Erica von Essen

Erica is now with Stockholm University!


Updated profile and contact info at new affiliation 

Erica von Essen is a researcher with the Environmental Communication division at the Department of Urban and Rural Development. She conducts empirical and theoretical research on human-animal relations. She has looked at the scope of human-wildlife interactions in contemporary society, including conflicts, killing, ethics, wildlife management, rewilding and hunting.

She pursues a part of her research with Professor of Legal, Political and Social Philosophy Michael Allen. Together, they examine resistance and disobedience in the full spectrum of animals: on behalf of animals and animal rights; against animal issues and conservation directives (her Ph.D. thesis in 2016 was on illegal hunting as a form of dissent in the Nordic countries) and even resistance by animals as agents in themselves.

Erica is published across a wide range of disciplinary communities such as Rural Sociology, Criminology, More-than-human geography, Environmental Ethics and Communication Studies. She is a reviewer for more than 18 peer-reviewed journals, engaging in the scope of human-animal topics. Her popular scientific publications can also be found in hunting magazines.

Among her theoretical frameworks are deliberative democracy, relational care ethics and various theories of (civil, disruptive, everyday, systemic) resistance as pertains to the environment.



Course leader for Interdisciplinary Practice (Sustainable Development masters program, Uppsala University/Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) March-June, 2016-2017, 15 credits

Recurring lecturer, group project supervisor for Environmental Communication and Management Masters programme, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Sustainable Development Masters Program various lectures, e.g. introduction module.

Lecturer for masters course The Process of Research: Methods, Data Analysis and Scientific Writing (15 hp)

Group project supervisor for project management and communication for agronomists (20hp)

Lecturer for Climate Change Leadership (Uppsala University, 2016)

Lecturer for Landscape Architecture Writing Module (Autumn 2017)

PhD Course - Research Ethics (november, 2018)

Winner of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences’ Pedagogical Award 2017

Motivation: "Erica von Essen uppskattas för hennes förmåga att strukturera, engagera, utveckla studenternas lärande. Erica undervisar bland annat inom miljökommunikation och hållbar utveckling, samtidigt som hon är nyligen disputerad och imponerande produktiv forskare, med fokus på vilt, jakt och etik. Enligt de många studenter som nominerat henne är hon fantastisk på att engagera studenter under såväl föreläsningar som övningar. Erica är bra på att se alla studenter som individer med deras olika styrkor och hon utnyttjar det i sin undervisning. Hennes kurser är välplanerade och hon är noga med att kommunicera central information och eventuella ändringar i god tid och är alltid väl förberedd i sina föreläsningar. Hon tar sig tid att svara på studenternas frågor. Erica är också uppskattad för att hon alltid ger mycket snabb, bra och konstruktiv återkoppling på studenternas presentationer, och det är ju en viktig förutsättning för att utveckla studenternas lärande. Erica, vi tackar dig för dina insatser och ditt engagemang för utbildningen vid SLU." – Karin Holmgren, prorektor, SLU promovotionsceremoni okt 2017

Teaching training courses

SIDA Certificate for Teaching in Higher Education (Birmingham City University, February-April, 2013)

Course in Grading and Assessment (SLU, September, 2013)

Teaching in Higher Education, basic course (SLU, February-April, 2015)

Teaching in higher education, advanced course (SLU, January-February, 2017)

Course in doctoral supervision (SLU, February-May, 2017)

Course in case-based teaching (SLU, April 2017)

Course in Pedagogical Portfolio Presentation (SLU, May-September 2017)


November 2016-November 2018: Erica is conducting research on the challenges to the contemporary Nordic hunting ethic. The research has a project page here.

2018-2021: Together with a PhD student, Erica conducts a project on modernizing wildlife ethics among hunters in Sweden. The research can be found here.

2018: Working closely with the international anthropological research project 'Bewildering Boar: Changing Cosmopolitics of the Hunt in Europe and Beyond' based in Prague,Erica also researches the ethics, practices and discourses around wild boar hunting in Europe. 

2020 - 2025 - Erica will be part of an ERC project on the veterinarization of wild boar management in Europe, led by Ludek Broz.

2020 - 2023 - Together with David Redmalm Erica will pursue License to Cull: Investigating the Necropolitics of Countryside Culling and Urban Pest Control (FORMAS).



