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Municipalities, Regions and Public Sector Activities

Research group The study group investigates, from different theoretical and methodological perspectives, how public sector activities at local, regional and central levels are governed, carried out, challenged and transformed. Research includes studies of Sweden, international comparisons and gender aspects.

Recent research projects within the group include democracy and political institutions in city-regions, citizens' perspectives on attempts to establish larger regions in Northern Sweden; consequences of public sector marketization for pensioners' organizations and elderly care; fear and unsafety in the public realm; men and women in local politics, participation in city culture, refugee reception in small municipalities in northern Sweden and whether and to what extent public authorities cooperate on crisis management. Many studies are international comparative research, carried out in collaboration with partners at universities in other countries. Research is presented at national and international research conferences and published in renowned journals and in books.

Three doctoral students are attached to the group: Elin Stark explores discourses on the good school, Malin Benerdal investigates national evaluation policy changes and Jennie Brandén studies public policies and local practices aimed at increasing safety in public space.

Major externally funded research projects:

  • Formas 2004-2007: The woman-made city? (Christine Hudson), 1.7 million SEK
  • Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) 2005-2007: The Transformation of Governance and the New Territorial Politics (Anders Lidström, David Feltenius, John Loughlin), 2.6 million SEK
  • Four northern county councils 2008-2009: The 2008 study of regionalization of the northern parts of Sweden (Anders Lidström, Katarina Roos, m.fl.), 2.2 million SEK
  • Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) 2008-2012: The Unfinished Urban Democracy? The social costs and democratic consequences of women's insecurity in the urban environment (Christine Hudson et al.), 4.1 million SEK
  • Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) 2009-2011: Municipal legitimacy (Anders Lidström, Katarina Roos), 2.4 million SEK
  • Riksbankens Jubileumsfond 2009-2011: Svenska stadsregioner (Anders Lidström, Christine Hudson, Niklas Eklund, Jessika Wide, m.fl.), 7 million SEK
  • Four northern county councils 2010-2011: The 2010 study of regionalization of the northern parts of Sweden (Anders Lidström, Katarina Roos, Christine Hudson, Magnus Blomgren m.fl.), 1.9 million SEK
  • The Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society (Myndigheten för ungdoms- och civilsamhällesfrågor) 2014-2015: The participation and influence of Pensioners' organizations in a market dominated elderly care (David Feltenius, Jessika Wide), 1.1 million SEK
  • Formas 2016-2018: Co-Creating Participation? - Contradictory perspectives of the European Capital of Culture, Umeå 2014 (Christine Hudson et al.) 2.9 million SEK
  • Forte 2017-2019: Rural Refugee Reception – a New Strategy for Municipal Survival? (Christine Hudson et al.) 3.3 million SEK
  • Swedish civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) 2019-23: Critical flows and supply chains under changing threats (Niklas Eklund, Veronika Strand), 20 million SEK
  • Forte 2019-2021: With the company as a model? About municipal home care services in a marketized elderly care (David Feltenius, Jessika Wide), 3.6 million SEK

Head of research


Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Political Science

Research area

Political science

Research projects


See publications from our researchers.

Witnessing to the House of Lords

Niklas Eklund, Professor in Political Science

Latest update: 2018-11-21