Anna Sveinsdóttir, PhD

Anna Sveinsdóttir is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the IL Lab.

Dr. Sveinsdóttir earned her PhD in Geography from the University of Denver in May 2019. Her research interests relate to socio-environmental challenges; especially as they concern natural resource extraction, land rights, the politics of livelihoods and justice. Much of Dr. Sveinsdóttir’s research is rooted in human-environmental geography and political ecology, and is shaped by her international and interdisciplinary background.

Dr. Sveinsdóttir’s doctoral research at the University of Denver examined corporate-community conflicts relating to extractive industries and hydropower development in Guatemala. This research focused on how the complex configurations of corporate-government networks shaped political actions in resource conflicts. She also explored the internal perspectives of the extractive sector, government authorities, and Guatemala’s powerful elite. Finally, Dr. Sveinsdóttir examined the increasing culture of legalism in environmental struggles in Guatemala, where corporations and grassroots movements conducted their struggles through ‘lawfare,’ raising important questions about the changing dynamics of environmental governance, political participation and contestation.

Dr. Sveinsdóttir’s past research at the University of Oslo used a political ecology approach to examine conflicts relating to changing land tenure and tourism development in Nicaragua, for which she received the Norwegian Association for Development Research Master thesis award.


Johnson, M., Guske, E. and Sveinsdóttir, A. The Dakota Access Pipeline in Illinois: Mapping the Regulatory Landscape. [Journal article in advanced preparation]

Sveinsdóttir, A., Aguilar-Støen, M. and Bull, B. Renegotiating the state: Violence and resistance at the Guatemalan extractive frontier. [Journal article under review]

Sveinsdóttir, A., and Aguilar-Støen, M. Unsettling the scale of governance in natural resource extraction: Contentious scalar politics in Guatemala [Journal article in advanced preparation]

Sveinsdóttir, A., and Aguilar-Støen, M. Imagining the ‘Emerald Coast’: Insecure land tenure, property disputes and tourism development. [Book chapter accepted for publication in Springer Brief]

Sveinsdóttir, A., and Aguilar-Støen, M Corporate-Community Conflicts in Guatemala: Exploring private sector perspectives on opposition to mining. [Journal article in preparation] 

Sveinsdóttir, A. and Johnson, M. Doubling down on DAPL: Lawfare, citizen participation and the capacity expansion of DAPL in Illinois [Journal article in preparation]