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Martin Sjöstedt


Martin Sjöstedt is Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science and Quality of Government Institute, University of Gothenburg. He received his PhD in 2008 on a dissertation focused on the relationship between property rights to land and access to drinking water in southern Africa. He has been an international affiliate at the Environmental Evaluation Unit at the University of Cape Town and at the Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa.He has also been employed by the Swedish Agency for Development Evaluation (2008-2010).

Areas of interest

Sjöstedt's research interests mainly concerns comparative politics and comparative political economy of developing countries and deals with politics of development, institutional theory, and natural resource management.

Current research

Together with various colleagues, Sjöstedt has in recent years developed a number of research projects for which he has been awarded funding from the Swedish Research Council. Most recently, he was - together with Sverker Jagers and Aksel Sundström - awarded funding for the project "Corruption and Wildlife Management: The Logics of Collective Action in Transnationally Protected Reserves". He is also actively engaged in establishing the recently funded UGOT Challenge center "Center for Collective Action Research". At the same time, Sjöstedt is running three projects together with Anna Persson; the first focuses on messengers and messages in the politics of HIV/AIDS, the second investigates the determinants of institutional quality through studying institutions and economic development in Africa and Asia, and the final project studies the institutional sources of resilience and successful adaptation to climate change. Before this, he was awarded funding for a project focusing on fisheries management in sub-Saharan Africa (in collaboration with Sverker Jagers).


Sjöstedt is responible for the master course "Environmental Politics and Institutions" and also supervises master students on the master programme "International Administration and Global Governance". He has also supervised two doctoral students.



Thirsting for Credible Commitments. How Secure Land Tenure Affects Access to Drinking Water in sub-Saharan Africa. Göteborg Studies in Politics no. 110. Doctoral dissertation, March 2008.


"Paradise Islands? Island States and the provision of environmental goods" Sustainability, 8: 285. 2016. [With Sverker Jagers, Maryna Povitkina, and Aksel Sundström]

“Resilience Revisited: Taking Institutional Theory Seriously”. Ecology & Society, 20(4): 23. 2015.

“Democracy, Development, and the Marine Environment. A Global Time Series Analysis”. Ocean & Coastal Management, 105: 25-34. 2015. [With Maryna Povitkina, Sverker Jagers, and Aksel Sundström].

“Small-scale hydropower in Africa: Socio-technical designs for renewable energy in Tanzanian villages”. Energy Research & Social Science, 5: 20-33. 2015. [With Helene Ahlborg].

”Coping with illegal fishing: An institutional account of sucess and failure in Namibia and South Africa”. Biological Conservation, 189: 78-85. 2015 [With Aksel Sundström].

“Three necessary conditions for establishing effective Sustainable Development Goals in the Anthropocene”. Ecology & Society 19(3): 8. 2014. [With Norström AV, Dannenberg A, McCarney G, Milkoreit M, Diekert F, Engström G, Fishman R, Gars J, Kyriakopolou E, Manoussi V, Meng K, Metian M, Sanctuary M, Schlüter M, Schoon M, Schultz L].

 "Democracy and the Environment Revisited: The Case of African Fisheries" Marine Policy 43(1): 143-148. 2014. (With Sverker Jagers).

"Overfishing in Southern Africa: A Comparative Account of Regime Effectiveness and National Capacities" Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis 15(5): 415-431. 2013. (With Aksel Sundström).

"Horizontal and Vertical Resource Dilemmas in Natural Resource Managament: The Case of African Fisheries" Fish & Fisheries, 14(4): 616-624. 2013.

"Aid Effectiveness and the Paris Declaration: A Mismatch Between Ownership and Results Based Management?" Public Administration and Development, 33(2):143-155. 2013.

"Responsive and Responsible Leaders: A Matter of Political Will?" Perspectives on Politics, 10(3): 617-632. 2012. (With Anna Persson).

"Ecosystem Services and Poverty Reduction: How Do Development Practitioners Conceptualize the Linkages" European Journal of Development Research, 24(5):777–787. 2012.

"The impact of secure land tenure on water access levels in sub-Saharan Africa: The case of Botswana and Zambia" Habitat International 35(1): 133-140. 2011.

Book Chapters

The Political and Historical Origins of Good Government: How Social Contracts Shape Elite Behavior (2015). In C. Dahlström and L. Wängnerud (Eds.), Elites, Institutions and the Quality of Government. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

"Enforcement and Compliance in African Fisheries: The Dynamic Interaction between Ruler and Ruled" (2014). In A. Duit (ed.), State and Environment: The Comparative Study of Environmental Governance. Boston: MIT Press.

"Sverige och den globala ekonomin". In Brommesson & Ekengren, (new edition 2011), Sverige i världen. Stockholm: Gleerups Förlag

”Den svaga staten: demokrati och förvaltning i utvecklingsländer” [with Anna Persson] (2010, 2014). In Rothstein, Bo (ed.), Politik som organisation: förvaltningens grundproblem, 4th edition, Stockholm: SNS Förlag.

”State Legitimacy and the Corruptibility of Leaders” [with Anna persson] (2012). I Bo Rothstein & Sören Holmberg (eds.), Good Government. Cheltenham, U.K.: Edwar Elgar Publishing Ltd.

 Working papers

“Vulnerability of Small Island Development States. Does good governance help?”. [With Marina Povitkina]. QoG working paper series 2015:12. Göteborg, Sweden: The Quality of Government Institute.

“Paradise Islands? Island States and the Provision of Environmental Goods”. [With Marina Povitkina, Sverker Jagers, and Aksel Sundström]. QoG working paper series 2013:19. Göteborg, Sweden: The Quality of Government Institute.

"Democracy and economic development. Investigating the effects on the marine environment" (with Marina Povitkina, Sverker Jagers, and Aksel Sundström) (2013). Qog Working Paper Series 2013:2. Göteborg, Sweden: The Quality of Government Institute.

"A deadly mismatch? The problem of HIV/AIDS in research and policy" [with Anna Persson] (2010). QoG working paper series 2010:7. Göteborg, Sweden: The Quality of Government Institute.

"Unbundling secure property rights" (2009) QoG Working Paper Series 2009:13. Göteborg, Sweden: The Quality of Government Institute.

”Government Structures and Behavior Change in the Politics of HIV/AIDS” [with Anna persson] (2008). QoG Working Paper Series 2008: 10. Göteborg, Sweden: The Quality of Government Institute.


Contact Information

Martin Sjöstedt

Room, C431

+46 (0) 31-786 1864

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