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



  • PL 18 (Unioninkatu 35)




Research output per year

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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

  • University Researcher of Global Development Studies
  • Member of the Helsinki Sustainability Institute (HELSUS)
  • 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. My interdisciplinary social scientific approach draws on political anthropology, ethnographies of development policy and cooperation, 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 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, civil society, social movements, citizenship, decoloniality, transformative alternatives, political economy of development, ethnography.

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

Fields of Science

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

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


Toward Human/Non-Human Conviviality: Buen Vivir as a Transformative Alternative to Capitalist Coloniality

Ranta, E., 10 Jul 2020, The Routledge Handbook of Transformative Global Studies. Hosseini, S. A. H., Goodman, J., Motta, S. C. & Gills, B. K. (eds.). Abingdon: Routledge, p. 419-430 12 p. 30. (Routledge International Handbooks).

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

Miksi Latinalainen Amerikka kuohuu?

Heikkinen, A. & Ranta, E., Mar 2020, In : Kehitys. 1, p. 26-29 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleGeneral public

Kuuban muutosvuosi perustuslakiuudistuksen jälkeen

Ranta, E., 23 Apr 2020, In :

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleGeneral public

Open Access

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

Open Access

Kehityspolitiikan kriisi tulee selättää

Ranta, E. & Stocchetti, M., 22 Jul 2019, In : Helsingin Sanomat.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleGeneral public

Open Access



Latinalaisen Amerikan protestit

Eija Ranta (Speaker)

16 Jan 2020

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

What is happening in South America and why?

Eija Ranta (Member of organizing committee)

13 Jan 2020

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

Third World Quarterly (Journal)

Eija Ranta (Reviewer)


Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

The Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development Formas (External organisation)

Eija Ranta (Board member)


Activity: Membership typesMembership or other role in review committee

Cli­mate Emer­gency and Indigenous Peoples in the Arc­tic

Eija Ranta (Attendee)

12 Mar 2020

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