School of Sociology and Social Policy

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Matthew Hall

Research Fellow, Faculty of Social Sciences



Dr Matthew Hall's expertise is the critical examination of surveillance and other security focused practices using theories at the intersection of political philosophy and social science.

Matthew completed a PhD in 2017. In it, he asked why surveillance is so widespread in liberal democracies, societies that ostensibly cherish values like liberty and privacy? In doing so, he investigated the ways that surveillance is used to enforce many liberal 'settlements', such as citizenship, welfare and rights.

Following this Matthew taught political theory seminars between 2017 and 2018 at Royal Holloway.

Between 2018 and 2019 Matthew was an ESRC post-doctoral fellow in the department of Philosophy, Politics and International Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London.

From 2019 to 2023 Matthew was a researcher for Trilateral Research, a research institute that specialises in conducting ethics assessments and regulatory analysis of emerging technologies in European Research Council Horizon2020 and Horizon Europe research projects.

Matthew is currently a research fellow on 'REgulating Criminal justicE Detention' (RECEDE) in which he is researching the role played by voluntary and community groups in regulating detention spaces across courts, custody and prisons.

Expertise Summary

Surveillance and theories of domination

Ethics and politics of emerging technologies

Regulation of carceral spaces

Teaching Summary

I have a particular interest in teaching political theory and political philosophy in a way that intersects with prominent sociological issues such as power, prisons and surveillance systems.

I have taught on the following courses:

'Contemporary Political Theory',

'Classic Readings',

'Freedom' (Applied core ideas of politics such as citizenship, the state, rights and liberty to cover key issues of contemporary society, such as welfare distribution, reproductive rights, and immigration),

Political Ideas' (Interdisciplinary module drawing students from politics, social sciences, law, international relations, philosophy and political theory to investigate the key ideas of freedom from a number of practical and policy perspectives, such as prisons, the nation state, surveillance and welfare distribution)

Research Summary

I am currently working with colleagues on a European Research Council Project called RECEDE: Regulating Criminal Justice Detention under the lead of Professor Philippa Tomczak. The study encompasses… read more

Current Research

I am currently working with colleagues on a European Research Council Project called RECEDE: Regulating Criminal Justice Detention under the lead of Professor Philippa Tomczak. The study encompasses police, court and prison detention and aims to understand how different actors - both state and non-state - regulate these spaces.

Articles in preparation

  • Hall, M., 'Get in the Protest Pen: The Limits of the Right to Protest',
  • Hall, M., 'Surveillance on Trial: Using Machiavelli to Rethink the "Balance" Between Security and Liberty'.

Past Research

Policy and Research Papers

  • Hall, M., 2023. 'Ethics and Human Rights Impact Assessment'. TRACE deliverable D8.1, Horizon2020, Brussels.
  • Hall, M., 2022. 'Six Possible Futures for Populism'. PaCE deliverable D4.6, Horizon2020, Brussels.
  • Hall., M., 2022. 'Ethical, Social and Legal impact Guidance for Tracking Illicit Money flows'. TRACE deliverable D8.3, Horizon 2020, Brussels.
  • Hall, M., 2021, 'QAnon' in Historical and Political Development of Populism in Europe, D1.1, PaCE deliverable, Horizon2020, Brussels.
  • Hall, M., 2020, 'Analysis of Data Protection, Privacy, Ethical and Social issues in the Prosecution of Tax Crimes', D6.1, PROTAX deliverable, Horizon2020. Brussels.

Other Articles

  • Hall, M (W)., 2021. 'Against Vaccine Passports', Tribune Magazine, 16 March, 2021.

School of Sociology and Social Policy

Law and Social Sciences building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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