I received my doctorate in 1994 on a doctoral thesis that dealt with the integration of the Swedish society, but from a local perspective on the city of Malmö. Thereafter, my research has focused on how European societies have developed into states of social inclusion with boundaries appearing mainly in the cities, which explains the emergence of social exclusion. Since 1986 I have taken part in 30 research projects, of which 21 in a leadership position and 11 financed by the EU. Since 2004, I’ve been a thematic expert in the URBACT programme. After the doctoral dissertation in 1994 I have published nine books in my own name, besides many reports and articles. Most of my research has been interactive in cooperation with practitioners of various kinds and young people.
But first of all, I prefer to present myself as a Malmö habitant. I grew up in Malmö and live since more than 30 years close to Folkets Park (People’s Park), in the area of Möllevången. My feelings for the city and its development are strong. And feelings are important. Also in science. Regardless if we like it or not. Since I started to do research in the mid 80s, a major part has dealt with Malmö. A lot of it with Malmö itself, but also using Malmö as a source of inspiration for both broader and deeper thinking. Malmö as an example of societal development, but also as a challenge for theory. How is society really kept together?
Issues on how society is kept together have been fundamental for me during all the years. Partly theoretically, working with concepts like regimes of capital accumulation, modes of regulation, societalization, hegemony, historic bloc and integration, systemic as well as social. But partly also empirically, as I have done research on the development of Swedish society and compared it with the development of other societies, particularly the British.
My interest in Malmö is very much directed by the question on how society is kept together. And not only Malmö, but also other cities. I have summarized my interest in the urban development under the label of Urban Integration. That concept covers issues on segregation, integration, social inclusion, social exclusion etc.
Society has developed into a state of social inclusion. That is the reason to why social exclusion has emerged in the big cities and thus made issues on how society is kept together particularly urgent. Where do the boundaries between social inclusion and exclusion appear? They appear in several areas and the school belong to the most important. Since the late 1990s, I have done a lot a research on schools, directed by the issue on how society is kept together. Thus, I’ve focused particularly on the relation between school and society.
Decisive for an urban integration is the action taken in the urban areas by people themselves, for example in terms of family life, but also engagement in associations etc. Such engagement, since the last decade referred to as the social economy, has interested me a lot in my research, but also due to my many years of voluntary engagement in associational life.
My interest in the life of ordinary people, their experiences, knowledge and engagement is also based on theory of science. I count that as another one of my areas of expertise and the scientific paradigm called critical realism is my main source of inspiration. On that basis, I’ve worked a lot on developing the methods of science, in particular different forms of interactive research. I regard the creation of new arenas for participation in research as favourable for the development of both science and everyday life.
The emphasis I made above on the impact of feelings in research is based on the theory of science, but also on my interest in culture. I have made research on culture among young people and in sport, but also on the importance of culture in society. Moreover, my interest in culture depend on the fact that I primarily regard myself as a musician. Music has always meant so much to me, playing guitar, composing and, of course, listening. Besides that, I’ve taken a lot of photos during the years trying to catch the unspoken, as well as finding ways to illustrate my thoughts and theories by the use of photos, colours, forms and figures.
Please contact me if you have ideas and suggestions about joint work. I regard myself as having a research expertise in the eight areas put in bold above. That means that I have made research in each one of these areas, issued publications and do want to proceed with further research. You’ll find my contact details below.
For further details about projects I have been involved in and my publications, have a look in the CV ( in English (download as pdf-file)). Most of my work have been written in Swedish (have a look at Publicerat), but some have been published in other languages: