New Approaches and Synergies in Nordic Latin-American Studies: Applying Area Studies in a Multipolar World

This project brings together Latin American production in social and humanistic thought and Nordic expertise on global challenges: 1) sustainable and fair energy transition, 2) the Nordics and Latin America in a new multipolar world order and under the challenge of climate change, 3) social cohesion building in times of increasing incertitudes.

Neil Palmer (CIAT) CIAT, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons. Aerial view of the Amazon Rainforest, near Manaus, the capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonas

This new research network between the universities of Copenhagen, Oslo, Gothenburg, Stockholm and Helsinki aims at enhancing Nordic research on Latin America through three main objectives: 1) fostering collaboration among Nordic Latinamericanists; 2) turning research on Latin America more applicable and aligned with public interest; 3) making available the pertinent Latin American humanistic and social science expertise for broader Nordic debates on global challenges. These objectives are attained through three workshops (plus two self-financed network meetings) which are organized by each network member and include junior researchers, invited experts and representatives from outside academia. Together they elaborate new approaches with emphasis on Latin American theoretical frameworks and methods, building on three core topics of both Latin American and Nordic interest.


(9 May 2022) at the Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo: “Geopolitics, Climate Change and the Search for Justice”

Two major shifts have altered the incentives and conditions for international cooperation on energy: The requirement of a massive renewable energy transition to reach the goals of limiting climate emissions, and a geopolitical shift leading to a deep divide between the west and the east, obstructing cooperation between US and Europe on the one hand and Russia and China on the other.

The renewable energy transition comes with a cost both economically, socially and environmentally, as most renewable energy production also requires non-renewable resource extraction. The increase of global energy prices due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and western sanctions further change incentives for engaging in a renewable shift.

In this context, it is of major importance to explore new ideas and new forms of energy cooperation. Latin America holds vast reserves of key resources needed in the renewable transition, including the worlds’ larges reserves of lithium and copper. Increased extraction of these may engrave already serious conflicts over the use of land and natural resources, including when it encroaches into indigenous territories. However, Latin America is also a source of ideas about more sustainable life-styles. The Nordic countries also hold significant natural resource reserves, and share experiences of indigenous communities in conflict over natural resource use. There is also increasing awareness of the possibly unequal sharing of the costs of transition towards renewables, for example in terms of higher costs of energy. Yet, the gains and losses for the two regions from the current geopolitical shift differs.

Overall then, the energy transition raises issues of justice at several levels: Globally, nationally and locally. This workshop will facilitate the sharing of ideas about sustainability and justice related to energy use in a new geopolitical context. The purpose is to contribute to both further academic, economic and political engagement between Latin America and the Nordic countries.

Program and videos



(17-18 Nov 2022) at the Nordic Institute of Latin American Studies, Stockholm University: “Facing the Challenges of Climate Change – Latin American Perspectives”

Climate change is fundamentally affecting life on the planet. Deforestation and water-related issues cause biodiversity loss and breakages in ecosystems balance, forcing inhabitants of affected areas to migrate. As these existential dangers increasingly impact more people and ecosystems worldwide, there is urgency to discuss questions regarding human and nature rights, ethics, accountability, legislation, policies, and short- and long-term strategies to mitigate, cope with, but also shift systems away from unsustainable modes of living together with nonhumans and the environment. Cooperation and exchange of experiences and knowledge are key tools in facing these challenges.

With a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean region, this two-day interdisciplinary workshop invited Nordic and Latin American scholars at different career stages to discuss climate change, its anthropogenic sources and its multiple impacts, through the lens of three specific topics: deforestation, water and migration. The workshop was based on three main lines of inquiry:

  • Deforestation - environmental regulations, fires, indigenous land management, land grabbing, desertification.
  • Water - water management (drinking water, sanitation, hydroelectric plants), flooding, droughts, land-use change.
  • Migration - displacements connected to climate disaster and other extreme environmental conditions, unlivable areas.

A selection of the workshop presentations will be published as a special issue of Iberoamericana –Nordic Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies in 2023 (open access).




(Oct 2023) at the  School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg: “Conviviality: Social and Cultural Cohesion Building”

This workshop will promote cooperation with scholars in Nordic social sciences and the humanities to discuss the applicability and potential contribution of Latin American epistemologies on Nordic and global issues, with emphasis on the challenge of social cohesion building in times of pandemic and increasing political incertitudes.



Internal researchers

Name Title Phone E-mail
Wink, Georg Walter Associate Professor +4535329115 E-mail

External researchers

Borges, Thaïs Machado  Director of the Nordic Institute of Latin American Studies, Stockholm University
Rivarola, Andrés  Latin American studies, Stockholm University
Bull, Benedicte  Centre for Development and Environment, University of Oslo
Pakkasvirta, Jussi  Department of Cultures, University of Helsinki
Medina, Maria Clara  School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg


Nordic Research Councils in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NOS-HS)

Project period: January 2022 to July 2024
PI: Georg Wink