Nils Gustafsson

Nils Gustafsson

Senior lecturer

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Personal profile


My research interests include political communication and social media, political participation, and elite studies.

Currently, I am participating in a longitudinal and comparative study of student career networks at the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) and the Hanken Business School in Helsinki. The team consists of Gergei Farkas, Linnaeus University/Institute for Future Studies, and Anna Tyllström, Institute for Future Studies/Uppsala University, and me. We have been awarded a 5,7 MSEK research grant from the Swedish Riksbank Tercentenary Foundation, dnr P17-0709:1 (for the study of the SSE) and a 2,6 MSEK research grant from the Swedish Research Council, dnr 2017-01976 (for the study of Hanken and the comparative study). The study will run during 2018-2021.

I am also involved in a project at the Department of Strategic Communication financed by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency in which we design a handbook for public sector communicators about hostile influence campaigns.

In 2015, together with Lund political scientists Malena Rosén Sundström and Hanna Bäck and Emma Bäck of the Department of Psychology at the university of Gothenburg, I was awarded a 5 MSEK research grant from the Marianne & Marcus Wallenberg Foundation for the project "Political participation among young people – from party democrats to social media activists?". During 2015-2018, the project studies the development of political participation among young people in Sweden. 

Hanna Bäck, Emma Bäck and myself also formed one of the research teams that aided the Democracy Study of the Swedish government (Demokratiutredningen). The report was published in 2015. 

2013-2014 I was involved in the NEMO project (New Media, Modern Democracy) here at the Department of Strategic Communication, with a study on social media in the Swedish Riksdag. 

I defended my doctoral dissertation in political science "Leetocracy: political participation, social network sites and inequality" on 3 May 2013. Faculty examiner was associate professor Eva Anduiza, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid. Here is the online version of the thesis (excluding two unpublished texts): Leetocracy



I currently teach Political Communication, Swedish Politics, Public Administration, Quantitative Methods and Philosophy of Science, as well as supervising Bachelor and Master theses. In addition to teaching in my current home department, I have taught at the Department of Political Science, the Lund Institute of Technology, and the Department of Communication and Media at Lund university, at the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, and at Räddningstjänsten Syd (Rescue Service for Malmö area).

Some of my lecture visuals are available here.

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 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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