Organisation & Profession

The research project seeks to contribute to the preparation and organisation of Swedish military units due for international missions by highlighting the conditions of the military profession and developing methods for exchanging experience. In a wider perspective, the project aims to provide the Swedish Armed Forces with knowledge on structures, processes and modes of action in military activities. The research project is commissioned by the Swedish Armed Forces.

About the project

Within Organisation and Profession, the Sociology Team investigates aspects of leadership in military organisations, international operations and civil-military relations. The focus is on the development of the Armed Forces, and especially on sociological and organisational issues in relation to the restructuring of the European armed forces during the 21st Century. In addition, the project analyses a variety of different sociological issues concerning the armed forces' current transformation in relation to a globalised world and the European integration process. This includes the new roles and tasks of the military in international conflicts, crisis management, peace keeping and peace forcing activities, as well as in humanitarian help.

An important aspect of the project is to survey the Swedish Armed Force's training in cultural awareness, and how the subject is being taught to soldiers due for international operations. Within peace keeping and counter-insurgency operations, as for example in today's Iraq, an understanding of local cultures and social issues is crucial. Cultural misunderstandings can obstruct an operation's success, cause unnecessary civilian and military losses, and in worst case scenario cause the entire operation to fail. One of the aims of the Organisation and Profession research project is therefore to contribute to an increased cultural awareness of the regions in the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan, and in the longer term to a Swedish Armed Force that is better equipped for peace keeping operations.


Henrik Fürst