The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Strategic Research Area on the Middle East

Strategic Research Area (SRA) at Lund University

CMES coordinates, supports and conducts Middle East research at Lund University. CMES aspires to foster multi- and inter-disciplinary perspectives, approaches, and methodologies in relation to Middle East research. The Centre's core and affiliated research team has given rise to fruitful exchanges across different scientific fields and culminated in a range of interdisciplinary research projects. We aspire to produce cutting edge research that also informs our public engagement! We actively seek opportunities that can enable us to establish and make use of new societal synergies and research collaboration. 

Most of the research at CMES is situated within the Strategic Research Area (SRA) “The Middle East in the Contemporary World” (MECW), which is funded by the Swedish Research Council. MECW was established through Swedish government funding under the Swedish Government Strategic Research Area Initiative. Scholarship on the Middle East at Lund University was recognised as by the Swedish Higher Education to be “of the highest international quality” and contributing "towards dealing with important societal challenges”.

The MECW research program consists of four research themes:

  1. Environment and sustainable development

  2. Security and sustainable peace

  3. Democratization, migration and sustainable socio-economic development

  4. Religion, identity and culture

The MECW program is committed to producing research, which moves beyond the state-of-the-art in the field of Middle Eastern studies. The MECW research program also strives to generate much needed information and policy relevant knowledge on the Middle East beyond academia to policy, business, civil society and wider publics. The program includes researchers from the humanities, engineering, the natural sciences and the social sciences.

Photo of Ronny Berndtsson and Karin Aggestam

Scientific Coordination

Karin Aggestam, Professor of Political Science, CMES Director, MECW Scientific Coordinator

karin [dot] aggestam [at] svet [dot] lu [dot] se (karin[dot]aggestam[at]svet[dot]lu[dot]se)

Ronny Berndtsson, Professor of Water Resource Engineeering, CMES Deputy Director, MECW Deputy Scientific Coordinator 

ronny [dot] berndtsson [at] tvrl [dot] lth [dot] se (ronny[dot]berndtsson[at]tvrl[dot]lth[dot]se)

Lund University has one of Sweden's strongest and broadest research environments and is recognised as one of the world's top research-led full-scale universities. Over recent years, Lund University has achieved major success in obtaining large research grants. Annually, over SEK 5 billion goes to research across nine faculties. Lund University has also distinguished itself in the allocations of Linnaeus environments and the Swedish Government’s investment in strategic research areas. These successes are largely a result of the interdisciplinary research carried out and the diversity that our full-scale university has to offer. 

Read more about Research excellence areas here

The Vice-Chancellor has approved a new university-wide strategy for Lund University's Strategic Research Areas (SRAs). The allocation of roles and responsibilities is stated for future work. The strategy is based on the University’s collective knowledge and experience of development and governance of these environments, from the first strategic decision to invest in development of a new area to the managing and further development of world-leading strategic research areas.

Read more about the strategy here