Johanna Mugler

Johanna Mugler

Johanna’s primary research goals are directed at understanding how people and institutions are accomplishing complex social phenomena like accountability, justice, redistribution and equality. Her interest in fiscal accountabilities of global taxpayers and the making of international tax norms and standards grew out of her PhD work “Measuring Justice” where she explored the relationship between accountability, quantification and law amongst legal professionals within the National Prosecuting Authority in South Africa.

Johanna has beeen since 2012 a Lecturer and Researcher at the Institute for Social Anthropology at the University of Bern, Switzerland. She holds a Ph.D in Social Anthropology (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany 2015), and a Magister in Social Anthropology (Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, Germany 2006) and an Honours Degree in Social Anthropology (University of Cape Town, South Africa, 2004). She was a member of the International Max Planck Research School on Retaliation, Mediation and Punishment and a doctoral student of the LOST Group between 2008 and 2012.

She is married and has two children.

Current position
Post Doctoral Researcher
University affiliation
University of Bern


Johanna’s current research project focuses on the culture of international tax experts and on the prodcution of international tax norms and standards.
She currently conducts field research at the OECD in Paris, at the UN in Geneva and at international tax conferences worldwide. By exploring the changing fiscal accountabilities of global tax payers Johanna is interested to provide a more tangible understanding of the consequences and effects of the growing disjuncture between the national territorial organization of national states and the increasing transnational organization of today’s economic activity.
Her research combines legal and political anthropology, socio-legal studies and classic /new fiscal sociology.


  • Mugler, Johanna (2019) "Regulatory Capture? Fiscal Anthropological Insights into the Heart of Contemporary Statehood." in The Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law 50 (3):379-395. →
  • Mugler, Johanna (2019) "Measuring Justice. Quantitative Accountability and the National Prosecuting Authority in South Africa." Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Mugler, Johanna (2018) "The Empty Chairs. On the Tedious Constraints of Trans-local Research." in Anthroblog of the Institute for Social Anthropology at the University of Bern February 2018. →
  • Mugler, Johanna (2017) "(Keine) Angst vor Zahlen? Gefühle gegenüber Performance Measurement innerhalb der südafrikanischen Staatsanwaltschaft." in Gerechtigkeitsgefühle: zur affektiven und emotionalen Legitimität von Normen , edited by Jonas Bens and Olaf Zenker. Bielefeld: transcript
  • Rottenburg, Richard, Sally Engle Merry, Sung-Joon Park, and Johanna Mugler, eds. (2015) "A world of indicators: The making of governmental knowledge through quantification." Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Mugler, Johanna (2015) "By Their Own Account: (Quantitative) Accountability, Numerical Reflexivity, and the National Prosecuting Authority in South Africa." in The World of Indicators. The Making of Governmental Knowledge through Quantification 76-101 , edited by Richard Rottenburg, Sally Engle Merry, Sung-Joon Park, and Johanna Mugler. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press