My research interests are broad, but in a wide sense they concern the linkages between power, politics and space. More precisely this means that I have spent the last years studying and writing about how "state spaces" are being transformed in order to foster competitiveness under conditions of globalization. In my research I have traced the logics that underpins this transformation in Sweden with a special focus on the politics of regional development. In short, in different publications, I have emphasized how this is a profoundly political process that, while often presented as neutral, technical and rational, is nested in power relations that produces clear cut winners and losers. This, in turn, constitutes a significant shift in Swedish regional policy that for a long time used to follow a principle of redistribution from the prosperous regions to the more disadvantaged ones. In this context then, my research has focused on for instance:
- The connection between discourses of globalization and the transformation of state space
- Methodological approaches for understanding the powers at work in transforming space
- The role and function of trendy and mobile policy concepts such as creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship in territorial competition and competitiveness
- The increasingly multi-modal character of policy documents, or in other words how policy today is often communicated through not only written text but also images, films and 'advertisement-like' design
- How numbers, indices and rankings are vital parts in the social production of legitimacy and transperancy
Recently I have taken new directions in my research as I have developed and expanded my interest in public sector reform, marketization and political economy more generally. More specifically this new development is related to one of the research projects in which I currently work with public procurement. Thus, right now my research is focused around three main activities:
- Together with Line Säll, Tomas Mitander and Malin Rönnblom I am part of the project DemGov in which we study how contemporary gender equality politics in Swedish regional growth politics is carried out.
More about DemGov: kau.se/demgov
- I am part of the FORMAS financed project ProcSIBE (Procurement for Sustainable Innovation in the Built Environment) in which my part involves to study how five Swedish municipalities organize their public procurement processes.
More about ProcSIBE: https://www.procsibe.se
- I am part of a pilot study which is intended to feed into a full scale project on the role and function of what we identify as 'bureaucracy consultants' in regional growth politics.
On a final note, I am chair of (and organize) the higher seminar in political science. In this work I try to collaborate with other departments at the university as well as with political science institutions across Sweden and abroad.
I teach quantitative methods for political science students at bachelor as well as master level and in general my teaching focus for the last years has been on methodology, political theory and theory of science. Most of this I carry out at master level, however, I also supervise bachelors theses (c-level) as well as hold lectures on globalization, space and politics within different programs and courses. My course on theory of science is also viable for Phd-candidates and since 2016 it exists as a 'standalone' Phd-course.
In addition to this I have tought international relations and comparative politics at beginner level and also been involved in academic programs specifically directed towards encouraging students from 'non-academic' backgrounds to pursue university studies.
I participate in media every now and then to speak on my research topics in more popular settings, however, my main focus in this regard lies in organizing platforms and interfaces where the public and the academy can meet. I am chair of the non-profit organization Karlstad bokcafé (Karlstad Book Cafe) and as a part of this I invite academics and authors from around the country to come and speak on current events. Specifically two times per semester I organize so called philosophical cafés where I invite researchers from the university to introduce issues and topics in a short format suitable for discussion. These are open and free sessions where the public can gather and get involved in discussing everything from life and death to politics and the environment.
In addition to my doctoral degree in political science (thesis defended in may 2015) I also hold a master's degree in the same discipline (Pol.Mag) with minors in statistics and economy. Moreover, I also hold a bachelor's degree in History of ideas and science.