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Maryam Nastar

Research Fellow

Current Research

Dr. Nastar is a research fellow at Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies, working on water-related issues and sustainability transitions in urban areas in the global South. Currently, she is working with a group of international scholars on “Experimenting with practical transition groundwater management strategies for the urban poor in Sub Saharan Africa”, one of UPGro Consortium Projects. The research project aims at exploring social, technical and political changes that are needed to make the shift towards sustainable urban groundwater management in Sub-Saharan Africa – and how those changes can be achieved. More info about the project is available at:


Maryam Nastar obtained her Ph.D. in Sustainability Science from Lund University (2014) focusing on how urban water regimes reproduce inequality in access to water where she conducted fieldwork in low-income areas of Johannesburg in South Africa and notified-slums of Hyderabad in India. For more information about her dissertation click here. After her PhD studies, she was granted a three-month research fellowship to conduct an ethnographic fieldwork in slums in Tehran, Iran in relation to community mobilization in improving water access.

Maryam received her Master’s degree in environmental studies and sustainability science from Lund University. Her master’s thesis examined agent interactions in managing water resources in the Ebro River Basin in Spain. This was followed by her work as a project assistant in MATISSE (Methods and Tools for Integrated Sustainability Assessment), one of the EU’s FP-6 research projects.

Research Interests

  • Resource mobilization, niche upscaling, practices of citizenship
  • Social and political aspects of sustainability transitions
  • Development and application of analytical frameworks and tools to explore sustainability challenges
  • Water governance and institutions in urban areas
  • Social and environmental implications of lack of water access, inequality in water distribution, politics of water policy and initiatives


  • Co-supervised several successful Master’s theses at Lund University International Master’s Programme in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science (LUMES), 2011- present
  • Lecturer in the PhD course (3 ECTS), Niches in Transition Arenas, at LUCID, August 2016
  • Lecturer in the PhD course (10 ECTS), Critical Urban Theory In Practice, at Right Livelihood Collage, 2015 – 2016
  • Guest lecturer in the Governance of Sustainability, Sustainability Science and Water courses at LUMES 2014- present
  • Teaching Assistant in the Sustainability Science and Water courses at LUMES 2009-2014
  • Teaching Assistant in the Sustainable Urban Planning and Development course at Swedish Institute 2008
  • Teaching Assistant in the Sustainable Development – Conflicts and Solutions course, at Swedish Institute 2007

Affiliated Networks

  • Organized and designed the Right Livelihood College PhD course “Critical Urban Theory: Citizenship, Marginalities, Livelihood Struggles and Innovations in Practice”, 10 ECST, in collaboration with Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) , in a format of two modules in Mumbai and Lund, 2015-2016.
  • Organized research activities of the “Urban Water Governance” theme of U21 Water Futures for Sustainable Cities (WFSC) project, aligns with the strategic priorities of Universitas 21, an international network of 23 leading research-intensive universities in fifteen countries 2011-2014.



Page Manager:
Maryam Nastar
E-mail: maryam [dot] nastar [at] lucsus [dot] lu [dot] se


LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)

+46 46 222 16 90

+46 76 233 47 15

Josephson, 119

Josephson, Biskopsgatan 5, Lund


P.O. Box 170, SE-222 70 Lund, Sweden
Phone: +46(0)46- 222 80 81
info [at] lucsus [dot] lu [dot] se