Dr Eva Hilberg

Department of Sociological Studies

Research Associate


Dr Eva Hilberg
Profile picture of Dr Eva Hilberg

Full contact details

Dr Eva Hilberg
Department of Sociological Studies
The Wave
2 Whitham Road
S10 2AH

Eva joined the Department in 2021 as a Research Associate on a Wellcome Trust project entitled 'Orphan drugs: high prices, access to medicines and the transformation of biopharmaceutical innovation’ (219875/Z/19/Z).

Previous to that she held research posts at the University of Sheffield, the University of Sussex, and Hebrew University, Jerusalem, working on a range of research projects in the field of Global Health and International Studies. Together with Dr. China Mills and Dr. Elise Klein, she worked on a British Academy-funded project at the University of Sheffield, entitled ‘Changing Behaviour through Technology’ , with an extension focusing on ‘Psy-technologies as global assemblage: histories and social lives of quantification and digitisation in three former countries of the British Empire’. During her time as a PhD student at the University of Sussex she also worked with Dr. Dimitra Petrakaki on ‘The Role of Health Information Technology in Patient Self-management’.

Eva obtained a PhD in International Relations from the University of Sussex, analysing the biopolitical dimension of intellectual property rights on human genetic materials. 

Research interests

Eva is interested in the politics of health priorities, both for individual and collective conceptions of health. These processes can create tensions and give rise to new ways of governing for example at the intersection between health and economics, or in the emergence of entirely new priorities for global health. Eva’s previous research projects studied the biopolitical dimension of the international regime of intellectual property rights on human genetic materials (‘Gene Patents’); patient activism and the use of digital media; the increasing focus on mental health within global health policies; and ongoing responses to governing an uncertain event such as the coronavirus pandemic. These projects focused especially on instances of ‘black boxing’ as priorities are translated into specific parameters for digital devices and algorithms. Intellectual property constitutes a similar epistemic object reflecting struggles between different scientific conceptions and interests. Ongoing research projects analyse the global response to the coronavirus pandemic; the attempts at governing uncertain future risks such as viral outbreaks; and the dynamics of patient activism in the field of orphan diseases.

A secondary interest is the exploration of poetry as a participatory method for the engagement of marginalised voices, further expanding the notion of poetry as a practice that generates possibilities, enables us to think otherwise, and thus can improve participatory structures in different fields of social and political life, especially for those that are routinely excluded from formulating priorities (i.e. patients and the pharmaceutical industry; patient/survivors and conceptions of mental health).

Eva is interested in collaborations and initiatives in the following areas:

  • The biopolitics of patient activism
  • Instruments of health economics, especially intellectual property
  • The making of Global Health priorities
  • Global Health Security and genetic risk
  • Digital technologies and health
  • The politics of molecular conceptions of life
  • The intersection between International Relations and International Law
  • Foucauldian methods and Critical Theory
  • Poetry as a participatory practice

Journal articles


  • Elbe S & Hilberg E (2022) Health and Security In Collins A (Ed.), Contemporary Security Studies Oxford University Press RIS download Bibtex download
  • Hilberg E & Mills C (2020) India’s digital therapeutic assemblage: smartphone apps, stress, and mental health In Nehring D, Madsen OJ, Cabanas E, Mills C & Kerrigan D (Ed.), International Handbook of Therapeutic Cultures London: Routledge. RIS download Bibtex download