Milla Vaha - Senior Lecturer

Office: 014-216

Tel: 323-2780


Dr. Milla Vaha started at the USP in July 2019. Born and raised in Finland, she did her first degree in Political Science and International Relations at the University of Turku and continued her studies in Political Theory at the London School of Economics. She holds a PhD in Political and Social Sciences of the European University Institute. She has worked in Lecturer and Senior Lecturer positions in Finland, been a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, Australia, and the European Union Experts4Asia Fellow at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. Her research focuses on International Political Theory and the ethics of world politics. In her most recent research project she explores the theoretical and normative features of existential threat in the context of Small Island States and the climate crisis. Her book, The Moral Standing of the State in International Politics: A Kantian Account, was published by the University of Wales Press in July 2021.

Academic Qualifications

Docent (Associate Professor, adjunct), University of Lapland, Finland

PhD in Social and Political Sciences/International Relations, European University Institute, Italy

MSc in Political Theory, London School of Economics, UK

MSc in Social Sciences/ Political Science and International Relations, University of Turku, Finland

BSc in Social Sciences/Political Science and International Relations, University of Turku, Finland


  • Ethics of world politics, esp. climate ethics and ethics of war
  • International climate politics and Small Island Developing States
  • International Political Theory
  • Political philosophy, esp. Immanuel Kant

Research Fellow, Island Lives, Ocean States, University of Bergen


Semester 1, Politics of Human Rights (PL305)

Semester 1, World Politics and International Relations (PL410)

Semester 2, Politics of Development (PL101)
Semester 2, Ethics of Governance (DG404)

Recent Publications

2022. ‘We Are All in This Together: Evaluating Human Rights Restrictions in Selected Pacific Island Countries During Pandemic,’ Journal of Pacific Studies 41(2).

2022. with Eberhard Weber and Andres Kopf, ‘Covid-19 in Fiji: From Health and Economic to Major Political Crisis,’ in Rais Akhtar (ed.), Coronavirus (Covid-19) Outbreaks, Vaccination, Policy and Society (Springer Nature).

2021. with Eberhard Weber and Andres Kopf, ‘COVID-19 Pandemic in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories,’ in Rais Akhtar (ed.), Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreaks, Environment and Human Behaviour (Springer Nature).

2021. ‘Protection for “climate migrants”: Global challenges and a call for political leadership’ in Leal Filho, Walter et al. (eds.), Handbook of Climate Change Management: Research, Leadership, Transformation (Springer).

2018. Kantian insights on the moral personality of the state. In: Larry Krasnoff et al (eds.) Kant’s Doctrine of Right in the twenty-first century (Cardiff: University of Wales Press).

2018. with Leena Vastapuu. ‘My heart was already cooked’: girl soldiers and situated moral agencies, Cambridge Review of International Affairs 31(2).

2018. ‘We Kant have bad states’: on evilization in liberal world politics, International Politics 55(2).

2017. Hosting the Small Island Developing States: Two scenarios, International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management 10(2).

2017. “We as peoples have the right to exist: Threatened Nations and Climate Justice, Pacific Affairs 90(4).

2015. Drowning under: Small island states and the right to exist, Journal of International Political Theory 11(2).

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