Lisa Ekman (formerly Karlborg)

Ph.D. and researcher

Research | Teaching | Publications | Other

Current research project

Principal investigator, “Soldiers for Humanity: Military Duty to Protect Host Populations in the Context of Peace Operations”, full-time funding by The Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (Sylff).

Past academic affiliation

Visiting Research Scholar at the Department of Politics, New York University (NYU) during January–July 2012; January–August 2013; and September 2013–March 2015.

Research interests

International armed intervention and civil-military relations in the field, in particular the impact of international forces on local host populations.

The main focus of my Ph.D. thesis is the phenomenon of local legitimacy of armed intervention, and what local legitimacy entails to those actors involved in, and affected by, armed intervention. More precisely, it explores how the relationship between intervening forces and the local population interacts with, and shapes, these different perspectives on legitimacy. 

Past teaching 

Method course grading, Master’s Programme in Politics and War, Swedish Defence University.

Convenor, lecturer and head teacher, ‘Introduction to Peace and Conflict Research’, Peace and Conflict Studies A.

Convenor and head teacher, ‘Causes to Armed Conflicts’, IT-distance course Peace and Conflict Studies AI.

Supervisor, B-level theses.



Karlborg, Lisa. 2015. Enforcing Legitimacy: Perspectives on the Relationship between Intervening Armed Forces and the Local Population in Afghanistan. Doctoral thesis. Report/Department of Peace and Conflict Research 106. Uppsala: Uppsala University. Faculty opponent: Professor Robert Egnell, Swedish Defence University.

Peer-reviewed articles

Karlborg, Lisa. 2015. “The Ambiguous Host-citizen Contract: An Evolving Notion of Duty in the U.S. Military Quest for Local Legitimacy.Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 38(10): 864–84.

Karlborg, Lisa. 2014. “Enforced Hospitality: Local Perceptions of the Legitimacy of International Forces in Afghanistan.Civil Wars 16(4): 425–48

Karlborg, Lisa. 2013. "International Quest for Local Legitimacy in Afghanistan: A Tower of Babel?" Small Wars & Insurgencies 24(2): 349-369.

Kernic, Franz and Lisa Karlborg. 2010. “Dynamics of Globalization and Regional Integration: South America and Peace Operations.International Peacekeeping 17(5): 723–736.

Book chapter

Karlborg, Lisa. 2013. “EU Military Operations: Structures, Capabilities and Shortfalls” in The European Union – A Global Actor? Edited by Sven B. Gareis, Gunther Hauser, and Franz Kernic, 89–108. Leverkusen-Opladen: Barbara Budrich Publishers.

Other publications

Karlborg, Lisa. 2011. “Séverine Autesserre. The Trouble with the Congo: Local Violence and the Failure of International Peacebuilding (Cambridge University Press, 2010)”, book review, African Studies Review 54, 3 (2011): 195–97.

Boisvert, Marc-André, Anastasia Chebakova, Lisa Karlborg, Franz Kernic, Harry Nedelcu and Tamara Tawaefi. 2009. New Missions – New Challenges. Peacekeeping and Crisis Management: The EU and Canada’s New Operations. Research Workshop Report. Swedish National Defence College.

Work in progress

Karlborg, Lisa. “Exploring Noncombat Contact and the Sense of Soldierly Duty in Afghanistan.” A previous version of the paper is included in my composite Ph.D. thesis.


Kabul, Afghanistan, 2012.

West Point, United States Military Academy, New York, NY, 2014–2015.

Lisa Ekman (formerly Karlborg)

Fax: +46 (0) 18 69 51 02
P.O. Box 514
SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden