A new research field offers multidisciplinary solutions to ecological crises

Professor of Global Development Studies Markus Kröger investigates natural resource and environmental politics and civic engagement globally.

What are your research topics?

At the moment, I am investigating the climate and ecological crises, such as why the clearing of forests continues in the Amazon and elsewhere in the world. In addition, I am exploring what attempts have been made to affect this trend.

Globally, I study political economy as well as conflicts and popular movements related, including more generally, to natural resources and the environment. My particular focus is on Brazil, the rest of South America and India. I also analyse global resource politics, which relates to, for example, the rush for Arctic resources.

Among other things, I have investigated the mining politics of Brazil and India, as well as when and how mines have been discontinued as a result of local community resistance. I have also studied the globalisation of the pulp and paper industry and the effects of major new investments in pulp production by Finnish businesses, for example, in Brazil and Uruguay. In addition, I have studied various other forms of agriculture and forestry, and their sustainability.

Where and how does the topic of your research have an impact?

Everyone needs food, and the use of natural resources and climate change issues are becoming increasingly topical. I have focused particularly on the means by which citizens can influence investment decisions that significantly shape land use and impact on their lives, especially in countries such as Brazil and India. My research also helps to better understand political realities in which various developmental interventions are being attempted.

My research affects, among other things, whether small farmers are illegally driven from their lands in Brazil and India. I try to raise awareness of problems encountered by forest and rural communities, and provide decision-makers with information on how to make better decisions.

What is particularly inspiring in your field right now?

Global development studies is a rapidly evolving and intensely cross-disciplinary field. It draws inspiration broadly from the latest experiences and discoveries of various disciplines and societies.

My research field can offer solutions to the climate and ecological crises as well as other global phenomena through in-depth understanding in the social sciences.


Markus Kröger is the Professor of Global Development Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences.

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