Research Projects


Changing Parameters for Hydropolitics in Light of Global Climate Change: The Governance of Transboundary Waters to meet the Water

The focus of this research project is the problematique of good governance of transboundary water resources. The justification is the critical development-need for enhancing knowledge on how to govern these resources in the face of increasing uncertainties, in particular in relation to global climate change (GCC). The context is the complex global development agenda, the growing scarcity of water, and GCC-related uncertainties. The research problem it addresses is the inadequacy with a series of strategically situated in-depth case studies at its core, which will be compared and contrasted, eventually aiming at generalizing conclusions. The outcome is the advancement of global research front subsequently producing efficiency and legitimacy for decision-makers. Duration: 2011-2013. Funding Agency: Sida

Researchers: Ashok Swain, Joakim Öjendal, Anders Jägerskog, Stina Hansson


Climate Change, Natural Resource Governance and Conflict Prevention in Africa

The project seeks to enhance the knowledge base, improve early warning in relation to natural resource or climate-related conflicts, and enhance the capacity for early response to prevent and resolve such conflicts, particularly in identified flash-point areas. These objectives will be achieved through research and analysis, capacity building, development of a CSO action network, advocacy and awareness-raising. The project is supported by Sida, in collaboration with Global Crisis Solutions, Pretoria and the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI).

Research leader: Ashok Swain


Sustainable State-Building? – Assessing Energy Development Projects in Kosovo and Nepal

The project is a comparative study of impact and durability of energy projects, which are promoted by international community in Kosovo and Nepal as post-conflict statebuilding measures. Main aim is to study if policies adopted for energy production are sustainable in terms of long-term peace and development. The project further aims to investigate a) the role and behaviour of external statebuilding actors in fostering sustainable energy policy as part  of inclusive statebuilding and b) how domestic institutions and actors that are affected by these policies address environmental and natural resource issues in relation to energy production. The project contributes to understand dynamics between external and internal actors after conflict and the incorporation of sustainable development in statebuilding strategies as such. Duration: 2011-2013. Funding Agency: Sida.

Researchers: Roland Kostic, Ashok Swain, Florian Krampe


Living Without Rights: Undocumented Migrants and the Boundaries of Citizenship

This research project aims to provide an anthropological analysis of how the “illegal” status of undocumented migrants – of which there are an ever increasing number on all continents, seeking incomes for themselves and their families – brings out the conflict between on the one hand, principles of state sovereignty, citizenship and the formation of demos and, on the other, the notion of universal principles of human rights and democratic political participation. The project will investigate to what extent undocumented migrants, in spite of their condition of exposed vulnerability, wish and are able to create spheres through which they constitute themselves as social and political participants in the national society of which they are de-facto members but formally excluded from. The study will be based on fieldwork among migrants from Latin America residing in the Stockholm region in Sweden. This is an individual 3-year research project, funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (70% position) from 2009.

Researcher: Heidi Moksnes


Sustainable Global Patterns of Production and Consumption: Current Problems and Future Possibilities (GloPat)

This interdisciplinary research project was initiated by researchers from Uppsala University and SLU (The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) and is funded by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet). It is a three year project that started in August 2008, involving three case studies on production in the Global South (marine resources in Chile, biofuels in Brazil and maize in South Africa). The project team includes 11 researchers with backgrounds in systems ecology, agricultural sciences, biology, development studies, sociology, engineering, anthropology, geography, intellectual history and law studies. The main objective is to identify and analyze patterns of global production, consumption and trade, combining theories and methods from these disciplines.

Research leader: Torbjörn Rydberg, Cemus/CSD Uppsala.

Contact person for the project: Eva Friman, Cemus/CSD Uppsala.


SusUrbia – Sustainable urban life beyond peak oil

This project is carried out by Dr. Daniel Bergqvist as a visiting researcher (post-doc) at the University of Florida and State University of Campinas, Brazil. It explores the potential of urban agriculture for reducing energy consumption and climate change derived from food production and consumption, and for sustaining urban life in times of energy and resource scarcity, i.e., by increasing self-sufficiency, sustainability, fairness and food security. The project aims to (1) apply systems theories and the emergy perspective in case studies of urban agriculture, (2) identify opportunities and constraints for improved transdisciplinary analysis, and (3) explore alternative strategies to urbanisation that decrease energy consumption at global aggregate levels, alongside sustainable and fair urban development. The project is carried out in close collaboration with local researchers and an urban community in Campinas, Brazil, and engages participants in experimental research with the explicit purpose not only to extract knowledge, but also to make use of research findings for real improvement locally, in a joint and deliberate process of reflective learning, while applying and developing transdisciplinary theory in the field.

Researcher: Dr Daniel Bergqvist


Beyond private and public property. Territorial use rights to fisheries (TURFS) as a sustainable solution to manage threatened sedentary marine resources. The Chilean case

Studies show that marine resources worldwide are in a critical situation. The oceans conform to one inseparable ecosystem not recognizing national borders. If it is true that human induced extinction of one species influences the whole ecosystem negatively, the same is valid regarding good practices. Efforts to revert depletion of marine resources exist and fishing management has been delegated to fishers; key actors of the coastal ecosystem, like in Chile through the Management and Exploitation Areas for Benthic Resources (MEABR). This empowers fishers with exclusive territorial use rights in fisheries (TURFs). Based on common pool resources (cpr), including the TURFs and co-management’s theoretical approaches, the project funded by FORMAS (The swedish research council for environment, cultural sciences, and spatial planning) assesses two cases of the MEABRs, socially, economically and ecologically. How fishers perceive the MEABR should be central for the accomplishment or letdown of this experience. Qualitative and quantitative methods will be used to capture the criteria and principles associated with cpr. Studies on MEABR from natural sciences alone cannot grasp the complexity of the interrelationship existing between the social and natural world. A social science analysis will enrich the discussion on the sustainability of forms like the MEABR. The Chilean case makes the application of this model for a better use of benthic resources also suitable for other contexts as means a to avoid cpr dilemma: limiting access and competing harvesting, affecting users and the resource system. Duration: 2007-2010.

Researcher: Dr Gloria Gallardo

Related publications: From Seascapes of Conflict to Seascapes of Confidence -Territorial Use Rights in Fisheries in Chile: El Quisco and Puerto Oscuro (2008)