Professor, Philosophy/History Faculty, University of Bern


Since 2009 Tobias Haller is Professor in Social Anthropology at the Institute of Social Anthropology and CDE, University of Bern and lecturer at the ETH Zurich. He studied social anthropology, geography and sociology and made his PhD and Habilitation at the University of Zurich. He did fieldwork in Cameroon and Zambia and has specialized in economic and ecological anthropology (New Institutionalism and Political Ecology, common pool resource management, local perception of environment, protected areas, community-based natural resource management, political ecology). He teaches courses on economic, political, and ecological anthropology on topics such as sustainable use of natural resources, environmental perception, bottom-up institutions building, land grabbing, conservation and protected areas, land tenure issues, and anthropology of mining and mega-infrastructure projects. Since 2014 his team is working on land and commons grabbing, SDGs and mega-infrastructure projects in Africa and Europe. In these projects green energy grabbing contexts (large scale biofuel, wind, hydro and solar energy projects) impacting local common property and local reactions are at the centre of interest as are participatory approaches and bottom-up decentralized energy initiatives.

Selected publications

Haller, T. & Weissman, S. (eds.), 2024.  Disenchanted Modernities: Mega-Infrastructure Projects, SocioEcological Changes and Local Responses. Action Anthropology/Aktionsethnologie. ISBN: 978-3-643-80378-8.

Gerber, JD, & Haller, T. (2021) The drama of the grabbed commons: anti-politics machine and local responses, The Journal of Peasant Studies, 48:6, 1304-1327, DOI: 10.1080/03066150.2020.1758673

Haller, T. (2019). The Different Meanings of Land in the Age of Neoliberalism: Theoretical Reflections on Commons and Resilience Grabbing from a Social Anthropological Perspective. Land, 8(7), 104.

Haller, T. Acciaioli, G and Rist, S. 2016.Constitutionality: Conditions for Crafting Local Ownership of Institution-Building Processes. Society and Natural Resources 29(1):68-87.

Haller, T., Ngutu, M. and Käser, F. (2020). “Does Commons Grabbing lead to Resilience Grabbing? The Anti-Politics Machine of Neo-Liberal Agrarian Development and Local Responses”. Special issue LAND; now published as a book.

Haller, T., Breu, T., de Moor, T., Rohr, C., and Znoj, H. (eds.). 2019. The Commons in a Glocal World: Global Connections and Local Responses. Routledge: London.

Niederberger, T., Haller, T. Gambon, H., Kobi, M. and Wenk, I. (eds). (2016). The Open Cut. Mining, Transnational Corporations and Local Populations. Lit: Hamburg.

– University of Bern: Gerber, Käser, Ngutu, Rist, Gambon, Breu
– University of Zurich: Kobi, Wenk
– University of Perth (Australia): Acciaioli (emeritus)
– University of Erasmus Rotterdam University