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Maryam Nastar

Research Fellow

Research Interests

  • 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 heatwaves, unequal water allocation and access, urban development plans and politics of sustainability initiatives

  • Resource mobilization, practices of citizenship and social movements

Current Research

  • 2017 - 2020: Post-Doc Project: “When waves of heat and inequality meet” funded by Lund University Centre of Excellence for Integration of Social and Natural Dimensions of Sustainability, LUCID (Linnaeus Grant, FORMAS)

  • 2015 - 2019: T-GroUp Project “Experimenting with practical transition groundwater management strategies for the urban poor in Sub Saharan Africa”, one of UPGro consortium projects funded by DFID, NERC and ESRC


  • 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
  • She 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.


  • Co-supervised several successful Master’s theses at Lund University International Master's Programme in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science (LUMES), 2011-present

  • Lectured in the Governance of Sustainability, Sustainability Science and Water and Sustainability courses at LUMES 2014-present

  • Coordinated and lectured in the MSs course, Sustainable Development and Natural Resources Management, 7,5 ECTS, at LUMID, 2017

  • Designed, coordinated and lectured in the PhD course, Niches in Transition Arenas, 3 ECTS, at LUCID, 2016

  • Designed, coordinated and lectured in the 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

  • Co-organized a PhD course on “A critical perspective on contemporary water governance approaches”, at LUCID, 2010

  • 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

  • Right Livelihood College, through organizing the PhD course “Critical Urban Theory: Citizenship, Marginalities, Livelihood Struggles and Innovations in Practice”, 10 ECST, in collaboration with Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). More info here:

  • Universitas 21through organizing 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.
    More info here:


  • Nastar, M., Boda, S. C., Olsson, L. (2018) A critical realist inquiry in conducting interdisciplinary research: An analysis of LUCID examples. Ecology and Society. Under Review.
  • Nastar, M., Abbas, S., Aponte Rivero, C., Jenkins. S., Kooy, M. (2017) The emancipatory promise of participatory governance for the urban poor: Reflections on the transition management approach to transform urban groundwater management in cities of Dodowa, Ghana and Arusha, Tanzania, African Studies. In Press.
  • Nastar, M. (2014). The quest to become a world city: Implications for access to water. Cities, 41, 1-9.
  • Nastar, M. (2014). What drives the urban water regime? An analysis of water governance arrangements in Hyderabad, India. Ecology and Society, 19(2), 57
  • Nastar, M. (2014) "Navigating Troubled Waters. An analysis of how urban water regimes in the global South reproduce inequality." PhD diss., Lund University
  • Nastar, M. and Ramasar, V. (2012) Transition in South African water governance: Insights from a perspective on power, Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 4(7-24)
  • Nastar. M, Islar, M. (2010) Decentralization: Resolve or Hide the Problem? Sustaining Commons: Sustaining Our Future, the Thirteenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons. Digital Library of the Commons.
  • Nastar, M., Hanssen, M. (2009) Water legislation – what values, which ways? Institutional path dependency and transition management in IWRM in South Africa. Earth System Governance Annual Conference.
  • Nastar, M., Wallman, P. (2009) An interdisciplinary approach to resolving conflict in the water domain. Information Technologies in Environmental Engineering. R. Allan, U. Förstner and W. Salomons, Springer Berlin Heidelberg: 411-424
Page Manager:
Maryam Nastar
E-mail: maryam [dot] nastar [at] lucsus [dot] lu [dot] se


LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)

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