Swedish Hunting Association, National Hunters' Association, Nordic Hunters' Alliance, The European Federation of Associations for Hunting & Conservation, SKANDULV, European Network for Environmental Ethics, International Environmental Communication Association (IECA), International Association for Society and Natural Resources (IASA); Human Dimensions of Wildlife


Ph.D. in Environmental Communication, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (September 2016)

MSc in Sustainable Development, Uppsala University (2012)

Bachelor soc. science in geography from Uppsala University (2010)


Masters thesis supervision within Environmental Communication and Management (ECM) and Sustainable Development (SD):

Ilektra Theodorakea, ECM (spring term 2014)

“Who let the Wolves Out? Perceptions about the presence of the Wolf in Central Greece”

Jamieson Bray, SD (spring term 2015)

“Cultural cognition and Climate Change: Communicating climate science over potential divides in Sweden”

Marin Tournier, SD (spring term 2015)

“Countering Illegal Wildlife Trade in Southeast Asia: A critical comparison of the leading strategies and their corresponding initiatives”

Lina Cederlöf, ECM (spring term 2015)

“Constructive Communication in Contexts of Complexity: A Case Study of the Wolf Conflict in Sweden”

Sara Andersson, ECM (spring term 2015)

“Animal Ethics Between Theory and Praxis: Differential Ethical Standards toward Wildlife: the Case Canis lupus in Sweden”

Sara Garrido Espinosa, ECM (spring term 2016)

"Constructing and Anticipating Conflict: How Madrid Prepares for Wolves"

Amalia Björnegran, (SD, 2017)

"Challenges and Possibilities for Accommodating Wild Animals in the Realm of Justice"

Julia Rouet-Ledouc (SD, spring 2017):

"The compromises of rewilding: reconciling nature and humans in the wilderness" (2017)

Nyashadzashe Marecha (ECM, 2017) 

"Perspectives of the human wildlife conflict situation from the standpoint of environmental justice : a case study of Hwange National Park, in Zimbabwe."

Larissa Kwiatkowski (SD, 2017)

"Paths to Meaningful Youth Involvement at the International Climate Change Negotiations: Lessons from COP22 in Marrakesh"

Tawast, Tea and Åhlvik, Therese (ECM 2017).

"Animals kill, that's how the world works' : the role of neutralisation and affirmation techniques in the discourse of animal product consumption."

Emily Montgomerie (ECM, 2018)

"Trust between actors in wildlife management : in the context of the Swedish seal management and small-scale fishery controversy"

Wouter Blankestijn & Anna Martin, (ECM 2018)

"Testing the (legal) waters: interpreting the political representation of a river with rights in New Zealand : “let’s talk to the river, instead of talking about the river”

Arthur Le Comte Du Colombier, ECM (autumn term, 2018)

“Perceptions and relation-mediating mechanisms in human-wildlife conflicts : in the context of the reintroduction of the brown bear in the Pyrenees (France)”.

Claire Reboah – ECM, (spring term 2019)

“Barriers to rewilding on Sussex farmland : socio-psychological implications of rewilding on farmers’ Sense of Place

Vera Schumann, ECM, (spring term 2019)

Disciplining coal resistance : the dynamics of violence and power in disciplining the resistance against the Hambach coal mine in Germany.

Wenxiu Li Guarding crops against the ‘protected pest’ : interactions among farmers, monkeys, and conservation staffs in a nature reserve of Guangxi, China.

Lucas McNabb Fridays for what future? : a case study on the collective action framing of the Swedish environmental movement

Elisa Leimer Climate protest images : understanding interpretations and their implications.

Martina Cøster Utfodring av rovdjur i jakt- och viltturism : etiska och etologiska implikationer

PhD Supervision

Elvira Caselunghe (as co-supervisor, defended thesis in 2018)

Lara Tickle (as main supervisor, 2018-)

Publikationer i urval



Von Essen, E. Allen, M. Cow Releases as Staged Liberations in Agri-Tourism. "Critical Animal Theory: Critical Theory, Social Constructions, and Total Liberation," ed. Nocella II, A.J.

Allen, M. von Essen, E. On the Dharma of Critical Animal Studies: Animal Spirituality and Total Liberation. "Critical Animal Theory: Critical Theory, Social Constructions, and Total Liberation," ed. Nocella II, A.J.


von Essen, E.; Lindsjö, J.; Berg, C. Instagranimal: Animal Welfare and Animal Ethics Challenges of Animal-Based Tourism. Animals 2020, 10

von Essen, E.; Allen, M.; Tickle, L. Game of Drones: On the Moral Significance of Deception in Modern Sport Hunting. Philosophical Journal of Conflict and Violence 2020, 4, 137-157.

