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Maja Essebo


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Personal profile


My main research interest is that of naturalised stories, or myths, and their role in the creation and legitimisation of environmental politics and policy. Myth, in this sense, is not equated to a misconception or false story, but is a taken-for-granted belief that guides and justifies everyday action. As such, myth is at the very heart of societal action and acceptance, creating deep-seated notions of what is ‘natural’ or ‘obvious’.  

My current project ‘Alternative facts: a long-term analysis of the impact of myth on American environmental policy’ explores how myths are used to create direction and legitimacy for the Trump administration’s environmental policy. Breaking from the traditional post-phenomenon analysis, i.e. analysing myth in hindsight, this project aims to analyse the use of myth as it unfolds.The project comprises collaborators in Canada and the US and will be conducted partly at Carleton University on Ottawa, Canada. 

Previous research projects span a wide range of issues, including the (non)transition to sustainable urban mobility and the concept and practice of urban laboratories, i.e. small scale experimentation of new forms of urban governance aimed at creating sustainable and inclusive cities.


 My teaching has been focused on issues of sustainability from an urban perspective, including

  • Myth in environmental policy & practice
  • Transition to sustainable urban mobility
  • Perspectives and practices of power
  • Research methodology
  • History of environmental thinking
  • Global resources

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

UKÄ subject classification

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Free keywords

  • Environmental politics
  • Environmental policy
  • Myth
  • Alternative facts


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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