Leila Brännström

Lund University, Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow 2018

Leila Brännström is a lecturer and researcher in Jurisprudence in the Department of Law at Lund University, Sweden. Her research and teaching interests are focused on political and legal theory and human rights law. In her previous work, she has examined the legislative and juridical responses to ethnoracial inequality in Sweden and across (Continental) Europe, studied the ways in which transnational legal discourses, in particular EU law and international human rights law, has reshaped Swedish juridical thinking, and investigated Carl Schmitt’s and Giorgio Agamben’s ideas on law and sovereignty.

During her visit with the Laureate Program in International Law, Brännström will work on a project that she has recently embarked on (together with Markus Gunneflo) entitled Human Rights, Civil Society, and the New Activist Swedish Foreign Policy. The overall aim of the project is to describe and analyse the shift from an ‘old’ activist Swedish foreign policy, rooted in anti-imperialism, to a ‘new’ one foregrounding universal human rights. The shift entailed changes in how international solidarity was imagined and practiced as well as re-formulations of international legal principles such as a people’s right to self-determination, non-intervention and the duty to protect human rights. The project will be carried out through three case studies: Swedish support for Polish Solidarity in the early 1980s, Swedish humanitarian engagement in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (‘BiH’) in the early 1990s, and Swedish involvement in peace-enforcement and development aid in Afghanistan from 2001 and onward.