Li, W. von Essen, E. 2020. Guarding crops from monkey troops: farmer-monkey interaction near a nature reserve in Guangxi, China. Journal of Environmental Sociology 10.1080/23251042.2020.1811004

von Essen, E., and M. Allen. (2020). Killing with kindness: when hunters want to let you know they care. Human Dimensions of Wildlife:1-17. 10.1080/10871209.2020.1800145

Tickle, L., and E. von Essen. (2020). The seven sins of hunting tourism. Annals of Tourism Research 84:102996.

von Essen, E., and M. Allen. (2020). ‘Not the Wolf Itself’: Distinguishing Hunters’ Criticisms of Wolves from Procedures for Making Wolf Management Decisions. Ethics, Policy & Environment:1-17.

Sofie Joosse, Stina Powell, Hanna Bergeå, Steffen Böhm, Camilo Calderón, Elvira Caselunghe, Anke Fischer, Ann Grubbström, Lars Hallgren, Sara Holmgren, Annette Löf, Helena Nordström Källström, Kaisa Raitio, Susan Senecah, Christoffer Söderlund Kanarp, Erica von Essen, Lotten Westberg & Martin Westin (2020) Critical, Engaged and Change-oriented Scholarship in Environmental Communication. Six Methodological Dilemmas to Think with, Environmental Communication, DOI: 10.1080/17524032.2020.1725588

von Essen, E. (2020). The Changing Wildlife Tableau of Hunting Magazine Covers, Society & Animals, , 1-23. doi:

Von Essen, E. Tickle, L. (2019) Leisure or Labor: An Identity Crisis for Modern Hunting? Sociologica Ruralis 10.1111/soru.12271

von Essen, E. Hansen, H.P. 2019. Editorial: Reconciliation, Welcoming of the Wild, and the Desire to Turn Back Time. Journal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies, 17 (1) 55-66

Von Essen, E. Allen, M.P. 2019. Why People-Nature Reconciliation Must be about People-People Reconciliation. Journal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies, 17 (1) 55-66

Rouet-Leduc, J. von Essen, E. 2019. The Compromises of Rewilding in Swedish Laponia : Implications for Nature Reconciliation. Journal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies: SI: People-Nature Reconciliation. 17 (1), 38-54

Caselunghe, E., et al. (2019). "Public Spheres for Deliberation on Nature? Democratic Qualities of Visitor Centres in Sweden." Journal of Public Deliberation 15(1): 1-29.

von Essen, E., et al. (2019). "Hunting communities of practice: Factors behind the social differentiation of hunters in modernity." Journal of Rural Studies 68: 13-21

von Essen, E. (2019). How Wild Boar Hunting is Becoming a Battleground. Journal of Leisure Sciences.

Allen, M. von Essen, E. (2018). Is the Radical Animal Rights Movement Ethically Vigilante? Between the Species  22 (1) pp. 260-285

Allen, M. and E. von Essen (2018). "Animal Resistors: On the Right of Resistance and Human Duties of Non-Return and Abolition " Critical Animal Studies 15(6): 3-28.

Peterson, M., Peterson, M.N., Peterson, T.R. von Essen, E. 2018. Environmental Ethics. Chapter In Silvy, N (ed). The Wildlife Techniques Manual. vol. 8. Johns Hopkins University. Baltimore [forthcoming]

Allen, M. von Essen, E. 2018. Interdependent Interspecies Political Agency in the Total Liberation Movement . Between the Species. [forthcoming]

Von Essen, E. 2018. "We Need to Talk…” Evolving Conversations about Ethics in Hunting Press 1960s-today”. Humanimalia, 10 (1)

Peterson, M. N., von Essen, E., Hansen, H. P., & Peterson, T. R. (2018). Shoot shovel and sanction yourself: Self-policing as a response to wolf poaching among Swedish hunters. Ambio. doi:10.1007/s13280-018-1072-5

von Essen, E. and H.P. Hansen (2018) Policing peers between law and morality: A socio-legal perspective on managing misconduct in hunting. International Journal of Rural Criminology, 4(1) pp. 1-26

