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Johan Karlsson Schaffer

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Phone +47-22842016
Mobile phone +47-41226217
Room 338
Visiting address Cort Adelers gate 30 0254 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 6706 St Olavs plass 0130 OSLO
  • PhD in Political Science, 2009.
  • MSc in Political Science, 2002.
  • BSc in International Relations, 2000.

I am a Senior Research Fellow at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo. As of December 2012, I am principal investigator for the research project The consensus paradox, funded by the Research Council of Norway. I am also co-ordinator of Human rights and constitutionalism, one out of four thematic research groups at the NCHR. Previously, I was a postdoctoral research fellow associated with the research projects Should states ratify human rights conventions? and MultiRights.

I earned my doctoral degree in political science from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2009. I have also studied at the University of Essex, UK, and the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.

My main research interests are located at the intersection of political and international theory, and especially democratic theory. My doctoral dissertation Democrats without borders: A critique of transnational democracy (2008) critically challenges cosmopolitan and deliberative models of transnational democracy.

Together with Birgit Peters (University of Münster) and Martin Binder (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung), I co-founded Austat, a Norwegian-German network for junior researchers in international relations, international law and political philosophy studying the exercise of authority by international institutions.

Prior to joining the NCHR, I have done research on domestic origins and effects of international norms with regard to prostitution and trafficking policies within the Nordic Prostitution Policy Reform research project, funded by the Swedish Research Council. I have also been a visiting researcher at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung, Germany, and a visiting lecturer at University West, Sweden.

Tags: international theory, political theory, democratic theory, prostitution, trafficking


Working papers

For working papers in various stages of progress and completion, see my SSRN Author Page:


  1. Democrats without borders: A critique of transnational democracy. Doctoral dissertation, University of Gothenburg, 2008. <>

Journal articles and book chapters

  1. "The co-originality of human rights and democracy in an international order." Accepted for publication by International Theory (forthcoming 2015).
  2. “The consensus paradox: Does deliberative agreement impede rational discourse?” Co-authored with Henrik Friberg-Fernros. Political Studies 62:S1, 2014, doi: 10.1111/1467-9248.12103.
  3. Comrades, push the red button! Banning the purchase of sexual services in Sweden but not Finland.” Co-authored with Gregg Bucken-Knapp and Pia Levin. In: Negotiating Sex Work: Unintended Consequences of Policy and Activism, edited by Samantha Majic & Carisa Showden. University of Minnesota Press, 2014 (in press). ISBN: 9780816689583.
  4. The turn to authority beyond states.” Co-authored with Birgit Peters. Transnational Legal Theory 3:4, 2013, doi: 10.5235/20414005.4.3.315.
  5. "International human rights and the challenge of legitimacy." Co-authored with Andreas Føllesdal and Geir Ulfstein. In The legitimacy of international human rights regimes. Andreas Føllesdal, Johan Karlsson Schaffer and Geir Ulfstein (eds.). Cambridge University Press, 2013, pp. 1-31.
  6. Legitimacy, global governance and human rights institutions: Inverting the puzzle.” In The legitimacy of international human rights regimes. Andreas Føllesdal, Johan Karlsson Schaffer and Geir Ulfstein (eds.). Cambridge University Press, 2013, pp. 212-42.
  7. Security, equality and the clash of ideas: Sweden’s evolving anti-trafficking policy.” Co-authored with Gregg Bucken-Knapp and Karin Persson-Strömbäck. Human Rights Review 13:2, 2012, 167–185, doi: 10.1007/s12142-011-0214-y.
  8. The boundaries of transnational democracy: Alternatives to the all-affected principle.Review of International Studies, 38:2, 2012, 321–42, doi: 10.1017/S0260210510001749.
  9. "Manifest för den glada statsvetenskapen." With Anders Hellström. Statsvetenskaplig Tidskrift 112:4, 2010, 368-73.
  10. Prostitution policy reform and the causal role of ideas: A comparative study of policy-making in the Nordic countries”. With Gregg Bucken-Knapp. Statsvetenskaplig Tidskrift 110:1, 2008, 59–65.
  11. ”Kompisen som inte ville leka: Sveriges nej i utländsk press”. With Mette Anthonsen. In: Henrik Oscarssson & Sören Holmberg (eds.): Kampen om euron. Göteborg 2004.

Edited volumes and special issues

  1. The legitimacy of international human rights regimes: Legal, Political and Philosophical Perspectives. Volume co-edited with Andreas Føllesdal and Geir Ulfstein. Cambridge University Press, 2013.
  2. The turn to authority beyond states: Political, legal and philosophical perspectives. Special issue of Transnational Legal Theory 3:4, 2013. Co-edited with Birgit Peters.

Other publications

  1. Därför nedprioriterar Norden mänskliga rättigheter.” Co-authored with Malcolm Langford. Axess #5, June 2012.
  2. “Affected and subjected: The all-affected principle in transnational democratic theory”. Discussion Paper SP IV 2006–304 Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung, 2006. <>
  3. Dawit och friheten. Om den svenske samvetsfången och Eritreas inställda demokratisering. With Rickard Sjöberg (eds.). Stockholm: Silc förlag, 2004. ISBN: 91-974771-7-6.
Published Jan 14, 2010 02:13 PM - Last modified Dec 19, 2014 03:29 PM