Staff Biography

Areas of interest
Dr Peter Johansson’s overall research interest is on the political aspects of human rights, that is, how different actors perceive and use the ethical norms and laws encompassed by the human rights system. One concretisation of this overarching theme was the doctoral thesis that focused on how the Swedish parliament has discussed the two discourses on indigenous peoples’ and minority rights, and the impact that these discourses have had on Swedish Sami policy. Another concrete expression of the overarching theme is the ongoing research project on how states in rhetoric and in practice makes use of two fundamental principles of international law – state sovereignty and peoples’ right to self-determination – in the case of Kosovo (see below). A related, and partially overlapping, research interests are rights-based policies and implementation of human rights, i.e. how the international legal framework can be transformed into practical rights-based action plans that affect people’s lives on the local level.

Current research
The project Principles on Collision Course? State Sovereignty Meets Peoples’ Right of Self Determination in the Case of Kosovo, is studying how principles of state sovereignty and peoples’ right to self-determination is understood and used by states in their international relations. The project focuses on how states have argued before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) with regard to the status of Kosovo’s declaration of independence under international law. The project is to be completed in 2012. The purpose of the project Civil Society in the Age of Rights: Embracing or Rejecting the Human Rights Discourse? is to examine how and why the human rights discourse has developed in contemporary Swedish society, and how these developments affect the interaction between NGOs and other actors (e.g. authorities on different levels). The project aims to answer the following questions:

  1. What are the external factors (development at local, national or international level) that affect the choice of civil society organizations to use or not to use a human rights discourse.
  2. What are the internal factors (knowledge and resources within organizations) affecting civil society organizations in their choice to use or not to use a human rights discourse,
  3. How does the increasing use of human discourses affect the previously dominant social discourses in Swedish society (e.g. “solidarity”, “democracy” and “freedom”).

Funding for the project will be applied from the Swedish Research Council and other agencies in the spring of 2012.

Current assignment

  • Member of the Education Development Committee (PUK) at the Social Sciences Faculty
  • Representative of the Social Sciences Faculty in the steering committee for the Division of Pedagogical Development and Interactive Learning (PIL)
  • Coordinator for the course Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 2: Discipline Specific Pedagogic (HPE102) at the Division of Pedagogical Development and Interactive Learning (PIL)

Teaching and tutoring

The main focus is on issues relating to human rights and international law. Most of the teaching is done within the framework of the Master Program in Human Rights (in Swedish) and in the Erasmus Mundus master program in Human Rights Practice (in English). Teaching is also done in International Relations and Global Studies, and in the field of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

Research areas

Latest publications
Indigenous self-determination in the Nordic countries – The Sami, and the Inuit of Greenland

Peter Johansson
Handbook of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, Abingdon, Routledge, 2016
Book chapter
Låt människor på flykt få flyga till Europa

Peter Johansson
Svenska Dagbladet, Issue 2015-09-09, 2015
Journal Article
Read the full text on a web page

Health, Privacy and (Information) Security: Competing Discourses in eHealth Programmes and Genome Data Regulations
Peter Johansson, Sofie Hellberg
International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention, New Orleans, 18-21 February, 2015. Panel session SA55: Global health and Intelligence (21 February, 8.15-10.00)., 2015
Conference contribution

Barriers to accessing and receiving mental health care in Eastern Cape, South Africa
Isabell Schierenbeck, Peter Johansson, Lena Andersson, Dalena van Rooyen
Health and Human Rights , Volume 15, Issue 2, Pages 110-123 2013
Journal Article, peer-reviewed
Read the full text on a web page

Statsbyggnad, demokrati och mänskliga rättigheter
Joakim Öjendal, Peter Johansson
Om krig och fred / Karin Aggestam & Kristine Höglund (red.), Lund, Studentlitteratur, 2012
Book chapter


© Erasmus Mundus 2016