Photo of Lars Niklasson

Lars Niklasson

Senior Associate Professor

I give a master’s course in international political economy. This deals with global challenges, research perspectives on these challenges, and their political solutions. I conduct research at Sieps into the global role of the EU, etc.

Global challenges

My research deals with global challenges and the EU’s role in dealing with them. The EU aims to be a leading actor in global policy for environmental issues, trade and development aid. Its ambitions are limited by, among other factors, conflicting priorities across the policy areas and with other global actors.

One particularly interesting example of global policy are the UN’s sustainable development goals (Agenda 2030), on which all countries in the world have agreed. The goals concern sustainable development, which constitutes a contradictory mix of policies for growth and welfare, while at the same time protecting the environment and climate. In a recent book, I have shown how the aims can be interpreted as a strategy for the development of developing countries, and how they can be reinforced as a learningpolicy for global development. (Niklasson, Lars 2019: Improving the Sustainable Development Goals: Strategies and the Governance Challenge, London: Routledge).

I have also written a textbook that summarises research into four global challenges: the environment, poverty, peace and economic integration (“globalisation”). For each field, I give an overview of the global situation and discuss various interpretations of the causes of the problems and how to solve them. I discuss the global solutions that have evolved, in the form of international regulations and organisations. I describe what can be explained by various theories of political science which explain policy developments. (Niklasson, Lars 2017: Globala utmaningar, perspektiv och lösningar. En introduktion till internationell politik och ekonomi, Malmö: Gleerups).

Perspectives taken from political science emphasise such aspects as the play of negotiations between actors, and long-term influence through new ideas and/or processes that follow certain pathways. The interpretations of a situation are often based on perspectives taken from economics, sociology or philosophy. Political lines of conflict exist not only between ideologies and parties, but also between levels of the political system and between policy fields within each level. The theories help us to understand the complexities of the global political system.




In brief

Current tasks

  • National expert, OECD LEED Programme (Local Economic and Employment Development)


The Politics and Economics of International Relations (733A42)

Adjunct deputy professor

  • Vrije Universiteit Byssel, Belgium, February 2015
  • Boston University, Boston, USA, February 2011
  • Indiana University, Bloomington, USA, February 2007
  • University of Pittsburgh, USA, August-December 2005
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA, May-June 1997
  • Universiteit Twente, Enschede, Netherlands, juni-juli 1995
  • University of California, Berkeley, May-June 1994