Ilda Lindell

Ilda M Lourenco Lindell


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Works at Department of Human Geography
Telephone 08-16 48 49
Visiting address Svante Arrhenius väg 8
Room X 305
Postal address Kulturgeografiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm

About me

Ilda Lindell, Associate Professor

Position: Senior Lecturer. Deputy Head of Department. Coordinator of the Department’s research. 


Telephone: +46 (0)8 16 48 49.

Visiting address: X316, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8 C, Stockholm, Frescati

Postal address: Stockholms Universitet, Kulturgeografiska institutionen, 106 91 Stockholm

Membership in boards and councils:

Member of SIDA’s Research Council

Member of the editorial board of the journal International Development Planning Review

Member of the editorial board of The African Resources Development Journal


Lindell’s doctoral thesis received the award for Best Doctoral Thesis in the Social Sciences for the academic year (2001/02).

Lindell’s co-authored chapter with M Hedman and K-N Verboomen is part of a book that was awarded the 2014 Society for the Anthropology of Work Book Prize.



Director for Master’s Programme Globalization, Environment and Social Change (120 HECs). Course coordinator for (a) Environment and Urbanization (2nd level, 15 HECs);  (b) Theory and Method (2nd level, 15 HECs);  (c) Staden i Världen, Global Utveckling I, First level, 7.5 HECs; (d) Motstånd och Globala Rörelser, Global Utveckling II, First Level, 7.5 HECs. Supervision of master's thesis.

Main supervisor of two PhD candidates.


Ilda Lindell’s research is concerned with urban change in the context of global processes, with a special interest on the urban South. Her empirical work has focused on African cities. It addresses the challenges of rapid urbanization; processes of economic and political exclusion/inclusion in cities; strategies by the urban poor to access basic services, incomes and livelihood resources; urban economic development and the politics surrounding large urban informal economies; struggles over access to/use of urban space and the multiple forms of influence used by the grassroots, including through collective organizing; entrepreneurial urban governance, including ’modernizing’ urban interventions and their impacts on disadvantaged urban groups.

Current project:

Coordinator for the Research programme Urban Imaginaries and socio-economic exclusion The project investigates the effects on marginal urban groups of certain urban visions and strategies that seek to change the image of African cities from one of chaos and decay to one of an orderly, prosperous and ‘world-class’ city. It further examines how affected groups respond to interventions affecting their opportunities in the city and their own visions for the city. A three-year project funded by SIDA. The project is a collaboration with the Urban Cluster of The Nordic Africa Institute.

See also The Urban Africa Group for activities, publications etc.


Publications (selection):

Lindell, I; Hedman, M., and Verboomen, K-N. (2014) ‘“The World Cup, ‘World Class Cities,’ and Street Vendors in South Africa”, In Little, Walter B., Tranberg Hansen, K., Milgram, LYnne, Street economies in the urban Global South, School for Advanced Research Press, Santa Fe. This book has been awarded the 2014 Society for the Anthropology of Work Book Prize

Lindell, I and Ihalainen, M. (2014) ‘The Politics of Confinement and Mobility: Informality, Relocations and Urban Re-making from Above and Below”. In Willems, W. and E. Obadare (eds) Civic Agency in Africa: African arts of resistance in the 21st century. James Currey, Suffolk, UK.


Meagher, Kate and Lindell, Ilda (Guest editors)(2013) African Studies Review Forum: Engaging with African Informal Economies: Social Inclusion or Adverse Incorporation? African Studies Review, 56:3.


Utas, M and Lindell, I (Guest editors)(2012) Thematic Issue: Networked City Life in Africa. Urban Forum, 23(4).


Lindell, I and Utas M (2012) Networked City Life in Africa: Introduction. Urban Forum, 23(4), pp 409-14.


Lindell, I (Guest editor) (2011), Organizing across the formal-informal divide in the Global South, Thematic Issue in Labour, Capital and Society. 44(1) pp 3-23. Introduction vailable at:


Lindell, I (2012) “Between Exhilaration and pain: Hosting the All Africa Games in Maputo”. In Africa’s Changing Societies Reform from Below. Uppsala: The Nordic Africa Institute.


Lindell, I (2011) Transnational activism networks and gendered gatekeeping: Negotiating gender in an African association of informal workers. Current African Issues, No 48, 44p.  Uppsala: The Nordic Africa Institute.


Lindell, I. (2011) ‘The contested spatialities of transnational activism: gendered gatekeeping and gender struggles in an African association of informal workers’, Global Networks 11:2, 139–158.


Lindell, I.; Hedman, M. and Verboomen, K-N (2010) “The World Cup 2010 and the Urban Poor: ‘World Class Cities’ for All?”, Policy Notes, 2010/5. Uppsala: The Nordic Africa Institute Available at:


Lindell, I. (2010) “Urban informal workers’ networks in Guinea-Bissau”, in Bryceson, D.F. (ed), How Africa Works: Occupational Change, Identity and Morality, Rugby UK: Practical Action Publishing, pp 149-164.


Lindell, I. (2011) “Informal work and transnational organizing”, in Bieler, A. and Lindberg, I. (eds), Global restructuring, labour and challenges for transnational organizing, Routledge.


Lindell, I. (ed.) (2010) Africa’s Informal workers: collective agency, alliances and transnational organizing in urban Africa. London/Uppsala: Zed Books and The Nordic Africa Institute.


Lindell, I. (2010) “Introduction: The changing politics of informality – collective organizing, alliances and scales of engagement”. In Lindell, I. (ed.) Africa’s Informal workers: collective agency, alliances and transnational organizing in urban Africa. London/Uppsala: Zed Books and The Nordic Africa Institute. Available at:


Lindell, I. (2010) (ed.) Between Exit and Voice: Informality and the Spaces of Popular Agency, Special Issue of African Studies Quarterly, Vol. 11, Nos. 2/3. Available at


Lindell, I., (2010) ‘Informality and Collective Organizing: Identities, Alliances and Transnational Activism in Africa’, Third World Quarterly, Vol. 31, No. 2.


Kamete, A. and Lindell, I. (2010): “The politics of ‘non-planning’ strategies in African cities: Unravelling the international and local dimensions in Harare and Maputo”, Journal of Southern African Studies, 36:4, 890-912.


Lindell, I. (2009) “ ‘Glocal’ movements: place struggles and transnational organizing by informal workers”, Geografiska Annaler, 91:2, pp 123-136.


Lindell, I. and J. Appelblad, (2009) “Disabling governance: privatization of city markets and implications for vendors’ associations in Kampala, Uganda”, Habitat International, 33:4, pp. 397-404.


Lindell, I. (2008): “The multiple sites of urban governance: Insights from an African City”. Urban Studies, 45:10, pp 1879-1901.


Lindell, I. (2008): “Building alliances between formal and informal workers: Experiences from Africa”. In Bieler, A. et al (eds), Labour and the Challenges of Globalization: What Prospects for International Solidarity?. London: Pluto Press.


Lourenco-Lindell, I (2002) Walking the tight rope: informal livelihoods and social networks in a West African city. Stockholm Studies in Human Geography 9. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell Intern. This doctoral thesis received the award for Best Doctoral Thesis in the Social Sciences for the academic year (2001/02). Available at:

Last updated: May 24, 2018

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