Ebba Tellander

Doctoral Researcher

Ebba Tellander
Ebba Tellander left PRIO in 2022. The information on this page is kept for historical reasons.

Research Interests

Ebba Tellander is a Doctoral Researcher within the Societal Transformation in Conflict Contexts project. She was previously a Researcher and Research Assistant at the Social Dynamics Department and a Communicator at the Communication Department.

She came home from 6 month of field-research in Somaliland in the beginning of 2019. She had then collected around 100 interviews and recorded conversations, fieldnotes and archival material. Currently, she is coding and analysing her data as well as writing up the insights and findings. Read more about the PhD project here

She is also collaborating with Postive Negatives to develop a 5 part graphic illustration (a cartoon) based on her research. Follow Postive Negative's Facebook page for updates.

Hargiesa Group Hospital 1981.png
Hargeisa Group Hospital 1981, Photo: Produced by Postive Negatives, Artist: Pat Masioni


Hargeisa group Hospital 1981
Hargeisa group Hospital 1981
Cleaning of Hargeisa Group Hospital 1981, Photo: Produced by Postive Negatives, Artist: Pat Masioni


She has also been part of a production of a TV series about a group of professionals who restored a hosptial as an act of resistance in Hargiesa 1981, which became a transformative moment in Somalia's and Somaliland's history. Read more about the TV production and the professionals' inspirational story here.

Front cover5.jpg
Front cover5.jpg
Uffo TV program 2018-2019, Design: Mustafa Saeed


Tellander's areas of interest are: 

  • Civil resistance, social movements and collective action in high risk settings. 
  • Societal transformation in repressive and conflict contexts. 
  • Somalia's and Somaliland's recent history.
  • Norwegian-Somalis' role in Norwegian foreign policy.
  • 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.



Ph. D. project in International Social Sciences within the larger PRIO project ‘Social transformation in conflict settings’, with a focus on civil resistance and collective action in northern Somalia (today's Somaliland), at PRIO and International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) at Erasmus University Rotterdam

Supervisors: Cindy Horst (PRIO) and Kees Biekart (ISS, Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Master of Philosophy in Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Oslo, Thesis on the Somali diaspora and Norwegian Foreign Policywith scholarships from the Fritt Ord foundation and The Ministry of Justice and Public Security. 

Bachelor of International Studies, University of Oslo and Freie Universität Berlin.


2017 –  Present: Doctoral Researcher

2017: Coordinator for Media Research Group at PRIO autumn 2017. 

2017: Communicator at PRIO

2016  2017:  Researcher and Research Assistant at PRIO. Selected projects: Dimensions of Accountability in Somaliland; Active Citizenship in Culturally and Religiously Diverse Societies; Governing and Experiencing Citizenship in Multicultural Scandinavia. Assisted in the organization of the ‘Seventh High-Level Seminar on Gender and Inclusive Mediation Processes’.

2016: Accompanier at the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel, World Council of Churches/Norwegian Church Aid

2015 2016: External Research Assistant at PRIO

2014 2015: Project Coordinator at the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights

2014: Internship at the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights

2011 – Present: Freelance photographer (various assignments). Selected clients: Peace Research Institute Oslo (various assignments); World Council of Churches 2016; Nationellt kompetenscentrum för anhöriga 2015; the Oslo Center 2014, 2015; Sunnmørsposten 2015; Vikebladet 2015; Kolofin forlag 2011.

2011 – 2014: Board member (Leader in 2013) of the Palestine Committee at the University of Oslo

2007: International Culture Youth Exchange Program in Kisii, Kenya

2004 – 2005: Secretary of the Swedish Afghanistan Committee, Falun – Dalarna, Sweden

Language skills

Mother tongue: Swedish

Fluency: English, Norwegian

Upper intermediate: German 

Basic (currently studying): Somali

All but forgotten: Swahili 


PRIO started tracking events online in 2007. This listing is not complete. Past events may be mentioned in our news archive.

All Publications

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Tellander, Ebba & Cindy Horst (2019) A Foreign Policy Actor of Importance? The Role of the Somali Diaspora in Shaping Norwegian Policy towards Somalia, Foreign Policy Analysis 1(1): 136–154.
Erdal, Marta Bivand; Elin Martine Doeland & Ebba Tellander (2018) How citizenship matters (or not): the citizenship–belonging nexus explored among residents in Oslo, Norway, Citizenship Studies. DOI: 10.1080/13621025.2018.1508415.

Popular Article

Tellander, Ebba (2016) Soldaten siktar rakt på mig [The soldier aims straight at me!], Dala-Demokraten, 21 November.
Tellander, Ebba (2016) The right to pray does not have an age limit, EAPPI Blog, 12 July.

PRIO Report

Carling, Jørgen; Marta Bivand Erdal; & Ebba Tellander (2017) Insights from Migration Research at PRIO, PRIO Research Summary. Oslo: PRIO.

Master Thesis

Tellander, Ebba (2015) The Somali Diaspora and Norwegian Foreign Policy. MA thesis, Department of Political Science, University of Oslo.

PRIO Policy Brief

Tellander, Ebba & Mohamed Aden Hassan (2016) Isla-xisaabtanka Nidaamka Cashuuraha ee Somaliland [Accountability in the Taxation System in Somaliland], PRIO Policy Brief, 24. Oslo: PRIO.
Tellander, Ebba & Mohamed Aden Hassan (2016) Accountability in the Taxation System in Somaliland, PRIO Policy Brief, 24. Oslo: PRIO.

Blog Posts

Using a Comic to Tell the True Story of the Uffo Struggle for Justice in Somaliland

Posted by Ebba Tellander on Monday, 23 November 2020

We can all learn and draw inspiration from stories of ordinary people who care for others and resist oppression while risking their own lives. Such stories are often overlooked in both the media and in much research on conflict zones. In Somaliland in the early 1980s, doctors and teachers and ... Read more »

Migrants and COVID-19 in Norway: Five Reflections on Skewed Impacts

Posted by Marta Bivand Erdal, Hassan Aden, Ebba Tellander, Tatanya Ducran Valland, Kristin B. Sandvik & Kaja Borchgrevink on Monday, 6 April 2020

This piece is part of our blog series Beyond the COVID Curve. COVID-19 has quickly changed everything from our daily routines, to the policies of governments, to the fortunes of the global economy. How will it continue to shape society and the conditions for peace and conflict globally in the ... Read more »

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