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Personal profile

Curriculum vitae

  • Academy Research Fellow 2021-2026 'Social Justice and Raciality in Latin America'
  • Principal Investigator for the Academy of Finland research project 'Citizenship Utopias in the Global South: The Pursuit of Transformative Alternatives in Times of Disillusionment' (2019-2023)
  • Affiliated Researcher of Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS), University of Helsinki
  • Affiliated Researcher of Helsinki Inequality Initiative (INEG), University of Helsinki

My research operates at the intersections of development, politics, and power in Latin America and Africa. I am particularly interested in Indigenous and ethnic politics, anti-racism activism, and democracy in the Global South, as well as decolonizing and locally grounded alternatives to mainstream development thinking and practice. In terms of Finland's development policy, my key focus is on the strengthening of civil societies.

My ongoing Academy of Finland research project (2019-2023) investigates new forms of Indigenous, ethnic, youth, and feminist activism in post-popular uprising contexts of the Global South (Bolivia, Kenya, Tunisia). The research team consists of myself (PI), university researcher Henri Onodera and PhD candidate Martta Kaskinen.

During my Academy of Finland fellowship (2021-2026), my research focuses on social justice and raciality in Latin American revolutions (Bolivia, Cuba), with a particular focus on anti-racism activism and in collaboration with anti-racist activists.

My first book Vivir Bien as an Alternative to Neoliberal Globalization (Routledge, 2018) examines Indigenous politics, state formation and transformative alternatives to mainstream development thinking through the ethnographic analysis of state discourses and bureaucratic applications of the notion of Vivir Bien/Buen Vivir (living well) in Bolivia. I investigated the potentials and challenges in the search for more just, inclusive and ecologically sustainable alternatives to growth-based development models in the global South.

I have taught in many courses at Bachelor, Master and Doctoral levels, including Social Movements, States, and Power in the Global South; Social Realities in the Global South; Development Policy and Cooperation; Classics of Development Theory; Introduction to Development Studies; Social Movements and State in Latin America; Ethnographic Methodology; Mixed Methods; Bachelor Seminar; PhD Seminar. I am currently supervising 4 master's students and 9 doctoral researchers.

Education/Academic qualification

Development Studies, D.Soc.Sc.

Award Date: 2 Dec 2014

Cultural and Social Anthropology, MSSc

Award Date: 17 May 2006

External positions

Associate researcher, Centro Latinoamericano de Ecología Social (CLAES)

2 Jan 201631 Dec 2017

Associate researcher , Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Nairobi

1 Nov 201431 Oct 2015

Fields of Science

  • 5203 Global Development Studies
  • Politics of Development
  • Political anthropology
  • Political Economy of Development
  • Decoloniality
  • Postcolonial Theory
  • Latin America
  • Africa
  • Bolivia
  • Cuba
  • Kenya
  • Alternative development approaches
  • State formation
  • Civil Society
  • Indigeneity
  • Buen Vivir / Vivir Bien
  • Ethnicity
  • Development Policy
  • Development Cooperation
  • Social justice
  • Indigenous politics
  • Raciality
  • Politics
  • Citizenship

International and National Collaboration

Publications and projects within past five years.