Maryam Nastar

Research Fellow at LUCSUS






Tel: +46 46 222 16 90
Address: Room 119, Josephson building
Biskopsgatan 5, 223 62 Lund

Current Research

Dr. Nastar is a research fellow at Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies, working on water-related issues and sustainability transitions in urban areas in the global South. Currently, she is working with a group of international scholars on “Experimenting with practical transition groundwater management strategies for the urban poor in Sub Saharan Africa”, one of UPGro Consortium Projects. The research project aims at exploring social, technical and political changes that are needed to make the shift towards sustainable urban groundwater management in Sub-Saharan Africa – and how those changes can be achieved. More info about the project is available at:


Maryam Nastar obtained her Ph.D. in Sustainability Science from Lund University (2014) focusing on how urban water regimes reproduce inequality in access to water where she conducted fieldwork in low-income areas of Johannesburg in South Africa and notified-slums of Hyderabad in India. For more information about her dissertation click here. After her PhD studies, she was granted a three-month research fellowship to conduct an ethnographic fieldwork in slums in Tehran, Iran in relation to community mobilization in improving water access.

Maryam received her Master’s degree in environmental studies and sustainability science from Lund University. Her master’s thesis examined agent interactions in managing water resources in the Ebro River Basin in Spain. This was followed by her work as a project assistant in MATISSE (Methods and Tools for Integrated Sustainability Assessment), one of the EU’s FP-6 research projects.

Research Interests

  • Resource mobilization, niche upscaling, practices of citizenship
  • Social and political aspects of sustainability transitions
  • Development and application of analytical frameworks and tools to explore sustainability challenges
  • Water governance and institutions in urban areas
  • Social and environmental implications of lack of water access, inequality in water distribution, politics of water policy and initiatives


  • Co-supervised several successful Master’s theses at Lund University International Master’s Programme in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science (LUMES), 2011- present
  • Lecturer in the PhD course (3 ECTS), Niches in Transition Arenas, at LUCID, August 2016
  • Lecturer in the PhD course (10 ECTS), Critical Urban Theory In Practice, at Right Livelihood Collage, 2015 – 2016
  • Guest lecturer in the Governance of Sustainability, Sustainability Science and Water courses at LUMES 2014- present
  • Teaching Assistant in the Sustainability Science and Water courses at LUMES 2009-2014
  • Teaching Assistant in the Sustainable Urban Planning and Development course at Swedish Institute 2008
  • Teaching Assistant in the Sustainable Development – Conflicts and Solutions course, at Swedish Institute 2007

Papers and publications

  • Nastar, M. (2014) The quest to become a world city: Implications for access to water. Cities 41:1-9.
  • Nastar, M. (2014) What drives the urban water regime? An analysis of water governance arrangements in Hyderabad, India. Ecology and Society 19.
  • Nastar, Maryam (2014) Navigating Troubled Waters. An analysis of how urban water regimes in the global South reproduce inequality. PhD diss., Lund University, 2014.
  • Nastar, M., and V. Ramasar. (2012) Transition in South African water governance: Insights from a perspective on power. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions 4:7-24.
  • Nastar, M. (2011) Interrogating water governance approaches in Hyderabad, India, Presented at the 6th Dubrovnik Conference on Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems, Dubrovnik, Croatia 2011
  • Nastar, M., and M. Islar. (2010) Decentralization: Resolve or Hide the Problem? Conference Paper. Sustaining Commons: Sustaining Our Future, the Thirteenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons
  • Nastar, M., and M. Hansen (2009) Water legislation–what values, which ways? Institutional path dependency and transition management in integrated water resource management in South Africa. Earth System Governance Annual Conference.
  • Nastar, M. (2009) An interdisciplinary approach to resolving conflict in the water domain. In Information Technologies in Environmental Engineering, pp. 411-424. Springer Berlin Heidelberg
  • Nastar, M. (2008) Synergy of Disciplines for Sustainability – Analysis of agent interactions in the transition management cycle to tackle the water scarcity issue.Master’s Thesis. Lund University International Master’s Programme in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science

Affiliated Networks

  • Organized and designed the Right Livelihood College PhD course “Critical Urban Theory: Citizenship, Marginalities, Livelihood Struggles and Innovations in Practice”, 10 ECST, in collaboration with Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) , in a format of two modules in Mumbai and Lund, 2015-2016.

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