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Magdalena Bexell

Associate Professor

Political Science


Main research areas

  • International cooperation
  • The politics of sustainable development 
  • Legitimacy, responsibility and accountability 
  • The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals

Magdalena Bexell's research revolves around questions on legitimacy, responsibility and accountability in governance processes through which globally decided goals become integrated into national politics and local settings. What legitimacy challenges arise as goals are transferred between political levels? How do spheres of responsibility evolve and how do accountability channels look at the global-national nexus? Empirically, her research primarily concerns the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015.


Recent publications

Bexell, Magdalena, Jönsson, Kristina and Stappert, Nora (2020) "Whose legitimacy beliefs count? Targeted audiences in global governance legitimation processes", Journal of International Relations and Development, forthcoming.  

Bexell, Magdalena and Jönsson, Kristina (2020) "Realising the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development–Engaging National Parliments?", Policy Studies, forthcoming. 

Jönsson, Kristina and Bexell, Magdalena (2020) "Localizing the Sustainable Development Goals. The Case of Tanzania", Development Policy Review, forthcoming. Link to fulltext. 

Bexell, Magdalena (forthcoming 2020) "Global and Transnational Governance" in Bornemann, Basil, Knappe, Henrike and Nanz, Patrizia (eds) Routledge Handbook of Democracy and Sustainability, Abingdon: Routledge. 

Bexell, Magdalena (2019) "Power and Legitimacy", in Fuchs, Doris, Hayden, Anders and Kalfagianni, Agni (eds) Handbook of Global Sustainability Governance, Abingdon: Routledge. 

Bexell, Magdalena and Jönsson, Kristina (2019) Country Reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals–The Politics of Performance Review at the Global-National Nexus, Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Vol. 20, Issue 4, link to fulltext.  

Bexell, Magdalena and Jönsson, Kristina (2018), "Audiences of De(Legitimation) in Global Governance", in Tallberg, Jonas, Bäckstrand, Karin and Scholte, Jan Aart (eds) Legitimacy in Global Governance. Sources, Processes, and Consequences. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

Bexell, Magdalena and Jönsson, Kristina (2017), Responsibility and the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, Forum for Development Studies, Vol. 44, No. 1, pp. 13-29. 

Bexell, Magdalena and Kalm, Sara (2017), Kritiskt tänkande i forskarutbildningen – handledares röster om ett betydelsefullt examensmål, Högre utbildning, Vol. 7, No. 2.

Bexell, Magdalena (2016), "Multilevel governance and the rule of international human rights law: The case of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights", in Heupel, Monika and Reinold, Theresa (eds), The Rule of Law in Global Governance, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 181-203.

Bexell, Magdalena and Jönsson, Kristina (2016), Swedish Responsibility and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Stockholm: Expert Group for Aid Studies EBA Report 2016:4.

Bexell, Magdalena (ed) (2015), Global Governance, Legitimacy and Legitimation, Abingdon: Routledge.





Magdalena Bexell
E-mail: magdalena [dot] bexell [at] svet [dot] lu [dot] se

Associate professor

Department of Political Science

+46 46 222 01 66



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Department of Political Science


Senior lecturer

Department of Political Science


Department of Political Science
Lund University
Visiting address: Allhelgona kyrkogata 14 (House: Eden)
Postal address: Box 52, SE-221 00 LUND
Telephone: +46 46-222 89 52

Faculty of Social Sciences