Malin Arvidson

Malin Arvidson

Senior lecturer, Associate Professor

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Personal profile


In 2003, I defended my PhD thesis in Sociology at Lund University. My PhD-research concerned international development, with a particular focus on non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the concepts of "empowerment" and "participation" (Demanding Values: participation, empowerment and NGOs in Bangladesh). Since then, I have mainly worked with research on civil society and NGOs within a European context, especially England and Sweden, but also continued within international development.

My research interest concerns civil society organizations active in social welfare and international development. I am interested in how relationships with outside stakeholders (of power) come to characterize non-profit activities, if/how such organizations compromise in their activities, values ​​and identity as a result of financial dependence and relationships with actors from the public or business sector. Examples of research projects that touch on this are: "Between Advocacy and Service: CSOs representing the voice of the citizens or municipal contractors?” (financed by VR and FAS); "The audit society and the (re)actions of civil society" (financed by MUCF (The Authority for Youth and Civil Society Affairs) and Crafoord). I have been involved in the 'Real Times' project, a longitudinal research project aimed at mapping and understanding change over time in English non-profit organizations ( /index.aspx).


Within international development, I have worked with projects concerning primary health care, primary education, poverty alleviation, water and sanitation and in connection with that I lived and conducted field work in Bangladesh. I have been involved in a six-year project on behalf of Sida with the task of evaluating two national programs for primary health and primary education ( ). Together with colleagues from Marie Cedershiöld University, I am presently working on an evaluation for the Expert Group for Aid Analysis (EBA), investigating how local African NGOs work to strengthen human rights and democracy ( -of-swedish-civilsamhallesbistand-til-afrika/18414/  )


Over a six year period I am involved with the research programme called “A Civil Society Elite?” ( ) In this programme, we apply an elite study-approach to exploring power and status within civil society. Among other things, we look into how civil society elites interact and integrate with elites from other societal sectors, using data from both interviews and surveys, covering civil societies in Sweden, England, Italy, Poland and EU-level.


I teach at the School of Social Work on the courses SOPA61 "The organization of social work"; SOAN50 "Social Work: Evaluation Theory and Evaluation Models"; SOAN67 / SOPM33 "Social work in civil society". I also give lectures on evaluation of non-profit activities, leadership and organization of non-profit activities, on research ethics in fieldwork.

I supervise at bachelor, masters, and PhD-level.

UKÄ subject classification

  • Social Work


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