Allen, M.P. von Essen, E. 2018. Religion, Critical Animal Studies, and the Political Turn: Nonhuman Animal Belonging and Participation from Secular and Religious Perspectives. Journal of Critical Animal Studies, 15 (4), 4-29

von Essen, E. Hansen, H.P. Peterson, M.N. Peterson, T.R. 2017. Discourses on Illegal Hunting in Sweden: The Meaning of Silence and Resistance. Environmental Sociology, DOI: 10.1080/23251042.2017.1408446

von Essen, E. (2017) The impact of modernization on hunting ethics: Emerging taboos among contemporary swedish hunters. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, pp. 1-18

Siachiyako, C., E. von Essen and E. Ångman (2017) An exit from the garbage city: Resistance and “chikonko” in zambian waste management. Journal of Resistance Studies, 1(3) pp. 62-98 

von Essen, E. and M.P. Allen (2017) Taking prejudice seriously: Burkean reflections on the rural past and present. Sociologia Ruralis, 50(pp. 139-147)

von Essen, E., M. Allen and H.P. Hansen (2017) Hunters, crown, nobles, and conservation elites: Class antagonism over the ownership of common fauna. International Journal of Cultural Property, 24(2) pp. 161-186

von Essen, E. Hansen, H.P. 2017. "Contemporary Perspectives on People-Nature Reconciliation"Journal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies, vol. 15, no. 1 (pp. 2-4)

von Essen, E. Allen, A. 2017."A Reluctant Right-Wing Social Movement: On the ‘Good Sense’ of Swedish Hunters?" Journal of Rural Studies. 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2017.01.007

von Essen, E., and Allen, M.P. 2017. “From Obstructionism to Communication: Local, National and Transnational Dimensions of Contestations on the Swedish Wolf Cull Controversy” Environmental Communication.  vol 11, (5): 654-666

von Essen, E. Allen, M. 2017. Solidarity Between Human and Non-Human Animals: Representing Animal Voices in Policy Deliberations.” Environmental Communication. vol 11 (5): 641-653

von Essen, E. and H.P. Hansen (2016) Sport hunting and food procurement ethics. Pp. 1-7 in P. B. Thompson and D. M. Kaplan eds., Encyclopedia of food and agricultural ethics (Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands)

von Essen, E. Allen, A. 2016. "The Implications of Victimhood Identity: The Case of ‘Persecution’ of Swedish Hunters." International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, vol 6, no 2, p. 78-94 

von Essen, E. Allen, A. 2016. "Interspecies Violence and Crimes of Dissent: In what Sense are Wildlife the Victims of Message-Crimes?" Green Criminology Special Issue for Critical Criminology, 25 (2), pp. 261-274

von Essen, E. Nurse, A. 2016. Illegal Hunting Special Issue: Editors' Introduction. Crime, Law and Social Change, DOI: 10.1007/s10611-016-9676-9, pp. 1-6

Peterson, von Essen, E., N. Hansen, H.P., Peterson, T.R. 2016. ”Illegal fishing and hunting as resistance to neo-liberal colonialism”. Crime, Law and Social Change. Special Issue: Illegal Hunting doi:10.1007/s10611-016-9664-0

Allen, M. von Essen, E. 2016. "Neo-Republicanism as a Route to Animal Non-Domination. Politics and Animals: 15-24

von Essen, E. 2016. In the Gap between Legality and Legitimacy: Illegal Hunting in Sweden as a Crime of Dissent. Doctoral thesis. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

von Essen, E. Allen, M. 2016. ”Wild-But-Not-Too-Wild Animals: Challenging Goldilocks Standards in Rewilding”. Between the Species, 19(1) 80-108

von Essen, E., and Allen, M.P. 2016. “The Republican Zoopolis: Towards a New Legitimation Framework for Relational Animal Ethics.” Ethics and the Environment. 21 (1): 61-88 

von Essen, E., and Allen, M.P. 2016. “A Rabble in the Zoopolis? Considering Responsibilities for Wildlife Hybrids”. Journal of Social Philosophy 42 (2): 171-187

Hansen, H.P. von Essen, E. Sriskandarajah, N. 2016. Citizens, Values and Experts: Stakeholders and The Inveigling Factor of Participatory Democracy. In Hansen, H.P. Nielsen, B.S. Sriskandarajah, N. Gunnarsson, E (eds.). Action Research for Democracy. Routledge: pp. 125-150

