Linn Axelsson


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Works at Department of Human Geography
Visiting address Svante Arrhenius väg 8
Room X 307
Postal address Kulturgeografiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm

About me

I am a research fellow in the research group Population geography, migration and GIS

My research focuses on the global circulation of people and products. I am particularly interested in how these flows are regulated by state and non-state actors through processes of bordering. Most of my work has focused on developing an understanding of borders as time-spaces of authority that exclude and include through increasingly differentiated, nuanced and ambiguous means. I have explored this in diverse contexts including the textile trade in Ghana and labour migration to Sweden and the UK.

After completing my PhD at Stockholm University in 2012, I was a visiting research fellow at The Open University (2013-2016) and the University of Oxford (2017) before returning to the department to continue my research. 


  • Place, identity and migration, Human Geography II (KG2208)
  • Landscape and resources, Geography II (GE4001)
  • Master's thesis, Urban and Regional Planning (KG9211), Human Geography (KG9210)
  • Bachelor's thesis, Human Geography III (KG3201)


My research interests include political geography, critical border studies, migration studies, bordering processes, labour migration regulation, international trade regulation.

Research projects

  • Agents of migration: A comparative study of migration  intermediaries in three labour market sectors, with Charlotta Hedberg (Umeå University), Swedish Research Council, 2018-2020.
  • Integration or segregation? A study of mobility and diversity in Stockholm, with Maja Lagerqvist, Thomas Wimark and Bo Malmberg (PI). Stockholm County Council, 2017-2019.
  • Border topologies: Labour migration management through strategies of bordering. Swedish Research Council, 2014-2017. 
  • Grapes of wrath? Global labour mobility in the wild berry industry affecting rural development in Sweden and Thailand, with Charlotta Hedberg (PI, Umeå University), Swedish Research Council Formas, 2016-2019.
  • Making borders: Engaging the threat of Chinese textiles in Ghana2006-2012.

Professional advisory or consultancy work

  • Thai wild berry pickers in Sweden: Costs and earnings in a low wage sector, with Charlotta Hedberg (Umeå University) and Manolo Abella (KNOMAD/the World Bank). The Delegation for Migration Studies, 2016-2017.         
  • The economic consequences of migration for Sweden's economic development, with Bo Malmberg, Thomas Wimark and Jani Turunen. The Delegation for Migration Studies, 2015-2016.              
  • Chinese migrant workers in Sweden, with Charlotta Hedberg, Bo Malmberg and Qian Zhang. International Organization for Migration, 2012-2013.


Allen J and L Axelsson (2019) Border topologies: The time-spaces of labour migrant regulation. Political Geography 72, 116-123.

Hedberg C, Axelsson L and M Abella (2019) Thai Wild Berry Pickers in Sweden: Costs and Earnings in a Low Wage Sector. Stockholm: The Migration Studies Delegation (DELMI).

Axelsson L (2018) Om väntan: IT-företags och dataspecialisters erfarenheter av svensk migrationspolitik och praktik [On waiting: IT companies and IT professionals’ experiences of Swedish immigration policy and practice]. Povrzanović Frykman M och M Öhlander (red.) Högutbildade migranter i Sverige. Lund: Arkiv förlag & tidskrift.

Axelsson L and C Hedberg (2018) Emerging topologies of transnational employment: 'Posting' Thai workers in Sweden's wild berry industry beyond regulatory reach. Geoforum 89, 1-10.

Axelsson L (2017) Living within temporally thick borders: IT professionals’ experiences of Swedish immigration policy and practice. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 43(6), 974-990.

Axelsson L, et al. (2017) On waiting, work-time and imagined futures: Theorising temporal precariousness among Chinese chefs in Sweden's restaurant industryGeoforum 78, 169-178.

Malmberg B, Wimark T, Turunen J och L Axelsson (2017) Chansen god att invandring ger ökad ekonomisk tillväxt [Immigration likely to increase economic growth]. Ekonomisk Debatt 4, 88-92.

Malmberg B, Wimark T, Turunen J och L Axelsson (2016) Invandringens ekonomiska effekter på Sveriges ekonomiska utveckling [The Economic Consequences of Migration for Sweden’s Economic Development]. Rapport 2016:8. Stockholm: Delegationen for Migrationsstudier (DELMI). 

Axelsson L (2013) Temporalizing the borderDialogues in Human Geography 3, 324-326.

Axelsson L, Hedberg C, Malmberg B and Q Zhang (2013) Chinese Restaurant Workers in Sweden: Policies, Patterns and Social Consequences. Beijing: International Organization for Migration.

Axelsson L (2012) Making Borders: Engaging the Threat of Chinese Textiles in Ghana. Stockholm Studies in Human Geography 22. Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis. Read a review here.

Axelsson L and N Sylvanus (2010) Navigating Chinese textile networks: Women traders in Accra and Lomé. Cheru F and C Obi (eds.) The Rise of China and India in Africa: Challenges, Opportunities and Critical Interventions. London: Zed Books.

Last updated: September 12, 2019

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