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Mistra Geopolitics

Anti-desertification sand fences south of the town of Erfoud, Morocco
Anti-desertification sand fences south of the town of Erfoud, Morocco. Photo: Commons / Anderson sady

The Mistra Geopolitics Project aims to critically examine how the dynamics of geopolitics, human security and global environmental change interrelate in an epoch referred to as ‘the Anthropocene’. The project strives to develop strategies for actors to better navigate and face increasing geopolitical insecurity while taking advantage of opportunities that are generated by innovation and technological development. The Mistra Geopolitics Project combines critical analyses of the sustainability challenges of the 21st Century with strategies for achieving the globally agreed United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In the first phase of the Mistra Geopolitics Project (2017–20), SIPRI researchers are primarily engaged in two work packages: work package one ‘Geopolitics and Security in the Anthropocene’; and work package four ‘The Interrelationships between Geopolitics and the SDGs’. The key goal in work package one is to investigate how political drivers, security risks of global environmental change are construed, and what the implications are for understanding security and geopolitics. Work package four focuses on how resource dynamics and geopolitical interests affect strategies for sustainable development.

In the second phase of the Mistra Geopolitics Project, which begins in 2021, the programme will continue to conduct research on geopolitics and sustainability trends and will also include the consequences of the pandemic caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). SIPRI’s researchers will be involved in four work packages focusing on: Promoting food security in an era of environmental and geopolitical change; Geopolitical impacts of state and stakeholder views on Arctic governance; New technologies as geopolitical shifters; and Anticipating the future: humanitarian aid in a changing climate.

The Mistra Geopolitics Project is funded by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (MISTRA) and brings together a strong interdisciplinary research team consisting of six core Swedish partners: the Stockholm Environment Institute, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Linköping University, Lund University, Stockholm University and Uppsala University. In addition, two international research institutes are also involved: adelphi (Germany) and E3G (United Kingdom).

Research staff

Dan Smith is the Director of SIPRI.
Dr Malin Mobjörk is the Director of the Climate Change and Risk Programme.
Dr Florian Krampe is a Senior Researcher in the Climate Change and Risk Programme.
Jiayi Zhou is a Researcher in the Climate Change and Risk Programme.
Rickard Söder is a Research Assistant with the SIPRI Climate Change and Risk Programme.
Elizabeth Smith is a Research Assistant with the SIPRI Climate Change and Risk Programme.