The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/windows/end-of-ie-support).

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Governance and the Sustainable Development Goals

Lund University - 5 credits, third cycle

The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals
The UN Sustainable Development Goals. Photo.

Are you a PhD student with an interest in the governance of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals? Then this course is for you.

Please note that the application closes at 5 pm the 26 of January. Also note that the course will be held online only.

About the course


The course provides a critical introduction to the governance of sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. It emphasizes the challenges of implementing the 2030 Agenda with a special focus on low-and middle-income countries and poverty reduction.

The development of the 2030 Agenda and the current status of the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals will be discussed. Different theoretical perspectives and concepts related to governance will also be introduced and applied on empirical examples stemming from global, national, and local levels of sustainable development governance.

Doctoral students will be asked to connect their own research projects to the themes of the course and to bring in their perspectives on the 2030 Agenda from different disciplinary backgrounds.

Full syllabus and course schedule can be found below. 

Eligibility and selection 


To be eligible for the course, applicants must meet the general eligibility requirements for postgraduate studies. A good knowledge of English is essential.

The course is open to PhD students from all fields of social sciences and related fields of study.

Priority will be given to PhD students in the Development Research School. Other applicants will be assessed and accepted on the basis of the relevance of their PhD project to the course theme.

The course is free of charge.


 

SST007F Governance and the Sustainable Development Goals

Third cycle, 5 credits

General information 

The course is offered as a freestanding course at the Department of Political Science for doctoral students interested in sustainable development research and the governance of the United Nations 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. The course builds upon theoretical perspectives and concepts that are applied on empirical examples from different sustainable development fields and governance levels. The language of instruction is English.

Learning outcomes 

On completion of the course, students shall be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals, including processes and challenges related to its realisation at global, national, and local levels, based on research in the field. 
  • identify key elements of governance in relation to the 2030 Agenda and compare these across countries, levels of governance, and issue areas. 
  • use theoretical perspectives and concepts to analyse governance challenges of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals.
  • critically assess strengths and weaknesses of the 2030 Agenda from different perspectives on governing sustainable development. 

Course content

The course provides a critical introduction to the governance of sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. It emphasizes the challenges of implementing the 2030 Agenda with a special focus on low-and middle-income countries and poverty reduction. The development of the 2030 Agenda and the current status of the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals will be discussed.

Different theoretical perspectives and concepts related to governance will also be introduced and applied on empirical examples stemming from global, national, and local levels of sustainable development governance. Doctoral students will be asked to connect their own research projects to the themes of the course and to bring in their perspectives on the 2030 Agenda from different disciplinary backgrounds. 

Course design 

The course consists of online lectures and seminars with discussions and presentations, and one on-site workshop. Seminars and workshops require preparations and active participation of course participants. Such preparations will be both individual and group-based. During the workshop, participants take part in a role-play activity and have the opportunity to present their dissertation projects.

Assessment

All seminars and workshop are mandatory. The assessment is based on active participation at the seminars and the workshop, through oral presentations and written assignments including a final paper. 

Grades

The grades awarded are Pass or Fail. To receive a Pass the doctoral student must fulfil the learning outcomes of the course. 

At the beginning of the course, students will be informed about the learning outcomes stated in the syllabus as well as the grading scale and how it is applied at the course. 
 

Schedule 

Session 1: Introducing “leaving no one behind”

2 February at 9-12 Online

  • Short introductory lecture on the history of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs with a focus on poverty reduction and the principle of leaving no one behind. 
  • Mini presentations of participants and their ongoing PhD projects.
  • Written assignment on your specific field of research and its relevance to sustainable development, to be presented and discussed during the session in order to create a common literature overview (ca 1000 words). To be submitted ahead of the seminar.

Session 2: Governance at multiple levels

16 February at 9-12 Online

  • Short introductory lecture on multi-level governance for sustainable development. 
  • Group-based presentations and discussions on governance challenges related to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. 
  • Written assignment on the current state of SDG implementation and challenges ahead globally, in different regions, countries, or municipalities, of your own choice (ca 1000 words). To be submitted ahead of the seminar.

Session 3: Governance perspectives on sustainable development 

2 March at 9-12 Online 

  • Short introductory lecture on theoretical perspectives and concepts on the governance of the SDGs. 
  • Group discussions on whose responsibility? Exploring accountability, legitimacy and power within the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. 
  • Written assignment with reflections on one of these perspectives/concepts in relation to your field of interest (ca 1000 words). To be submitted ahead of the seminar.

Session 4: Workshop

Please note that workshop will be held online. The schedule will be updated shortly with more details.

15 March to 17 March

  • Wednesday 15 March:
    Guest lecture
     
  • Thursday 16 March: 
    Role-play activity: Prepare for a post 2030 Agenda, both in terms of substance (goals, targets and indicators) and process (transparency, participation etcetera) representing different stakeholders.
     
  • Friday 17 March:
    Present your own research project in light of the course theme. All participants will receive feedback from peers and course convenors. 

Session 5: Feedback and evaluation

23 March 9-12 Online

  • Feedback on individual papers: lessons learnt.
  • Evaluation of the course. 
  • Concluding discussion: Governance of the SDGs in turbulent times.
     

Please note that the schedule may be subject to change. More detailed information regarding the course and its reading will be provided upon acceptance to the course. 

