Dr Emiline Smith

  • Lecturer in Trafficking Culture (Sociology) (Sociology)


Dr Emiline Smith is a Lecturer in Art Crime and Criminology at the School of Social and Political Sciences, and a member of the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, at the University of Glasgow.

Prior to becoming a Lecturer at the University of Glasgow, Emiline worked as a Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Liverpool in Singapore. She has previously worked as a research assistant and teaching assistant at the University of Hong Kong, the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and Cambodia’s Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. Emiline is also a member of the Trafficking Culture Research Consortium, a group of researchers that works to produce evidence-based information about the global illicit trade in cultural objects.

Emiline's research concerns the trafficking of ‘special’ commodities, such as antiquities and wildlife. Her research primarily focuses on Asia; she has done fieldwork in Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Myanmar and Singapore. She explores how and why participants take part in illicit transnational trades, and how urban settings, especially so-called ‘global cities’, facilitate such trade.

Emiline's obtained her PhD in Criminology at the University of Glasgow in 2019. Her research looked at Hong Kong as a global city, taking a 'glocal' approach to understanding the global antiquities trade in a local transit context.  Her first degree was in Liberal Arts & Sciences at the Roosevelt Academy in the Netherlands, with a major in art history and linguistics. She went on to complete an MA in Public Archaeology at UCL. Her MA thesis explored the legal, social and political frameworks for cultural heritage protection in Cambodia. 

Research interests

  • Looting and trafficking of cultural and natural resources
  • Art crime
  • Transnational crime
  • Protection, preservation and restitution of cultural objects
  • Archaeology and heritage law and regulatory development
  • Crimes of the powerful
  • Cultural criminology


Postgraduate Certificate in Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crime

Convenor for the Master's level online PG Cert in Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crime. The three courses that this PGCert consists of are available to both distance learners and on-site University of Glasgow Master's students.

PhD Supervision

Dr Smith accepts PhD proposals for 2019/2020 admittance. Those interested in studying with her are asked to include both their CV and an abridged project proposal in any inquiries.

Additional information

Academic and Professional Body Membership

Member of International Council of Museums (2007)

Member of the British Society of Criminology (2018)

Member of the Asian Society of Criminology (2019)