Malin Arvidson

Malin Arvidson

Senior Lecturer

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Personal profile


In 2003 I was awarded my PhD in Sociology at Lund University. The research concerned international development and aid, with particular focus on non-government organizations (NGOs), and the concepts of "empowerment" and "participation". I have since done research in development studies (NGOs, primary health care, primary education, poverty alleviation, Water and Sanitation) and in connection with this I have spent extended periods in Bangladesh. Among other things, I have been involved in a six-year project for Sida's behalf with the mandate to evaluate the two national programs for health and primary education ( Since a few years back my research also includes NGOs and civil society organizations in the European context. I have worked as a researcher at the University of Southampton, Third Sector Research Centre, where focus was on the English context, and since 2012 I am involved in research focusing on the Swedish context.  

My research interests concern civil society organizations active in social welfare services. My work explores how, or if, such organizations have to compromise their in their business and identity as a result of economic dependence on or closeness to the public welfare sector, privatization and marketization of state welfare services. I also work with evaluation models adapted for non-profit- and value-based organizations which aims to capture generated social value. Recently my research has come to focus on power, leadership and elitization within civil society organizations.


 I have been involved in "Real Times" a longitudinal research project aimed at identifying and understanding change in civil society organizations over time with English non-profit organizations ( times / index.aspx). Together with colleagues in Lund (Håkan Johansson), Gothenburg (Staffan Johansson) and Ersta Sköndal (Marie Nordfeldt), I have worked in the project "Between voice and service: the voice of citizens or the municipal contractors" (funded by VR and FAS). My colleague Stig Linde and I have worked together on the project “The Review Society's demands and the civil society (re) actions”, funded by the MUCF (Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society) and Crafoord.


For a couple of years now, have I been working in the 'Civil Society Elites?' research program focusing on leaders, status and power in the most prominent civil society organizations in Sweden, England, Italy, Poland and within the EU. Together with Professor Anders Uhlin I investigate how power and status play a role in the interaction between civil society, public and private/for profit organizations and how leaders move between different sectors during their careers. More information about the program can be found here



I am course convener of SOPA61 (School of Social Work, term 6) ‘Organization and social work’, and I participate in SOAN50, advanced level, ‘Evaluation and knowledge production in social work’, and contribute to other courses at advanced level with lectures on evaluation and methodological aspects of researching NGOs, NPOs, civil society organizations.

I supervise students at bachelor, masters, and PhD-levels.

UKÄ subject classification

  • Social Work


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