PhD candidate

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Profile summary

  • Policy issue interdependencies
  • Network analysis
  • Collaborative governance
  • Water resource systems
  • Transnational climate impacts

Johanna Hedlund's PhD research focuses on complex governance systems in relation to interdependent, environmental policy issues with a network analysis approach

Hedlund´s research focuses on the interdependency of policy issues and its relation to cross-boundary, collaborative governance. Policy issues rarely affect only single groups of actors and stakeholders, interests, and/or societal- or environmental problems, but are intertwined with other policy issues through common and overlapping policy processes, and/or through biophysical linkages across space and time. This implies that a policy issue often depends on another policy issue for its most effective solution.

Despite the great impact that policy issue interdependencies may have on collaboration, there is still a knowledge gap about the manner in which policy issue interdependencies, as a significant aspect of complex problems, drive collaboration.

This PhD thesis focuses on the link between policy issue interdependencies and the formation, evolution and performance of cross-boundary collaborative governance. Thereby, the PhD contributes to the study of policy issue interdependency and collaborative governance in concert by applying the study to the context of water policy issues and transboundary collaboration within the Norrström basin in Sweden. Thus, it goes beyond the largely conceptual state in which this research currently resides.

The project applies a multilevel network focus to study the alignment between interdependent water policy issues and collaborative networks, and how this might improve the effectiveness of governance outcomes to reach or withstand systemic changes. In her work, Hedlund applies a mixed methods approach, using qualitative case study comparison and network analysis to investigate and model interdependent structures. Her PhD project is supervised by Örjan Bodin (SRC), Daniel Nohrstedt (Uppsala University), Erik Andersson (SRC), and Michele-Lee Moore (SRC).

Apart from her PhD studies, Hedlund is part of research on transnational climate impacts at Stockholm Environment Institute, in the development of the Transnational Climate Impacts index. The index uses a quantitative approach to measure impacts that occur in one place as a consequence of climate change events somewhere else. The development of indicators of different global pathways, such as trade, finance, people and biophysical flows, has made it possible to quantify each country’s exposure across multiple dimensions.

Hedlund holds a combined MSc from Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Lund University, integrating studies in landscape planning with advanced studies in international development and management.

Staff details


Publications by Hedlund, Johanna