Sirkku Hellsten

Senior Researcher at NAI since October 2015

Subject areas:
political economy, human rights, governance, democracy development, elections, gender, African philosophy and value systems
Geographical areas:
Eastern and Southern Africa, particularly Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Uganda
+46 (0)18 471 52 54
+46 (0)70 167 96 54
Research areas:
Conflict and post-conflict

Filmed interview with Sirkku Hellsten

“Power doesn’t come with numbers”

“In many African countries, representation of women in parliaments and governments has made a big jump from where we were in the 1990’s”, NAI guest researcher Barney Pityana says. However, NAI researcher Sirkku Hellsten is sceptic to what we can draw...

Academic background

Sirkku K. Hellsten has Doctorate in Social Sciences (majoring in social philosophy) from the University of Helsinki. Before coming to the NAI, she was working as a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where she was also earlier (1999-2003) doing research, teaching and designing philosophy and ethics programme for the UDSM. Prof. Hellsten also holds a permanent affiliation with the University of Helsinki as a Docent of Social and Moral Philosophy at the University of Helsinki. Before she was a Reader in Development Ethics and also Director of Centre for the Study of Global Ethics and , University of Birmingham, UK 2003-2007. In addition to her academic career professor Hellsten has worked as Counsellor for Economics, Governance and Human Rights at the Finnish Embassies in Maputo, Mozambique and Nairobi, Kenya. She has published extensively on the issues related to development ethics and global ethics, social justice, human rights, governance, and African political economy. Currently her research is focusing on the issues of gender and transitional justice; changing value system in Africa. She is also a member of the advisory board of the International Development Ethics Association and Lead Editor of Journal of Global Ethics.

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