About Human Geography research
Our research goes back 40 years. In the beginning, our research was focused on local and regional development, tourism, and regional issues. Today, research questions and challenges central to geography research and education are reflected in research specialisations including themes such as identity, culture, regional planning, tourism, outdoor life, spatial theory, and postcolonial theory.
The subject has a strong tradition of research on local and regional development, both general issues and issues specifically related to tourism, outdoor life, knowledge, innovation, and cultural economy. Furthermore, landscapes and living conditions are studied in both historical and future-oriented perspectives, as well as identity issues which influence for instance inclusion and exclusion in different contexts. Local and regional conditions are also often related to various perspectives on globalisation. In addition, there is a focus on increasing mobility in today’s society.
In sum, our research is based on an interest in critical social analysis as a tool for approaching spatial issues. Several doctoral students and supervisors in the subject also participate in the multi-disciplinary Graduate School of Regional Planning. The empirical starting points are located in Värmland as well as other parts of the world. One of our close partners in collaboration is the Centre for Research on Regional Development (Cerut). Cerut aims to create and develop knowledge about regional development issues in dialogue with society at large. Research is done on the people’s living situation as a whole, including work, leisure, and social relations. At Karlstad University, there are several profile areas. One of them is the Forum for Regional Planning. Many researchers are active in this forum. Some researchers are also working in the research project on gender norms and equality in the emergency services, “Den genuskodade räddningstjänsten: Om jämställdhetens förutsättningar inom räddningstjänsten” (Karlstad University, the Swedish Civil Contingency Agency (MSB),and Emergency Services South). Several researchers are engaged in research on border problems and border dynamics within the Sweden-Norway framework of the Interreg project about the development potential of the countryside. Apart from the research areas mentioned above, individual researchers work with important issues related to for instance spatial theories, geopolitics, postcolonial theory, racism, the city, mobility/migration/tourism, as well as critical education research/theory, geographical identities, regional development, and rural development in Sweden, India, and the US.
Head of subject: Mekonnen Tesfahuney