Governance and the Sustainable Development Goals

Third cycle, 5 credits

Literature 

Books


Bexell, Magdalena and Jönsson, Kristina (2021) The Politics of the Sustainable Development Goals. Legitimacy, Responsibility, and Accountability. Routledge: London and New York. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/oa-mono/10.4324/9781003043614/polit… 

Biermann, Frank, Hickmann, Thomas, and Sénit, Carole-Anne, eds. (2022) The Political Impact of the Sustainable Development Goals: Transforming Governance Through Global Goals? Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK. https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/the-political-impact-of-the-sustai…

Articles


Bandola-Gill, Jystina (2022) Statistical entrepreneurs: the political work of infrastructuring the SDG indicators. Policy and Society (online first), 1-15 https://doi.org/10.1093/polsoc/puac013

Beisheim, Marianne and Fritzsche, Felicitas (2022) The UN High‐Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development: An orchestrator, more or less? Global Policy (online first), 1-11. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1758-5899.13112

Caballero, Paula (2019) The SDGs: Changing how development is understood. Global Policy, 10, 138-140. 
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1758-5899.12629

Croese, Sylvia, Oloko, Michael, Simon, David, and Valencia, Sandra C. (2021) Bringing the global to the local: The challenges of multi-level governance for global policy implementation in Africa. International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development, 13(3), 435-447. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19463138.2021.1958335

Esquivel, Valeria (2016) Power and the Sustainable Development Goals: a 
feminist analysis, Gender & Development, 24:1, 9-23. Not OA,
https://doi.org/10.1080/13552074.2016.1147872 

Forestier, Oana and Kim, Rakhyun E. (2020) Cherry‐picking the Sustainable Development Goals: Goal prioritization by national governments and implications for global governance. Sustainable Development, 28(5), 1269-1278. 
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/sd.2082

Fukuda‐Parr, Sakiko (2019) Keeping out extreme inequality from the SDG Agenda–the politics of indicators. Global Policy, 10, 61-69. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1758-5899.12602

Fukuda-Parr, Sakiki and Hegestad, Thea Smaavik (2019) ”Leaving No One Behind” as a Site of Contestation and Reinterpretation. Journal of Globalization and Development, 9(2), 1-11. Not OA,  doi:10.1515/jgd-2018-0037 

Gupta, Joyeeta and Nilsson, Måns (2017) Toward a Multi-level Action Framework for Sustainable Development Goals. In Kanie, Norichika and Biermann, Frank (eds) Governing Through Goals: Sustainable Development Goals as Governance Innovation. MIT Press. (275-294) https://direct.mit.edu/books/book/3444/Governing-through-GoalsSustainab… 

Hajer, Maarten, Nilsson, Måns, Raworth, Kate, Bakker, Peter, Berkhout, Frans, De Boer, Yvo, Rockström, Johan, Ludwig, Kathrin, and Kok, Marcel (2015) Beyond cockpit-ism: Four insights to enhance the transformative potential of the sustainable development goals. Sustainability 7(2), 1651-1660. https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/7/2/1651

Sachs, Jeffrey D., Schmidt-Traub, Guidio, Mazzucato, Mariana, Messner, Dirk, Nakicenovic, Nebojsa, and Rockström, Johan (2019) Six transformations to achieve the sustainable development goals. Nature Sustainability, 2(9), 805-814. 

Sénit, Carole-Anne and Biermann, Frank (2021) In whose name are you speaking? The marginalization of the poor in global civil society. Global Policy, 12(5), 581-591. 
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/1758-5899.12997

Struckmann, Christiane (2018) A postcolonial feminist critique of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: A South African application, Agenda, 32:1, 12-24. (not OA) https://doi.org/10.1080/10130950.2018.1433362

van Driel, Melanie, Biermann, Frank, Kim, Rakhyun E. and Vijge, Marjanneke J. (2022) International organisations as ’custodians’ of the sustainable development goals? Fragmentation and coordination in sustainability governance. Global Policy (online first), 1-14. (14 pages) https://doi.org/10.1111/1758-5899.13114


Additional articles and reports chosen by the respective PhD students (ca 300 pages)

Reports and policy documents (not to be used in full)
Sachs, Jeffrey D. Guillaume Lafortune, Christian Kroll, Grayson Fuller, and Finn Woelm (2022) Sustainable Development Report 2022. From Crisis to Sustainable Development: the SDGs as Roadmap to 2030 and Beyond. Cambridge University Press. DOI 10.1017/9781009210058 (part of the report only) https://dashboards.sdgindex.org
United Nations (2016) Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. A/RES/70/1. https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N15/291/89/PDF/N1529189.p… 

Voluntary National Reviews: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/vnrs/

Voluntary Local Reviews: https://sdgs.un.org/topics/voluntary-local-reviews

Picture of Lund university logo

Practical information

Third cycle, 5 credits

Language of instruction 
English

Course period 
Spring 2023

Course structure
Four online sessions:
2 & 16 February, 2 & 23 March

Online workshop:
15-17 March

Lecturers and resource persons
Kristina Jönsson
Magdalena Bexell
Thomas Hickmann
Guests 
 

The application has closed

For more information

Do you have questions about the course? 

Please contact:

Kristina Jönsson at kristina [dot] jonsson [at] svet [dot] lu [dot] se