Short CV/Education and training

Current position

    Professor, Chair for Rural Development in the global North, Department of Rural and Urban Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)

Previous positions

  • 2011 – 2018
    Associate Professor, Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

  • 2008 – 2011
    Assistant Professor, Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

  • 2008 – 2010
    Guest Researcher, Centre for the Study of Regional Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

  • 2007
    Guest Researcher, Centre for Gender Research, Uppsala University

  • 2006
    Visiting Scholar, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley

  • 2005 – 2006
    Coordinator, Collegium for Development Studies, Uppsala University

  • 2001 – 2003
    Consultant for Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) in the project "Making Sense of Participation". Through participatory research, the project aimed to help Sida desk-officers bridge the gap between the rhetoric of participation and their everyday practice at work, Sida Stockholm

  • 1998 – 2005
    Doctoral Position, Department of Rural Development and Agroecology, SLU

  • 1996 – 1997
    Assistant Editor for the "Forest Trees and People Newsletter" and Networker, Forest, Trees and People Programme (FTPP), FAO based at SLU, Uppsala


  • 2005
    Ph.D. in Rural Development, Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

  • 1992 – 1995
    Master of Philosophy (M.Phil), Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Delhi University. Dissertation: Constructive Politics in Orissa: Gandhian Organizations and their Legacy

  • 1990 – 1992
    Master of Arts (M.A), History. Major: Modern Indian History. Delhi University

  • 1987 – 1990
    Bachelor of Arts (B.A), History, Lady Sri Ram College for Women, Delhi University

Selected publications

  • “Does Resilience have a culture? Ecocultures and the Politics of Knowledge Production,” Ecological Economics, 121 (98-107) 2016.

  • Seema Arora-Jonsson et al, “Carbon and Cash in Climate Assemblages: The Making of a New Global Citizenship,” Antipode. 48 (1) 74-96. 2016.

  • Lisa Westholm and Seema Arora-Jonsson, “Defining solutions, finding problems: deforestation, gender and REDD+ in Burkina Faso,” in Conservation and Society, 13 (2) 2015.

  • Sara Holmgren and Seema Arora-Jonsson, “The Forest Kingdom – With What Values for the World? Gender equality and climate change in a new Swedish forest policy context,” Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, 30:3 (235-245) 2015.

  • “Forty years of gender research and environmental policy: where do we stand” in Women’s Studies International Forum, 47 (295-308). 2014.

  • "Virtue and Vulnerability: Discourses on women, gender and climate change" in Global Environmental Change, 21:744-751. 2011.

  • "Discordant Connections: Discourses on Gender and Grassroots Activism in Forest Communities in India and Sweden" in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, vol. 35, no. 1. 2009. Article awarded the Catherine Stimpson prize for outstanding feminist scholarship.

  • "Relational Dynamics and Strategies: Men and Women in a Forest Community in Sweden," Agriculture and Human Values, Volume 21, Issue 4, 2004.

  • Gender, development and environmental governance: Theorizing Connections, 2013, Routledge, London/New York.

  • The Beast of Bureaucracy and other tales from Valhalla, Andrea Cornwall, Katja Jassey, Seema Arora Jonsson and Patta Scott-Villiers, Institute of Development Studies, Brighton, 2007. (Booklet)

Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • "Gender and Climate: Global Instruments and Changing Environmental Governance": how global climate finance instruments such as REDD+ are creating new global forest spaces in countries in Africa as well as new terms of citizenship for forest communities

  • "Gender and Power in the Swedish countryside": how gender and ethnicity organize development initiatives and the changing nature of associational work in rural Sweden

  • I am soon to start on the project on "Gender and Sustainable Development: Policy and Practice in Environmental Management", where I contrast domestic environmental policy-making and practice in Sweden with Swedish development aid policy and examine why popular participation and gender that are promoted in development aid are sidelined in domestic forest policy. I theorize the different influences and political and moral assumptions that shape policy with regard to gender and participation within the country and in its policy abroad.

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

Academic boards/committees

  • Coordinator for working group on Gender Research in Forestry, Division 6 – Social aspects of forests and forestry (Unit 6.08.01), "IUFRO (International Union for Forest Research Organizations", since 2010

  • Member, "Gender Justice & Global Climate Change Justice Research Network" coordinated by University of Penn State, USA and Monash University, Australia

  • Board member for the Research School on "Society, Landscape and Land Use", Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, since 2013

  • Committee member of "Devnet, Development Research Network on Poverty and Power" (a network of researchers working on these issues in Swedish universities), coordinated at the Centre for Sustainable Development, Uppsala University, 2007 – 2011

  • Node member of the "Gender and Development Network", previously coordinated from the School of Global Studies, Gothenburg University, 2004 – 2011, and now an informal network with rotating leadership

Member of evaluation panels

  • Swedish Research Council ("Vetenskapsrådet"), Panel: UF-1: Humanities, Social and Behavioural sciences, 2013, 2014

  • "ESPA" (Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation) Fellowship Scheme funded by the NERC, ESRC and UK Aid, 2014

  • "Young Connectors for the Future," Swedish Institute, 2014

  • Swedish Research Links Program at the Swedish Research Council ("Vetenskapsrådet"), 2007, 2008, 2009


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