Noémi Gonda

Institute: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Research area: Agriculture rural development & food security, Environment and climate change, Gender equality, International development cooperation & coordination, Natural resource management, Poverty reduction
Research region: Europe-Central Asia, Latin America
Open to collaboration with: Media, Other researchers, Practitioners and policy makers


I am a researcher at the Department of Urban and Rural Development.  I have a PhD from Central European University. My PhD research (2016) was a feminist ethnography  which focused on the political ecology of gender and climate change in Nicaragua. Between 2017 and 2020, I was a post-doctoral researcher on social and ecological justice at the department of Urban and Rural Development under the mentorship of Professor Andrea Nightingale.

I am currently doing research on justice and conflict resolution in resource management as well as on the linkages between environmental governance and the development of authoritarian regimes.

I have professional experience in rural development mainly in Central America ( Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala) where I have been working between 2002 and 2010 with smallholder farmers, Indigenous groups and international organisations.

I am particularly interested in exploring how radical social and environmental transformations towards justice and equity can emerge, and the role of scholar-activists in supporting the emergence of such transformations.

I am fluent in English, Spanish, French and Hungarian and can get around in Swedish.


I  taught at the Central American University in Managua, Nicaragua (since then confiscated by the Nicaraguan regime) and served as a teaching assistant at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary (university that was expelled by the Hungarian regime - CEU is now in Austria) while I was doing my PhD. I  regularly lecture in  Master's and Bachelor programmes at Cemus (Uppsala University) and SLU. 


I am currently part of two research projects.

1) Exploring Governance Regimes through Agricultural Land Grabbing Dynamics funded by FORMAS

Land rights are human rights which are fundamental for achieving sustainable development. In this project, I start from the idea that in a context of rapid environmental changes and shrinking democracies across the world, agricultural land grabbing requires renewed discussions as new actors, as well as new instruments for possessing, expropriating, and challenging previous land controls emerge.

In this three-year project (2020-2022), I investigate to what extent agricultural land grabbing processes affecting rural areas are inserted in broader governance struggles over power relations and identities. I engage with questions concerning the relationship between State-making and land grabbing from a comparative North-South angle (Hungary/Nicaragua), an interdisciplinary standpoint (bridging feminist political ecology and scholarship on governance), a transdisciplinary perspective (with an action-research component), and with a focus on an understudied sector in the debate: agricultural areas in countries in political transition.

My research aims to:

(i) analyse the extent to which State-making is influencing transformations in national land tenure systems;

(ii) understand the effects of recent land politics, particularly on those farmers that are marginalised;

(iii) explore how sustainable land politics can be envisioned in contexts of deep political transitions.
The data collection include interviews, participatory mapping, citizen science data collection, and social network analysis.

2) Governing Climate Resilient Futures: Gender, justice and conflict resolution in resource management funded by VR. The principal investigator in this project is Prof. Andrea Nightingale.

This research probes the link between gender and social inequalities, conflict, and how they affect sustainable and resilient climate development pathways. By expanding the conceptualization of resilience to include a theory of change that embeds resilience within social-political relations, conflicts, and struggles over authority and rights, the project breaks new grounds: conceptualizing resilience as a sustainability outcome rather than a state; probing the causes of conflict and conflict resolution in environmental governance; and generating co-learning methodologies to tackle poverty and development challenges.

Empirically, the project develops case studies on the inter-related gendered, social, political and environmental causes of poverty and conflict in forest and water governance across three continents (in sectors crucial for poverty reduction, justice, and climate change adaptation and mitigation).

Our inter-disciplinary project is of direct relevance for Sweden’s development and climate change related efforts, and involves senior and junior researchers, and academic and non-academic institutions from Sweden and Kenya, Nepal and Nicaragua to build international cooperation and research capacities for promoting resilience, poverty alleviation and sustainability.

The project is implemented between 2019 and 2022.


Previous to my PhD degree, I completed two Master of Sciences degrees: one in Tropical Agriculture and Development from Montpellier SupAgro (France) and one in Agriculture from Bordeaux Sciences Agro (France). My initial training is in agricultural engineering (Bordeaux Sciences Agro). 


Master student supervision: 

2023- 2024 (ongoing): Julia Korten. Energy justice for whom? A case study of the energy transition in Germany.

