles. Ed. by In Silva- Castañeda, L., Verhaegen, E., Charlier, S., and Ansoms, A. Brussels: Peter Lang, 135-154.  
  • Claeys, P. (2013). ‘From Food Sovereignty to Peasants' Rights: An Overview of Via Campesina’s Struggle for New Human Rights’. La Via Campesina's Open Book: Celebrating 20 Years of Struggle and Hope. La Via Campesina.
  • Claeys, P. (2012) ‘Vers des alternatives au capitalisme néolibéral par une conception alternative des droits humains? L’expérience des organisations paysannes’. Le courage des alternatives. Ed. by Eberhard, C.  Paris: Karthala, 103-120

I am now actively following the process of negotiation of a UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other people working in rural areas at the Human Rights Council. My emphasis is on collective rights to resources.

Coventry University No.1 Modern University No.1 Modern University in the Midlands
Coventry University awarded TEF GOLD Teaching Excellence Framework
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2020
Coventry City of Culture 2021