Sofie Hellberg

Senior Lecturer

School of Global Studies
Visiting address
Konstepidemins väg 2
41314 Göteborg
Room number
Postal address
Box 700
40530 Göteborg

About Sofie Hellberg

Sofie Hellberg is Associate professor in Peace and Development Research

Sofie’s areas of interest revolve around the politics of water, environmental and resource governance, (green) governmentality, security governance, biopolitics, power and agency, sustainable development, the nexuses between environment/development and security/development as well as research methodology.

Sofie is currently. together with Beniamin Knutsson, researching climate change policy and mobility transitions in the City of Gothenburg, financed by The Swedish Energy Authority. She is also participating, together with Beniamin Knutsson, Jonas Lindberg and Linus Bylund in a research project on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Sweden, Rwanda and South Africa. The project is financed by the Swedish Research Council.

Previous research The Ph.D Dissertation is on water and water service delivery in eThekwini Municipality, South Africa. The dissertation applies a biopolitics/governmentality perspective and its main focus is placed on how water and water access matter in terms of people’s lives. Based on narrative interviews with local water users on water and water management devices in eThekwini municipality it explores these questions in term of how water accessibility and water governance are part of constituting life and lifestyles and how power relations in water management shape subjectivities, interests and agency of the water users.

Sofie Hellberg has also been engaged in a methodology project, together with Maria Stern and Stina Hansson, which focuses on how we methodologically can approach the agency of being governed. It deals with questions such as how we can understand and apply the concepts of agency of freedom from governmentality and biopolitics perspectives and how we can do so in methodologically rigorous ways.

Sofie has also worked, togheter with Peter Johansson and Joakim Berndsson, in a the research project ‘Discourse and security practise’. The project is part of a larger multi-disciplinary research program on information Security (SECURIT), financed by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB). The project is centred on how issues of human rights and democratic values (personal integrity, communication privacy, freedom of expression, freedom of information, etc.) are articulated in the debates around, and the construction of, information security systems. The project focuses on information security in health care, particularly in relation to e-health solutions.

In 2016 Sofie started a post doc project, financed by FORMAS, on social sustainability and water infrastucture and the making of the South African post apartheid state. The project focuses on the relationship beteween governance, material factors such as infrastructure, the availability of water, financial resources and hos social sustainability can be imagined and implemented. The project has been carried out partly at Global Studies in Gothenburg and partly at The School of Geography, Archeology and Environmental Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Teaching and tutoring

Sofie teaches and supervises in the bachelor program in Global Studies and in courses in Global Development Studies, International Relations, Human ecology, Human Rights, African Studies as well as on Global Gender Issues, on both on BA and Master levels. Sofie also supervises PhD students at Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg. Her teaching is mainly focused on power theories, governmentality and biopolitics, environmental- resource- and water governance, sustainalbe developemnt, the relationship between development and environment, environmental and resource governance in Africa and research methods.