Tiina Seppälä holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Lapland. Her PhD thesis (2010) dealt with the anti-war movement and theories of global resistance.
Seppälä is one of the three co-founders of the research collective Bordering Actors (2014). She is interested in activism, resistance, social movements, development, displacement, forced migration, refugees, ethnography, politics of knowledge, decolonization, postcolonial and feminist theory, engaged scholarship, art-based and collaborative research methodologies. In her recent work, she has focused on feminization of resistance, decolonial feminist solidarity, and co-production of knowledge with research participants. She is also developing a new concept of co-decolonizing.
Seppälä has engaged with anti-war and peace movements in Europe, anti-land grabbing and anti-eviction movements in India, and slum activist and women's rights movements in Nepal and Bangladesh. She has worked as visiting research fellow at Calcutta Research Group in Kolkata, India, and Nepal Institute of Peace in Kathmandu. She is affiliated with Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit based at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Her research project Governance, Resistance and Neoliberal Development: Struggles against Development-Induced Displacement and Forced Evictions in South Asia was funded by the Academy of Finland (2013–2016).
Currently, she works as university researcher in Rethinking Nordic Democracy: Civil Disobedience in Exceptional Times research project, funded by the Academy of Finland. She is also a member of the Service Design Research Group CO-STARS at the Faculty of Art and Design.