2021: Francesca Gallisai. A pandemic revealing another
– Colombian indigenous women and the national COVID-19 discourse. SLU, Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development, Master program in Rural Development and Natural Resource Management. Defended June 2021.

2014-2015:  Teresa Pérez, Master in Gender Studies, Central American University (UCA), Managua, Nicaragua. “Minería y Desarrollo en Nicaragua: una Mirada Feminista en el Caso de Rancho Grande” (Mining and Development in Nicaragua: a Feminist Perspective on the Rancho Grande case) Defended with honors: July 2015

PhD supervision:

2023-. Co-supervisor for PhD student Deeksha Sharma. PhD project "Forging iron into sustainable steel"on extractivism in India and Sweden. SLU, Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development.

2019-2023: External PhD committee member for René Rodriguez Fabilena working on the politics of natural resources governance from a feminist and decolonial perspective in Nicaragua. Institute of Development Policy- IOB (Antwerpen- Belgium) 

Selected publications

Peer Reviewed International Journal Articles 

1)   Gonda, N., & Bori, P. J. (2023). Rural politics in undemocratic times: exploring the emancipatory potential of small, rural initiatives in authoritarian Hungary. 
Geoforum. 1-13.

2) Gonda, N., Flores, S., Casolo, J. J., & Nightingale, A. J. (2023). Resilience and conflict: rethinking climate resilience through Indigenous territorial struggles. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 1-27. doi:10.1080/03066150.2022.2161372

3) Tschakert, P., Parsons, M., Atkins, E., Garcia, A., Godden, N., Gonda, N., Paiva Henrique, K., Sallu, S., Steen K., Ziervogel, G. (2023). Methodological Lessons for Negotiating Power, Political Capabilities, and Resilience in Research on Climate Change Responses. World Development, 167, 106247. doi: 

4)    Ojha, H., Nightingale, A. J., Gonda, N., Muok, B. O., Eriksen, S., Khatri, D., & Paudel, D. (2022). Transforming environmental governance: critical action intellectuals and their praxis in the field. Sustainability Science. doi:10.1007/s11625-022-01108-z

5)    Nightingale, A. J., Gonda, N., & Eriksen, S. H. (2022). Affective adaptation = effective transformation? Shifting the politics of climate change adaptation and transformation from the status quo. WIREs Climate Change, 13(1), e740. doi:

6)    Gonda, N., Prado Córdova, J. P., Huybrechs, F., & Van Hecken, G. T. (2022). Exploring the Love Triangle of Authoritarianism, Populism, and COVID-19 Through Political Ecology: Time for a Break-Up? Frontiers in Human Dynamics, 4. doi:10.3389/fhumd.2022.653990

7)    Garcia, A., Gonda, N., Atkins, E., Naomi Joy, G., Karen, P. H., Parsons, M., . . . Ziervogel, G. (2022). Power in resilience and resilience's power in climate change scholarship. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change(e762). doi:

8)    Bori, P. J., & Gonda, N. (2022). Contradictory populist ecologies: Pro-peasant propaganda and land grabbing in rural Hungary. Political Geography, 102583. doi:

9)    Gonda, N., Leder, S., González-Hidalgo, M., Chiwona-Karltun, L., Stiernström, A., Hajdu, F., . . . Arvidsson, A. (2021). Critical Reflexivity in Political Ecology Research: How Can the Coronavirus Pandemic Transform Us into Better Researchers? Frontiers in Human Dynamics, 3, 41.

10)    Gonda, N. (2019). Re-politicizing the gender and climate change debate: The potential of feminist political ecology to engage with power in action in adaptation policies and projects in Nicaragua. Geoforum, 106, 87-96. 

11)    Gonda, N. (2019). Land grabbing and the making of an authoritarian populist regime in Hungary. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 46(3), 606-625. doi:10.1080/03066150.2019.1584190

12) Gonda, N. (2017). Rural Masculinities in Tension: Barriers to Climate Change Adaptation in Nicaragua. In S. MacGregor & N. Seymour (Eds.), RCC Perspectives: Transformations in Environment and Society 2017, no. 4 (Vol. 2017, pp. 69-76).

