Miia Halme-Tuomisaari

Miia Halme-Tuomisaari

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Miia Halme-Tuomisaari is Associate Professor of Human Rights Studies at Lund University. She is a legal anthropologist trained in social anthropology and critical international law.

Her key publications include Human Rights in Action: Learning Expert Knowledge (Brill, 2010) and Revisiting the Origins of Human Rights (co-edited with Pamela Slotte, CUP, 2015).

She has published numerous articles and chapters on the UN Human Rights Committee and UN treaty bodies, including “Guardian Utopia”(Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale, 2020), “Methodologically Blonde at the UN in a Tactical Quest for Inclusion” (Social Anthropology /Anthropologie Sociale, 2018), and “Embodied Universalism” (In Palaces of Hope, CUP, 2017).

She has published numerous articles exploring the relationship between anthropology, international law, and global governance among others in AJIL: Unbound, The London Review of International Law, and The European Journal of International Law.

In 2018–2020, she served on the Executive Committee of the European Association of Social Anthropology. She has given keynotes, plenary papers, and visiting lectures at the Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, the London School of Economics, the University of Sussex, The University of Helsinki and the University of Konstanz.

Halme-Tuomisaari has served on the editorial boards of PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropological Review and Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale, and is the co-founder of the online anthropological publication Allegralaboratory.net.

Miia Halme-Tuomisaari is the co-chair of Allegra Lab Hki and the director Tutkitusti, a collaboration of 13 popular Finnish-language scholarly publications funded by the Kone Foundation (2020-2024).

At Lund University, she teaches broadly in the field of human rights, including master- and doctorate-level courses: “Human Rights in the History of Politics and Philosophy,” “The Legalization of Human Rights,” and “Anthropological Approaches to Human Rights Monitoring. She also supervises students particularly at the master's and doctoral levels.

She was a member of the Geneva Academy’s Academic Platform of UN Treaty Body Strengthening in 2017-2018 and participated in 2019 in a Consultancy for an Ethnographic Study of Organizational Culture commissioned by the UN OHCHR.

In addition to the UN Human Rights Committee, her fieldwork has included Finland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NGO networks, as well as a Nordic human rights expert network. She has further conducted research of the 1940s archives of the International League for the Rights of Man.

She has been a researcher at the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, the Finnish Center of Excellence in Global Governance Research (2006-2011), the Academy of Finland project ‘Human Rights: Law, Religion, Subjectivity’ (2008-2012), the Department of Law & Anthropology of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (Halle/Saale), The Geneve Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies.

Miia Halme-Tuomisaari is currently finalizing a monograph on the UN Human Rights Committee.

In academic year 2023-2024 she is on sabbatical with funding from the Riksbankens Jubiliumsfonds to work on a book manuscript ‘Looping for Human Rights: an Ethnographic Theory of Expansion’.

She is Docent of International law at the University of Turku (2016), Docent of Social and Cultural Anthropology, specialization legal anthropology at the University of Jyväskylä (2018), and Docent of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Helsinki (2019).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Free keywords

  • Human rights, anthropology, critical international law, expertise, United Nations, documents, bureaucracy


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