Johan Karlsson Schaffer

Senior Lecturer

School of Global
Visiting address
Konstepidemins väg 2
41314 Göteborg
Room number
Postal address
Box 700
40530 Göteborg

About Johan Karlsson Schaffer

I joined the School of Global Studies as an associate professor in 2016. Before joining SGS, I worked at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo, from 2009 to 2017.

Since 2020, I'm Editor-in-Chief of the Nordic Journal of Human Rights.


My research explores the politics of human rights, legal mobilization and judicial politics, especially in the Nordic countries. My current research concerns how groups in civil society mobilize rights claims in courts to seek redress and societal change, and the how the policy-making roles of courts has evolved.

I also have research interests at the intersection of political and legal theory, and especially the philosophy of human rights and democratic theory.

Research projects

I’m currently the Principal Investigator of three research projects:

  1. The Scandinavian rights revolution: Individual rights, civil society mobilization and democratic change (Research Council of Sweden grant no. 2017-02877).
  2. Judicial politics in Scandinavia: Supreme court decision making in comparative perspective (Research Council of Sweden grant no. 2019-03111).
  3. Litigating land rights in Sápmi: Indigenous legalmobilization in Finland, Norway and Sweden (Riksbankens Jubileumsfond grant no. P21-0569).

Teaching and supervision

Since 2019, I'm the Coordinator of the PhD programme in Peace & Development Research. I am also convening the PhD course Applied Theorizing. I also teach in other doctoral courses.

Furthermore, I supervise and examine BA and MA theses within my areas of expertise, for instance legal mobilization, human rights, International Relations theory, democratic theory, and global governance. If you’re a student at SGS planning to write your thesis on any related subject, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Currently, I'm supervising two doctoral candidates.