I am an Associate Professor (Docent) at the Department of Political Science, Lund University, and a research fellow at the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities (Kungl. Vitterhetsakademien). I am also the PI (with Oriol Sabaté) for the project “The Politics of State Building: Studying Investments in State Capacity through Legislative Debates”, funded by the Swedish Research Council (2022-2025).

Prior to this, I was a post-doctoral researcher affiliated with the project “State-Making and the Origins of Global Order in the Long Nineteenth Century and Beyond” (STANCE) also at Lund University.

My research interests lie at the intersection of comparative politics, political development, and democratic theory, with regional specializations on the politics of Latin America and Western Europe.

I am particularly interested in the relationship between democracy and development. Most of my work to this date can be grouped under three general topics:

  1. processes of state formation in the Atlantic World;
  2. the development of deliberative systems from a historical institutionalist perspective; and
  3. the tensions between state sovereignty and the rights of non-citizens.

My research has been published in journals such as Citizenship StudiesComparative Political Studies, the European Journal of Political ResearchPolitics & Society, and the Review of International Organizations. A full list of my publications is available here.

I moonlight as a novelist. My first book of fiction, La frase negra, was published by Ediciones ERA in Mexico in 2007.


In my doctoral (UBC) and post-doctoral (STANCE, Lund) work, I have studied the development of the modern state during the 19th and 20th centuries. I am currently working on a book manuscript on the role of national legislatures in the development of modern states in Europe and the Americas.

As a research fellow of the Royal Academy of Letters based at Lund University, I lead a project on the “Deliberative Capacity of Democratic Systems”. The project aims to (1) identify the institutional characteristics of public spheres among contemporary democracies, (2) explain historically this institutional variation, and (3) examine the effects of institutional differences on the quality of democracy and democratic attitudes.

I also have published a couple of articles on popular sovereignty, citizenship and the rights of foreigners. The first of these articles, with Antje Ellermann (UBC), discusses the ethics of policies of immigrant selection in liberal democracies. The second one draws on the literature on “discursive opportunity structures” to explain why the enfranchisement of non-citizens has been a highly contested issue in places like France, the US or Germany, but not in countries like Sweden, Denmark or the Netherlands.

Recent publications

Goenaga, Agustín, Oriol Sabaté and Jan Teorell. Forthcoming. “The State Does Not Live by Warfare Alone: War and Revenue in the Long Nineteenth Century in Europe and the Americas”, Review of International Organizations. Online First. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11558-022-09477-x

Goenaga, Agustín and Michael Hansen. 2022. “Guy-Guessing Democracy: Gender and Item Non-Response Bias in Evaluations of Democratic Institutions,” Journal of Women, Politics, and Policy, 43 (4), pp. 499-513.

Goenaga, Agustín. (2022). “Who Cares about the Public Sphere”, European Journal of Political Research, 61(1), pp. 230-254.

Brambor, Thomas, Agustín Goenaga, Johannes Lindvall, and Jan Teorell. (2020) “The Lay of the Land: Information Capacity and the Modern State”, Comparative Political Studies, 53(2), pp. 175-213. Data

Goenaga, Agustín. (2019). “Defending Popular Sovereignty: Discursive Conflict in French and Swedish Parliamentary Debates on Immigrant Voting Rights (1968-2017)”, Citizenship Studies, 23(8), pp. 870-891. Data

Hansen, Michael and Agustín Goenaga. (2021) “Gender and Democratic Attitudes: Do Women and Men Prioritize Different Democratic Institutions?”, Politics & Gender, 17(1), pp. 23-52.

Ellermann, Antje and Agustín Goenaga. (2019). “Discrimination and Policies of Immigrant Selection in Liberal States”, Politics & Society, 47(1), pp. 87-116.


My published fiction is mostly in Spanish but some of it has appeared in English. My first novel, La frase negra, came out in 2007, and since then I try to carve out time at night, weekends and holidays to work on the second one. You can find links to some of my creative writing here.