Rachel Brock

Post Graduate Research Student



I have a joint BA in Politics and English (First-class, Honours) and an MRes (Merit) in Social Research from the University of Liverpool, having completed dissertations on both religious voting behaviour in American politics, and biometric companies’ approaches to the gender binary in their technology development and the potential implications this could have for transgender peoplewas the first person in my family to go to university, followed shortly after by my mother, who graduated a few months before I finished my Masters. Because of this, while my primary research interests focus on the impact of technology on power structures, political efficacy and civil liberties, I have a secondary interest in education access and tackling inequalities at a grassroots level. Therefore, while completing my PhD I am also working for an education charity helping to tutor secondary students at disadvantaged schools. 

Research Interests

My research looks at power structures and inequalities, centring on marginalised groups, and it takes an interdisciplinary approach to this, bringing together politics, sociology, and technology.  More specifically, I am interested in how ideas of individual political efficacy can be impacted by the creation and implementation of new technologies.  To this end, my PhD is looking at how these technologies impact on the protest behaviour of dissident individuals and groups in American politics. I am most interested in looking at this impact through two approaches. The first approach is through a rights-based lens, attempting to assess legal case studies and constitutional theory to determine if this technology is infringing upon civil liberties. The second is an online ethnographic and interview-based study aimed at understanding how perceptions and discourse among marginalised groups around biometric technology and government surveillance impact protest behaviour.  

I am also a member of the Governance, Policy and Civil Society research cluster.  

Thesis Title

"Examining the impact of biometric surveillance technology on the political efficacy, civil rights, and protest behaviour of dissident individuals in the U.S."