Valokuva Anja Nygren

Tutkimustuotoksia vuodessa

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Henkilökohtainen profiili


  • Professor of Development Studies, University of Helsinki
  • Director of "Political, Societal and Regional Changes (PSRC) Doctoral Programme, University of Helsinki
  • Affiliated Professor of Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)
  • Affiliated Professor of Helsinki Inequality Initiative (INEG), University of Helsinki
  • Adjunct Professor of Political Ecology, University of Tampere
  • Adjunct Professor of Environmental Policy, University of Helsinki
  • Honoured Member of the Teachers' Academy, University of Helsinki


I am Professor of Development Studies and Director of the "Political, Societal and Regional Changes" Doctoral Program at the University of Helsinki. I am also Adjunct Professor of Environmental Policy at the University of Helsinki and Adjunct Professor of Political Ecology at the University of Tampere. I got a PhD in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Helsinki in 1995. I have worked as a visiting scholar in various international universities, including University of Texas-Austin, USA; University of Missouri-Columbia, USA; University of Florida-Gainesville, USA; University of London (Goldsmith College), UK; University of Wageningen, the Netherlands; University of Copenhagen; Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico; Universidad Autónoma Juárez de Tábasco, Mexico, United Nations’ Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), Switzerland; and Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE), Costa Rica. I am a Member of the Teachers' Academy of the University of Helsinki, which is the Network of Dinstinguished Teachers in Higher Education. In 2011, I got an Award of Excellent Teacher and in 2006, an award for excellent Tesis supervision.

Tutkimuksen ja opetuksen kuvaus


I am currently the Leader of the following research projects: 

1) Water and Vulnerability in Fragile Societies, Consortium project funded by the Academy of Finland, 2018-2022. In this consortium by the University of Helsinki and the Aalto University, with several Mexican, Indonesian and Cambodian research partners, we are studying water governance, resource politics, environmental vulnerabilities and socionature in Mexico, Indonesia and Cambodia. This project consists of scholars from different disciplines, including development studies, anthropology, political science, history, sustainability science, hydrology, and environmental sciences. 

2) Towards Convivial Conservation: Governing Human-Wildlife Interactions in the Anthropocene, Consortium project funded by EU Nordface/Belmont Forum, 2018-2021. Consoroitum leader Prof. Bram Büscher, Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Subproject on Wolf Conservation in Finland, led by Prof. Anja Nygren, University of Helsinki. This Con-Viva project focuses on the prospects for convivial conservation by comparing cutting-edge conservation cases that address human-wildlife conflicts involving apex predators in Brazil, Finland, Tanzania, and USA. 

3) Water and Fire: Volatile Ecologies and the Politics of Vulnerabilization, funded by the Kone Foundation, 2018-2022. In this project, we are studying volatile ecologies and politics of vulnerabilization related to risk-prone environments in Mexico, Peru, Laos and Indonesia. 

4) Fragile Cities in the global South, funded by the Academy of Finland, 2016-2020. In this project, we analyze the interlinkages between societal security, enviromental safety and representative justice in different cities of the global South, including Bogóta (Colombia), Guatemala City (Guatemala),  Calcutta (India) and Villahermosa (Mexico) by a team of five senior scholars. 

In my previous research projects, we have also studied urban governance, environmental justice, social inequality and the right to the city in the global South. I have also been involved in the research project on struggles over resource space between fishers and oil industry in Mexico.

My research interests include political ecology, urban governance, disasters and displacements; socio-nature, environmental justice, water and society, environmental conflics, forest-frontiers, resource politics, sustainable coffee and cacao, and local knowledge. 

 In my post as Academy Research Fellow in 2004-2009, I coordinated a research project on decentralization, community forestry and forest certification in Central America. During this project, we studied environmental certifications, fair trade and local livelihoods in Honduras and Nicaragua, environmental governance and NGOs in Costa Rica, and rural poverty and local livelihoods in Panama. My earlier projects have also focused on deforestation and nature-society relationships in Costa Rica, protected areas and environmental conflicts in Nicaragua, decentralization and community forestry in Honduras, and environmental discourses and policies in Latin America.


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