About the research programme

Democracy and Higher Education is a multidisciplinary research programme at Uppsala University.

The programme started its activities in 2022 and is a 10-year project initiated and financed by the Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The purpose is:

  • to raise awareness of both the relationship between higher education and democracy, and how this needs to develop and change.
  • initiate and coordinate research excellence
  • reflect and learn about the university's democratic mission
  • create dialogue between the university and society.

The goals of the initiative are:

  • to coordinate research with the potential to develop and expand.
  • to contribute cutting-edge knowledge of the relationship between democracy and higher education.
  • to gain international recognition for Uppsala University for its research on democracy and higher education.

The initiative focuses on three main themes:

  1. Democratic processes at the universities.
  2. The universities and their relations to Swedish democratic institutions.
  3. The universities and the global democratisation of nations.


The operational work of the research programme Democracy and Higher Education is led by a board consisting of a programme director and three project managers. The programme director is appointed by the board for a period of 3 years and can be appointed for several periods. The project managers are appointed by the board after consultation with the programme director.

Linda Wedlin, Programme Director, Professor of Business Studies.

Patricia Mindus, Project Manager Theme 1, Professor in Practical Philosophy

Dag Blanck, Project Manager Theme 2, Professor of North American Studies

Christina Kullberg, Project Manager Theme 3, Professor of French Literature

Linda Isacsson, Project Coordinator


The research program Democracy and Higher Education is run by a board with representatives from the six faculties at the Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, and one student representative. On June 9, 2021, the following members of the board were appointed. The term of office is June 1, 2021 - May 31, 2024.

Representatives from the Disciplinary Domain:

Sofia Ahlberg, Vice Dean at the Faculty of Languages, Associate Professor at Department of English (Chair)

Lars Löfquist, Associate Professor at the Department of Theology (Vice Chair)

Shirin Ahlbäck Öberg, Professor at Department of Government

Anna Jonsson Cornell, Professor at Department of Law

Ylva Bergström, Associate Professor at Department of Education

Helene Lööw, Associate Professor at Department of History

Student representative:


Farshid Jalalvand, Cultural writer, PhD in medical microbiology and author

Linn Svärd, Swedish National Union of Students

Astrid Söderberg Widding, Professor in Cinema Studies & Vice-Chancellor, Stockholm University

Göran Rosenberg, Journalist and Author

Johan Östling, Professor of History, Director of the Lund Centre for the History of Knowledge (LUCK) and Wallenberg Academy Fellow.