Department of Government

Sustainable Development in a Changing Geo-political Era: Challenges and Opportunities for Sweden

The Department of Government at Uppsala University participates in a new research program on geopolitics and sustainable development (MISTRA GEOPOLITICS) funded by The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (Mistra).

MISTRA GEOPOLITICS aims to critically examine how the dynamics of geopolitics, human security and global environmental change interrelate. The program concerns how our society needs to be reformed in order to address increasing resource scarcity while securing a positive development and political stability in the 21st Century – an epoch referred to as the Anthropocene.

The programme brings together a strong interdisciplinary research team consisting of six Swedish core partners: the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), and the universities of Linköping, Stockholm, Lund and Uppsala. The consortium also includes adelphi, a German research institute, and the British E3G (‘Third Generation Environmentalism Ltd’). Many public agencies, companies and NGOs will also be involved.

The programme will comprise five different areas of work. The first four will, from various points of departure, analyse the interrelationship between geopolitics and sustainable development. The results from these areas will then be synthesised in a fifth area, in which one aim will be to identify both risks and opportunities for Sweden in the future.

The Department of Government at Uppsala University is involved in two work packages. In one - “Impact pathways in a changing environmental and geopolitical context” - Professor Joakim Palme will lead a project on migration, geopolitics and the SDGs, which aims to identify policy alternatives for Swedish stakeholders to deal with different scenarios for international migration. In the other work package - “Governance in the Anthropocene: responses to global environmental change on national and global levels” - Professor Joakim Palme and Professor Andreas Duit (Stockholm University) will jointly lead a project on state responses to global environmental change in a comparative perspective.