Sonja Kittelsen

Guest researcher
Image of Sonja Kittelsen
Room 2nd floor
Visiting address Sandakerveien 130 0484 Oslo

Academic interests

  • Global health security
  • Global governance
  • Securitization theory
  • Non-state actors

Sonja Kittelsen’s research interests cut across the fields of global health and security studies. Her current research focuses on the role of non-state actors in shaping global health security debates and practices. Her Scientia Fellows postdoctoral research focuses specifically on the role of international non-governmental organisations in the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) and in health security capacity-building in Liberia.

Kittelsen’s PhD thesis, The EU and the Securitization of Pandemic Influenza, focused on the evolving role of the EU as a manager of cross-border health threats. Her PhD was funded under the European Research Council project, Transformations of Global Health Governance: Competing Views and Crises, co-led by the Centre for Health and International Relations at Aberystwyth University, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.    

At the Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM), Kittelsen currently works as a researcher for the Independent Panel on Global Governance for Health. She is a member of the Power and Politics in Global Health research group and helps to organise the Global Health Unpacked seminar series.


Kittelsen holds a PhD in International Politics from Aberystwyth University in the UK and an MA in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) at Carleton University in Canada. Prior to pursuing her PhD, she worked as a researcher on health and security at the Peace Research Institute in Oslo (PRIO). Kittelsen was a Scientia Fellows postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo, before beginning her current position at SUM.          


  • Best PhD Thesis Prize (2014), Academic Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES)

Courses taught

  • MED92925 Global Health, PhD elective course, Department of Community Medicine and Global Health, Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo
  • INTHE4000 Health Systems, MPhil elective course, Department of Community Medicine and Global Health, Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo
Tags: Global Health, Health Security, Global Governance, Securitization Theory, European Union, Non-State Actors, Security Studies, International Relations


  • de Bengy Puyvallée, Antoine & Kittelsen, Sonja (2019). "Disease knows no borders": Pandemics and the politics of global health security, In Kristian Bjørkdahl & Benedicte Carlsen (ed.),  Pandemics, Publics, and Politics - Staging Responses to Public Health Crises.  Palgrave Pivot.  ISBN 978-981-13-2801-5.  Chapter 5.  s 59 - 73
  • Kittelsen, Sonja & Keating, Vincent (2019). Rational Trust in Resilient Health Systems. Health Policy and Planning.  ISSN 0268-1080.  34(7), s 553- 557 . doi: 10.1093/heapol/czz066 Full text in Research Archive. Show summary
  • de Bengy Puyvallée, Antoine; Kittelsen, Sonja & Storeng, Katerini Tagmatarchi (2018). Krise! Hvordan beredskapslogikk endrer global helsepolitikk. Tidsskrift for Den norske legeforening.  ISSN 0029-2001.  138(16), s 1- 7 . doi: 10.4045/tidsskr.18.0572
  • Rushton, Simon & Kittelsen, Sonja (2017). Pandemics and global health, In Myriam Dunn Cavelty & Thierry Balzacq (ed.),  Routledge Handbook of Security Studies.  Routledge.  ISBN 9781138803930.  chapter 21.  s 224 - 233
  • Kittelsen, Sonja (2016). Segurança da saúde, I: Raquel Duque; Diogo Noivo & Teresa de Almeida e Silva (red.),  Segurança Contemporânea.  Pactor.  ISBN 978-989-693-054-7.  chapter 11.  s 165 - 178
  • Kittelsen, Sonja (2009). Conceptualizing Biorisk: Dread Risk and the Threat of Bioterrorism in Europe. Security Dialogue.  ISSN 0967-0106.  40(1), s 51- 71 . doi: 10.1177/0967010608100847
  • Kittelsen, Sonja (2007). Beyond Bounded Space: Europe, Security, and the Global Circulation of Infectious Disease. European Security.  ISSN 0966-2839.  16(2), s 121- 142

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Published Oct. 15, 2018 2:44 PM - Last modified Aug. 15, 2019 1:09 PM