Professor of Rural Development at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.My research interests include various aspects of rural people's changing and dynamic livelihoods and socio-economic situations, and the processes, events and policies affecting them. I want to understand people's everyday realities and how e.g. development interventions look from their perspectives, in order to interrogate the mismatches that so often exist between local situations and externally driven events. I am also interested in discourses, myths and narratives about rural dwellers, their livelihoods and their effects on the environment.
In two recent research projects I have focused on the material, social and relational effects of cash transfers and expanding social protection in rural South Africa, Malawi and Lesotho, where I have studied changing livelihoods in four rural villages through longitudinal data. Implications of agricultural development programmes and processes of de-agrarianisation have also been a study focus in South Africa. Two other current projects focus on discourses concerning Swedish carbon offsetting through forest plantation in low-income countries and their local effects (where I focus on Uganda and Tanzania). Previous work includes a broad focus on health - how AIDS as well as health policy affects rural people's livelihoods and how social networks are integral in cushioning effects of health crises (focus on Uganda, Malawi and Lesotho). Read more about these projects and see list of publications on my SLU homepage.
Theories I use are often drawn from geography, anthropology, political ecology and critical development studies. My research is based on deep field engagement through extended fieldwork periods, mixed methods with a main focus on qualitative methods, and long-term contact with the communities I work with.
I have co-supervised PhD students since 2006 but been main supervisor since I got the docent title in 2014. So far four PhD students have successfully defended their theses under my supervision. See list on SLU webpage.
I have long experience of being a part of the Exam board at PhD defences and I am interested to be in this role if the topic is within my field of interest.
I have been external expert in evaluations for academic promotions or announced positions.