Short CV/Education and training

  • 1975 – 1983
    Studied social anthropology, law, journalism, anthropology at the University of Zurich, Switzerland

  • 1983
    Lizenziat degree in social anthropology, University of Zurich, Switzerland

  • 1983 – 1984
    Taught at the University of Bern, Switzerland

  • 1983 – 1986
    Taught at the University of Zurich

  • 1984 – 1986
    Research assistant in the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology

  • 1986 – 1987
    Lecturer, University of Bern

  • 1988 – 1990
    Research assistant in the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology

  • 1988 – 1990
    Taught at the University of Zurich

  • 1989
    Doctorate (Social and Cultural Anthropology)/ Dr phil I, PhD

  • Since 1989
    Consultant within the framework of the developmental collaboration

  • 1990 – 1991
    Short term professional staff-member, October 1990-June 1991: International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu, Nepal

  • 1992 – 2002
    Founding member and member of the executive committee of the company SUPRAS (Consultants on Culture and Development)

  • 1992
    Visiting lecturer at Wolfson College and in the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology in Oxford, UK

  • 1992
    Short term professional staff-member

  • 1992
    International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu

  • 1993
    - 1997 Lecturer, University of Zurich

  • 1994 – 1997
    University of Zurich, Lecturer and scientific collaborator, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology

  • 1994 – 2000
    Team member of the research group "Multiculturalism and Modes of Ethnic Co-existence in South and South East Asia" on the behalf of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies

  • 1997 – 1998
    Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford, and in the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Oxford

  • 1997 – 2000
    Research associate in the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Zurich

  • 1996
    Member of the Working Committee of the Academy of Human Rights, Bern

  • 1998
    Assignment in Nepal as part of the first mission of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as a translator (Nepali-English; Nepali-French)

  • 1999
    Visiting professor at the University of Tokyo, Japan

  • 1999 – 2001
    Research associate, Centre for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, Germany; development and management of the research programme "Human Rights and Development"; deputy to the director

  • 2001
    Habilitation (postdoctoral qualification) at the University of Zurich (Faculty of Arts; venia legendi (authorisation to teach) in social anthropology)

  • 2001
    University professor (C3; since 2005: W2) at Bielefeld University, Germany; Faculty of Sociology, Chair in social anthropology

  • 2001
    Deputy director of the Centre for Development Research (section Political and Cultural Change), University of Bonn, Acting professor -50%

  • 2000 – 2001
    Acting professor of social anthropology at Bielefeld University -50%

  • 2006 – 2007
    Vice dean of the Faculty of Sociology, Bielefeld University

  • 2007
    Visiting lecturer at Wolfson College and in the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology in Oxford

  • 2007 – 2009
    Vice rector of organisational development, Bielefeld University

Selected publications

  • Pfaff-Czarnecka, J.: "Minorities-in-Minorities" in South Asian Societies: Between Politics of Diversity and Politics of Difference. In: S. Kumar Das (ed.), Minorities in Europe and South Asia: The New Agenda. Kolkata: Samya Publishers, 2010. pp. 100-131.

  • Pfaff-Czarnecka, J.: Accommodating Religious Diversity in Switzerland. In: P. Bramadat, M. König (eds.), International Migration and the Governance of Religious Diversity. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2009. pp. 225-257.

  • Pfaff-Czarnecka, J.: Nationalism and Ethnicity in Nepal. Kathmandu: Vajra Press. (Ed. together with David Gellner and John Whelpton), 2008.

  • Pfaff-Czarnecka, J.: Die Ethnisierung des Politischen. Identitätspolitiken in Lateinamerika, Asien und den USA. Frankfurt am Main, New York: Campus. (Ed. together with Christian Büschges), 2007.

