Fiona McLoughlin


About Fiona McLoughlin

Fiona is a recent graduate from the University of Oxford, where she studied Joint Honours Experimental Psychology, Philosophy, and Linguistics. Specializing in the cognitive mechanisms of intergroup conflict, Fiona has a passion for using empirical research as the lens through which to explore international relations, policy, and social change.

From Repeal the 8th to Article 8: Abortion Rights in Northern Ireland

May 25th, 2018, was a historic day for women’s rights in the Republic of Ireland when a country-wide referendum voted for the 8th Constitutional Amendment – making abortion illegal – to be repealed. This vote demonstrated the Republic of Ireland’s social movement development towards acknowledging the rights of women, and […]


When A Soul Is More Important Than A Life: The Fight For Irreligion

Religious freedom as a human right has featured prominently in global news across the last several years, as people become increasingly aware of the persecution of religious minorities around the world. However, in battling for the protection of minority religions – and the human right to exercise or practice any […]


Constitutional Court Upholds Tshisekedi’s Win: Fayulu Counter-Declares Himself President

Despite pressure from international stakeholders, including the South African Development Community, the constitutional court of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has denied a recount of last month’s presidential election. This move settles Tshisekedi as the new and 5th president-elect of the DRC, defeating pre-election poll leader Fayulu. What was […]


D.R.C. Election Controversy Continues As SADC Proposes Recount

Following a disputed presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo (D.R.C.), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has proposed a recount of the results, alongside calling for a unified national government. After 18 years of contentious rule from the outgoing president, Joseph Kabila, the long-awaited December 30th poll was […]


Concerns Continue To Build As DRC’s Election Results Further Delayed

After a two-year delay, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) election results have been postponed for another week – following election-day chaos, communication shutdowns and widespread fears of electoral fraud. Several international bodies, including the UN Human Rights Office (ONHCR), have warned that continuing delays may contribute to growing tensions […]


“Smart Pakem”: Indonesia Launches ‘Heresy App’ To Streamline Policing of Religious Minorities

Last month, the Jakarta State Prosecutor’s office (Kejati) launched a mobile application enabling members of the public to report on citizens engaging in “misguided” religious practices and beliefs. Known as ‘Smart Pakem’ (monitoring religious beliefs), the app has been condemned by human rights bodies, including Indonesia’s own National Commission on […]


Human Rights Watch Warns Against Ethiopia’s Hate Speech Law

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has joined the list of experts cautioning the Ethiopian government’s move to criminalize hate speech. Despite offering encouragement for the leadership’s willingness to tackle this issue, the HRW has warned that “laws criminalizing hate speech have been often and easily abused,” and suggested that alternative […]


When A Military Makes Militants: A Pattern Of Escalation In Nigeria And The Rise Of Boko Haram

“Western education is anathema.” The basic ideology of Boko Haram, a militant Islamic group working out of north eastern Nigeria, appears simple: institute Sharia or Islamic law, and remove foreign influence from the country. To think of Boko Haram in such simple terms, however, is to drastically underestimate the socio-political […]