(Ebba) EK Tellander

(Ebba) EK Tellander
External PhD candidate International Institute of Social Studies ISS PhD
Burg. Oudlaan 50, Rotterdam

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Tellander's docotoral reserach is focused on the day-to-day acts of ordinary people when they challenge injustices and exclusion in oppressive settings during and after war. The PhD project consists of a bottom up investigation of collective action at a transformative moment in Somaliand's recent history.

The project focuses on a case of professionals, mainly doctors and teachers, who restored a hospital as resistance. They were arrested and faced death sentences. At their trial, students started to protest to save their lives. These events mark the beginning of the the resistance in Northern Somalia (today's Somaliland) agaist teh Siad Barre regime.

The project asks: In contexts of repression, under what conditions and with what motivations and strategies do people engage in emergent collective action that drive societal transformation? 

Tellander is doing a joint PhD at the International Institute of Social Studies at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam and Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). 

This is a PhD project that is part of the research project TRANSFORM. It is funded by the Norwegian Research Council. 

Supervisors are Research Professor Cindy Horst (PRIO) and Associate Professor Kees Biekart (International Institute of Social Studies, the Hauge) . 

KEY WORDS: collective action, civil resistance, repression, social movements, societal transformation, responsibility to act 

Tellander has collaborated with Postive Negatives to develop a 5 part graphic illustration (a cartoon) based on her research. Read the comic here.

Tellander has also been part of a production of a TV series about the group of professionals. Read more about the TV production and the professionals inspirational story here.


Tellander's areas of interest are: 

  • Social movements, collective action and civil ressitance in repressive settings. 
  • Moral and emotional motivations
  • Construcitve resistance 
  • Societal transformation in repressive and conflict contexts. 
  • Somalia's and Somaliland's recent history.
  • Norwegian-Somalis' role in Norwegian foreign policy.
  • Transnational poltical engagement
  • Lived experiences of citizenship, belonging and civic engagement in Norway.
  • Accountability in Somaliland. 

Tellander has worked and studied in Kenya, Palestine, Germany, England, Somalia, Somaliland, Norway, the Netherlands and Sweden.


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