  • Pfaff-Czarnecka, J.: School and Religious Difference: Current Negotiations Within the Swiss Immigrant Society – a Comparative Perspective. In: F. v. Benda-Beckmann, K. v. Benda-Beckmann, A. Griffith (eds.), Mobile People, Mobile Laws. Expanding Legal Relations in a Contracting World. Aldershot, Hampshire: Ashgate 2005. pp. 257-276.


Selected projects

  • Co-leadership of the project "Microdynamics of political communication in the global society. The social life of the concept of democracy in two Islamic countries"; together with Dr Eva Gerharz and Dr Christian Meyer, funded by the DFG; in the field of social anthropology, Faculty of Sociology, Bielefeld University, 2011 – 2014

  • Co-leadership in sub-project B13 "Ethnicisation and De-Ethnicisation of the Political. Media, Actors and Semantics of Ethnicity in Transnational Communicative Space", within the framework of the SFB 584 "The Political as Communicative Space in History ", funded by the DFG; Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology, Bielefeld University, 3rd funding period, 2007 – 2010

  • Co-leadership in the project "The Politics of Belonging in the Himalayas", together with Dr Gérard Toffin (DR1 CNRS) and Prof. David Gellner, Oxford University, CNRS, Maison de la Science de l'Homme, British Academy, German Research Foundation, 2007 – 2010

  • Co-leadership in sub-project B13 "Ethnicisation and De-Ethnicisation of the Political. Processes of inclusion and exclusion in the Andes and Southeast Asia" within the framework of the SFB 584 "The Political as Communicative Space in History", 2nd funding period, funded by the DFG; Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology, Bielefeld University, 2004 – 2008

  • Coordination of the project in the EU-Asia Link Programme "The (Micro)Politics of Democratisation: European-South Asian Exchanges on Governance, Conflict and Civic Action", funded by the European Commission, 2004 – 2007

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Member of the senate and grants committee of the German Research Foundation (DFG) for Research Training Groups, since 2007

  • Chairperson of the University Commission for Organisational Development, Bielefeld University, 2007 – 2009

  • Member of the advisory board of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, since 2006

  • Member of the executive committee of the alumni network of Bielefeld University, 2006 – 2009

  • Member of the steering group for the programme "Social Inclusion Research Fund", Royal Government of Norway in Nepal, implemented by SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, Nepal, 2005 – 2009

  • Member of the executive council of the International Graduate School in Sociology (IGSS), Bielefeld University, 2005 – 2008

  • Member of the advisory board of the Development and Peace Foundation, Bonn, 2004 – 2013

  • Member of the Comité National (Commission 38), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Paris, 2004 – 2007

  • Associated member of the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI), Great Britain, since 2002

  • Member of the scientific advisory board of the research programme "Local identities and supra-local influences", Austrian Academy of Sciences, Wittgenstein Prize 2000, 2002 – 2005

  • Member of the American Anthropology Association (AAA), 2000 – 2008

  • Member of the scientific advisory board of the Centre for Germany and Europe Studies, St. Petersburg, 2002 – 2005

  • Spokesperson of the section "Developmental sociology and cultural anthropology", German Sociological Association (GSA), 2002 – 2004

  • Member of the German Anthropological Association (DGV), since 2001

  • Member of the executive committee of the Institute for World Society Studies, Faculty of Sociology, Bielefeld University, since 2001

  • Member of the steering committee of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), Programme 40+ "Causes of right-wing extremism", 2001 – 2008

  • Member of the German Sociological Association (GSA), since 2000

  • Deputy spokesperson of the section "Developmental sociology and cultural anthropology" of the German Sociological Association (GSA), 2000 – 2002

  • Vice president of the Swiss Ethnological Association, 1999 – 2005

  • President of the Swiss Ethnological Association, 1996 – 1998

  • Member of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA), since 1993

  • Member of the German–Nepalese Circle of Friends, since 1987

  • Member of the Swiss Ethnological Association, since 1986

Additional qualifications

  • 2004 Offer of a professorship at the University of Vienna, Austria: declined


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