Carl Marklund (Institute of Contemporary History, Södertörn University) is a historian of international relations with a special interest in the role of knowledge production and cultural values for the formation and functioning of international institutions, agendas and interstate relations.


In his research, he has studied how smaller states such as the Nordics and especially Sweden have sought to secure short- and long-term interests in view of global challenges and international conflicts. He has particularly analysed the processes of "modelization" and “reputation management” whereby domestic socio-economic performance translate into an internationally convertible social currency of exemplarity, but also into "utopian traps." In the decade since defending his PhD on the conceptual history of social engineering in transatlantic comparison (European University Institute 2008), he has worked in a series of externally funded research projects which have resulted in research publications and teaching activities addressing the international circulation of images of the Nordics as model societies characterized by “planning” practices and “progressive” ideals but also as targets for politicized criticism.

In the coming years, and while a guest researcher affiliated with the Hans Blix Centre for the History of International Relations at Stockholm University, Marklund's research will trace the interplay between national and international knowledge production of governance ideals and objectives in “uploading and downloading” national and global agendas in the context of globalization and neoliberalism --from the calls for a New International Economic Order (NIEO) in the 1970s to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of today (with funding from Independent Research Fund Denmark and the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation, respectively).