Theodorakea, I. von Essen, E. 2016. “Who Let the Wolves Out? Narratives, rumors and social representations of the wolf in Greece.” Journal of Environmental Sociology 2 (1): pp. 29-40

von Essen, E. 2016. Environmental Disobedience and the Dialogic Dimensions of Dissent. Democratization. DOI: 10.1080/13510347.2016.1185416

von Essen, E., Hansen, H.P., Nordström Källström, H., Peterson, M.N., and Peterson, T.R. 2016. Illegal Hunting: Between Social and Criminal Justice. In Donnermeyer, J. (ed). International Handbook of Rural Criminology. Routledge.  (p. 319-329)

von Essen, E. 2015. “Whose discourse is it anyway? Understanding resistance through the rise of ‘barstool biology’ in nature conservation”. Journal of Environmental Communication. DOI:10.1080/17524032.2015.1042986

von Essen, E. Hansen, H.P. 2015. ”How stakeholder co-management reproduces conservation conflicts: revealing rationality problems in Swedish wolf conservation”. Conservation & Society. 13(4) p. 332-344

von Essen, E., and Allen, M.P. 2015. "Reconsidering Illegal Hunting as a Crime of Dissent: Implication for Justice and Deliberative Uptake. " Criminal Law & Philosophy:1-16. doi: 10.1007/s11572-014-9364-8.

von Essen, E., Hansen, H.P., Nordström Källström, H., Peterson, M.N., and Peterson, T.R. 2014. "The radicalisation of rural resistance: How hunting counterpublics in the Nordic countries contribute to illegal hunting." Journal of Rural Studies. no. 39, p. 199-209

von Essen, E., Hansen, H.P., Nordström Källström, H., Peterson, M.N., and Peterson, T.R. 2014. "Deconstructing the Poaching Phenomenon: A Review of Typologies for Understanding Illegal Hunting." British Journal of Criminology no. 54 (4):632-651.

Popular scientific publications

Von Essen, E. Jerlström, J. Tickle, L. 2020. Fruntimmer i Skogen, men Jägarinna på Instagram. Jaktojägare nr 1/2 2020

Von Essen. E. 2018. Samma språk – olika natursyner [”Same Language, Different Nature Views”]. Biodiverse. Nr.2/2018, pp. 12-13

Von Essen, E. Jaktojägare. Nr 12, 2017. Försköning och Vita Lögner i Jaktbilder. Nytt & Noterat, p. 13

Jaktjournalen, nr. 12, 2017. 5 Snabba frågor: Erica von Essen sätter punkt. P. 98. (Holger Nilsson reporter)

Von Essen, E. Jaktojägare. 2017-11-14 ”Rewilding – ett moment 22” SLU-forskare om att ”peta i naturen”

von Essen, E., Hansen, H.P., Nordström Källström, H., Peterson, M.N., and Peterson, T.R. 2017. On Illegal Killings of Wildlife in Fennoscandia: Symposium Report. Urban and Rural Reports, 2017:1

Nordström Källström, H., von Essen, E., Hansen, H.P., Peterson, M.N., and Peterson, T.R. 2017. Illegal Jakt i Fennoskandinavien. Symposium Report. Urban and Rural Reports 2017:2

von Essen, E., Hansen, H.P., Nordström Källström, H., Peterson, M.N., and Peterson, T.R. 2015. ”Toward a critical and interdisciplinary understanding of illegal hunting: a synthesis of Copenhagen research workshop findings” Urban and Rural Reports. 2015:1

von Essen, E., Hansen, H.P., Nordström Källström, H., Peterson, M.N., and Peterson, T.R. 2015.  ”Moral, cultural and legal discrepancies in hunting: bridging the fault line between fair chase and ‘killing for the table’.” Conference on Environmental Communication, Boulder, Colorado. 2015.

von Essen, E. (2017). Vi måste förstå drivkrafterna. Svensk Jakt. Nr. 2. 2017, p. 21

von Essen, E (2017). Därför tar vissa jägare lagen i egna händer. Svensk Jakt. Nr. 1, 2017.

Featured in radio interviews for P4 Värmland, P4 Väst and for newspapers Jaktojägare, Sörmlandsbygden, Lant & Lantbruk (September 2016)

Jaktradion podcast interview July 7, 2017

‘Slightly Evolved’ podcast interview with Toby Fountain, Episode 17 - Wildlife ethics:

Featured in debate on Danish television program “Ulvetimmen”, as respondent in expert interview (January 2016).

Listed at contact person / subject responsible for ‘large carnivore politics’ and ‘illegal hunting’ on SLU level ( 2017-)


Mentioned by media (not exhaustive list):