Anthropological Engagement in the International Sphere

A Conversation Grounded in Swiss Experiences

Keywords: engagement, human rights, international governance, multinationals, activism


As anthropologists increasingly embark upon the study of the international sphere, this often builds on different forms of engagement within and around organizations, processes, and institutional corridors. The co-authors, building upon a round table exchange, address the advantages and dilemmas of anthropological engagement in the field of international governance, including humanitarian work, diplomacy, international organizations, the Swiss federal government, NGOs, and multinationals.

Author Biographies

Peter Larsen, University of Zurich, University of Geneva

Peter Bille Larsen is Senior lecturer and researcher at the at the Universities of Zurich and Geneva as well as visiting fellow at the EPFL in Lausanne. His work addresses the governance intersection between environmental governance, heritage and social equity issues.

Mô Bleeker, University of Fribourg

Mô Bleeker studied Anthropology, Comparative Religion, and Social Communication MA, followed by Development Studies in Geneva. She works as a Special Envoy for the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs, FDFA, where she acts as a mediator mainly about the issues of transitional justice and prevention of atrocities in peace processes and the implementation of peace agreements in different regions.

Ellen Hertz, University of Neuchâtel

Ellen Hertz is a Professor of Anthropology at the Institut d’ethnologie, University of Neuchâtel. She has done research on Corporate Social Responsibility in China, Switzerland and the United States.

Isabel Käser, University of Bern

Isabel Käser gained her PhD at SOAS University of London and has previously worked in journalism and diplomacy, most recently leading the research project ‘Art in Peace Mediation’ for the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

Esther Leemann, University of Zurich

Esther Leemann is a Senior researcher and lecturer at the University of Zurich working on displacement, resettlement, post-disaster reconstruction, and rural livelihoods in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Nicaragua. Her current research concerns indigenous communities in Cambodia and the broader impacts of agrarian change.

Susan Mossman Riva, Creighton University

Susan Mossman Riva teaches in the medical anthropology program in the Department of Cultural and Social Studies at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. Her research generates transformational processes in the context of mediation, needs assessment, pedagogy, and autoethnography.

Raphael Schapira, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva

Raphael Schapira received his PhD in Anthropology and Sociology from the Graduate Institute, Geneva. Understanding anthropology as a collaborative praxis, he bridges practical engagement with research on sports and martial arts in Latin America.

Yvan Schulz

Yvan Schulz is currently doing research and advocacy on responsible sourcing of raw materials in global supply chains for an NGO named SWISSAID. He obtained his PhD in Anthropology from the University of Neuchâtel.

How to Cite
Larsen, Peter, Mô Bleeker, Ellen Hertz, Isabel Käser, Esther Leemann, Susan Mossman Riva, Raphael Schapira, and Yvan Schulz. 2022. “Anthropological Engagement in the International Sphere: A Conversation Grounded in Swiss Experiences”. TSANTSA – Journal of the Swiss Anthropological Association 27 (April):108-29.