Photo of Eija Ranta
  • PL 18 (Unioninkatu 35), 308

    HELSINGIN YLIOPISTO

    Finland

  • PL 18 (Unioninkatu 35)

    00014

    Finland

Accepting PhD Students

20022023
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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

  • Senior Lecturer in Development Studies
  • Head of Discipline of Development Studies
  • Associate researcher of the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)
  • Board member of the Society and Change study programme
  • Vice-member of the University of Helsinki Equality and Non-Discrimination Board
  • 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)

My research examines complex articulations between development, politics and power. I am interested in the concepts and practices of development, as well as in the decolonizing alternatives to mainstream development and neoliberal globalization. In terms of politics, I navigate at the intersections of formal political organizations, state bureaucracy, and transformative politics at the sphere of social movements and civil society. I look at power as intricate governmental assemblages, entailing local, national, and global processes. My interdisciplinary social scientific approach draws on political anthropology, ethnographies of development aid, Modernity/Coloniality/Decoloniality thinking and political economy of development. 

My latest 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 Andean 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.

Keywords: Politics of development, state formation, power, governmentality, civil society, social movements, citizenship, decoloniality, transformative alternatives, political economy of development.

Country experience: Bolivia, Kenya, Cuba, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Ghana, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Peru, Chile and Brazil.

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

Keywords

  • 5203 Development Studies
  • Politics of Development
  • Political anthropology
  • Political Economy of Development
  • Decoloniality
  • Postcolonial Theory

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.

Publications 2002 2019

Vivir Bien as an Alternative to Neoliberal Globalization: Can Indigenous Terminologies Decolonize the State?

Ranta, E. M., 14 Mar 2018, London: Routledge. 190 p. (Rethinking Globalizations)

Research output: Book/ReportBookScientificpeer-review

State Governance and Micropractices of Power in the Process of Decolonizing the State in Bolivia

Ranta, E. M., 24 Sep 2018, In : Forum for Development Studies. 45, 3, p. 363-385 23 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access
File

Vivir Bien Governance in Bolivia: Chimera or Attainable Utopia?

Ranta, E. M., 16 Jun 2017, In : Third World Quarterly. 38, 7, p. 1603-1618 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access
File

Patronage and Ethnicity amongst Politically Active Young Kenyans

Ranta, E. M., 2017, What Politics?: Youth and Political Engagement in Contemporary Africa. Oinas, E., Onodera, H. & Suurpää, L. (eds.). Leiden: Brill, p. 230–245 16 p. (Youth in a globalizing world; vol. 6).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Towards a Decolonial Alternative to Development? The Emergence and Shortcomings of Vivir Bien as State Policy in Bolivia in the Era of Globalization

Ranta, E. M., May 2016, In : Globalizations. 13, 4, p. 425-439 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Projects 2012 2023

Activities 2006 2019

Invited speaker at the symposium 'Dialogue on Degrowth: Goof life, consumption and transformation' at the Pufendorf Institute, Lund University

Eija Ranta (Speaker: Presenter)
12 May 201613 May 2016

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Invited speaker at the seminar '¿Qué es el Vivir Bien? Reflexiones analíticas de un concepto filosófico, político y cultural' at the Stockholm University with Anders Burman, Rickard Lalander & Carmen Blanco Valer

Eija Ranta (Speaker: Keynote)
2 May 2016

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Centro Latinoamericano de Ecología Social (CLAES)

Eija Ranta (Visiting researcher)
1 Feb 201631 Jan 2018

Activity: Visiting an external institution typesAcademic visit to other institution

Kepa (External organisation)

Eija Ranta (Chair)
1 Jan 201631 Dec 2017

Activity: Membership typesMembership or other role of body in private company/organisation

Epistemologies of the South by Boaventura de Sousa Santos

Eija Ranta (Attendee)
5 Apr 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Press / Media

Pondering development policy at 14.4. elections

Eija Ranta

19/03/2019

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

Latinalainen Amerikka kriisien tiellä

Eija Ranta

01/03/2019

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

Taustahaastattelu A-Studion kehitysyhteistyökeskusteluun 18.2.2019

Eija Ranta

15/02/2019

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

Finland, climate change and global inequality

Eija Ranta

30/12/2018

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

Indigenous Traditions as Part of Public Healthcare in Bolivia

Eija Ranta

05/11/2018

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media