Dr Nilsen is researching philosophy and global affairs. Dr Nilsen teaches 20th century philosophy (Wittgenstein as well as both analytic and Continental thought), social and political theory (historical and contemporary), and sociology and politics (especially globalization and inequality). He has taught for several Oxford colleges as well as for the Oxford Program of Stanford University. He was for three years the Acting Professor of International Business at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster.
Dr Nilsen has a DPhil in political economy and an MPhil in European politics, law, and economics from Wadham College at the University of Oxford where he was the 2000 Norway Scholar. He has a CandMag from Universitetet i Oslo and has been a visiting student at the University of Washington, the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, and Harvard University.