13) Gonda, N. (2016). Climate Change, “Technology” and Gender: “Adapting Women” to Climate Change with Cooking Stoves and Water Reservoirs. Gender, Technology and Development, 20(2), 149-168. doi:10.1177/0971852416639786


14) Gonda, N. (2016). "How to recaffeinate climate change": The politics of gender and climate change in post-neoliberal Nicaragua. (PhD). Central European University, Budapest, Hungary. 

Book chapters

15) Bori, P. J., & Gonda, N. (2022). Shattering the Chains of Rural Repression In H. Lorenzen & O. Moore (Eds.), Rural Europe Takes Action: No More Business As Usual (pp. 142-147). Brussels Forum Synergies and Arc2020.

16) Gonda, N. (2021). Re-Negotiating Rural Masculinities as Vulnerability: Cattle Ranchers in Climate Change Affected Rural Nicaragua. In P. Pulé & M. Hultman (Eds.), Men, Masculinities, and Earth (pp. 289-307): Palgrave Macmillan.

17) Gonda, N. (2019). Sujetos tecnológicamente adaptados: la nueva era del desarrollo rural en un contexto de cambio climático en el Corredor Seco de Nicaragua. [Technologically adapted subjects: the new rural development era in the context of climate change in the Dry Corridor of Nicaragua.]. In B. Ramírez Valverde, J. Ramírez Juárez, J. P. Prado Córdova, & S. Elías Gramajo (Eds.), Impacto de los siniestros en el Medio Rural en México y Centroamérica. [Impact of disasters in Rural Areas in Mexico and Central America.] (pp. 27-51). Puebla, Mexico: Altres Costa-Amic Editores. Colegio de Postgraduados , Campus Puebla. Universidad San Carlos de Guatemala.

18) Gonda, N. (2017). Revealing the patriarchal sides of climate change adaptation through intersectionality: a case study from Nicaragua. In S. Buckingham & V. Le Masson (Eds.), Understanding Climate Change Through Gender Relations (pp. 173-189). Oxon, UK and New York, USA: Routledge.

Research and Consultancy Reports

19) Gonda, N. (2017) for IDRC Canada. Mid-term evaluation of gender and social inclusion in the CARIAA consortia. IDRC, Canada. 

20) Gonda, N. (2014) for UNDP Nicaragua.  Género y Adaptación al Cambio Climático. Puesta en común y sistematización de experiencias sobre la integración de la perspectiva de género en la adaptación al cambio climático en el ámbito rural en Nicaragua [Gender and Climate Change Adaptation. Experience sharing and lessons learnt on how to integrate the gender perspective in climate change adaptation in Nicaraguan rural areas].

21) Monachon, D., & Gonda, N. (2011). For International Land Coalition, FAO, Italy. Liberalization of ownership versus indigenous territories in the North of Nicaragua: The case of the Chorotegas.

Blog posts

22)    Casolo, J. J., Flores Cruz, S., Gonda, N., & Nightingale, A. J. (2022). Choosing to “stay with the trouble”: a gesture towards decolonial research praxis. Retrieved from

23)    Gonda, N., Huybrechs, F., Rodríguez-Fabilena, R., Van Hecken, G. T., & other political ecologists from Nicaragua whose names are not displayed for security reasons. (2018). Political ecologists in solidarity with Nicaragua. Retrieved from

24)    Gonda, N. (2013). Cambio Climático: Adaptarse es también buscar la igualdad de género... y viceversa [Climate Change: To adapt also means to seek gender equality... and viceversa]. Enfoque. Retrieved from

Popular science reports

25)    Gonda, N., & Pommier, D. (2006). Prevención y resolución de conflictos en torno a la tierra y los recursos naturales: manual práctico de mapeo comunitario y uso del GPS para organizaciones locales de desarrollo. Managua, Nicaragua.

26)    Gonda, N., & Pommier, D. (2008). Herramientas para la Gestión Social del Territorio y de los Recursos Naturales: Metodologia Participativa para Construir una Maqueta de su Territorio. Managua, Nicaragua.

Professional experience

6 year(s) -
Supervision of Master’s students

Other experience

Collaboration with civil society organisations
10 year(s) - I worked with peasant organisations, indigenous groups as well as national and international NGOs in Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala.
Collaboration with government agencies
10 year(s) -
Consultancy contracts
5 year(s) - I did consultancies for international NGOs and funders such as the European Commission, UNDP, IDRC, DFID, Agronomists and Veterinarians Without Borders, among other ones.
Lecturing and workshops

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