Skip to main content

Malin Nystrand


School of Public Health and Community
Visiting address
Medicinaregatan 18A
41390 Göteborg
Postal address
Global hälsa och folkhälsa, Avdelningen för samhällsmedicin och folkhälsa, Box 463
40530 Göteborg

About Malin Nystrand

Malin is a Lecturer at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine. She is also affiliated with the Centre for African Economies at the Department of Social Science and Business, Roskilde University, Denmark.

She is teaching within both the Master Programme in Public Health and the Master Programme in Global Health, focusing on social, political and economic determinants of health and health care provision in a global perspective, as well as on qualitative research methods within Public Health.

Her research activities are currently focusing primarily on finalising a post-doc project on relation between investors and smallholders in large-scale agricultural investments in East Africa, with primary focus on Uganda. From 2021 she will be working part-time at Roskilde University working on a new research project on cash transfers in East Africa.

In addition to a PhD in Peace and Development Research she has a BA in Business Administration and Economics and an MA in Economics, based on studies at Linköping University, University of East Anglia (UK) and University of Gothenburg.

Areas of interest

Malin's areas of research interest revolves around social, political and economic conditions of international development in a broad sense. Her previous and current research activities include the following themes: the political economy of agricultural investments; investments in land and land conflicts, informal social safety nets, small business owners' role in reconstruction after war, corruption; small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), social responsibility, social embeddedness of economic and political actors, critical perspectives on the development discourse, etc. Empirically her research focuses on Eastern and Southern Africa, with particular emphasis on Uganda.

Current research

Malin is currently working primarily on finalising an ongoing externally funded research project named “Degrees of contestation - relations between smallholders and investors in large-scale agricultural investments”. It is an international post-doc project funded by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet), placed both at University of Gothenburg and at Roskilde University in Denmark. The purpose of the research project is to analyse the diversity of reactions among smallholders to large-scale agricultural investments by domestic investors. Focus is on cases involving domestic investors instead of the more common focus on external investors. The degree of smallholders' contestation of these investments is explored in relation to two factors: 1) the terms of inclusion of smallholders in the exchange deal, 2) the relations between the smallholders, investors and political/state power holders. The study is conducted in close collaboration with the larger research programme “Hierarchies of Rights” at the Roskilde University in Denmark, that explores the political economy of large-scale investments in extractives and agriculture in Africa. The project has so far resulted in publications of an analytical framework for political economy analysis of investments in land and natural resources (Buur, Pedersen, Nystrand, Macuane and Jacob, 2020; Buur, Pedersen, Nystrand and Macuane, 2019; Buur, Nystrand and Pedersen, 2017). Several publications on case studies in the sugar and rice industries in Uganda are in the pipeline.

From 2021 Malin will be partly based at Roskilde University and work on a new research project on cash transfers in East Africa.

The PhD dissertation, which was defended in June 2015, was a study of social responsibility of local business owners in Uganda. This study has also led to spin-off studies on the following themes: the role of local business owners in reconstruction after war; corruption; informal and formal welfare systems, see publication list. Several of these research themes are continuously pursued.

Teaching and tutoring

Current teaching activities takes place primarily within the Master Programme in Public Health and the Master Programme in Global Health at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Gothenburg. She is currently course director for the following courses

  • Public Health, course: Qualitative Methods within Public Health Science
  • Global Health, course: Global Health Economics

Furthermore, she teaches in many other courses of the programme, on topics related to the social, political and economic determinants of health and health care provision in a global perspective. She is also involved as Master thesis supervisor within both programmes.

Malin has been teaching regularly since 2005, primarily within Global Studies and Global Development Studies at School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg. She has been course director and regular teacher within the following courses at the School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg:

  • Global development studies, basic course ‘Poverty, Resources and Redistribution’
  • Global studies, course: ‘Project Management and Evaluation’
  • Africa studies, course: ‘Economic conditions and international development cooperation in Africa’
  • Supervision of Bachelor and Master Theses within Global Studies

Furthermore, she has been teaching social science research methods, evaluation methods, welfare economics and related themes at other departments and universities in Sweden.

From 2017 to 2020 she was giving a course in 'Economic Development in Africa' within the Master programme in African Studies, Centre for African Studies, Copenhagen University, Denmark.


Malin has worked for several years with studies and evaluations within international development cooperation, partly in parallel to the research activities and teaching.