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Narrative Research Lab

The aim of the Narrative Research Lab (NRL) is to create and disseminate scientific knowledge about how narratives – that is, stories about society and the world – affect political reality in a world that is increasingly digitalised.

Contemporary politics at national and international levels is characterised by language battles and battles of narratives. This is most accentuated when much is at stake, such as in the event of a crisis or war.

At the Narrative Research Lab (NRL), located at the Swedish Defence University, we conduct research about politics and security and put narratives front and center. Our research concerns issues of narrative, politics and security at all political and administrative levels. We examine how political actors use narratives to reach out with their messages; how people interact with these narratives; and how established and deeply institutionalised narratives create conditions for both.

Our ambition is to collaborate with different societal actors and to disseminate our research to different societal arenas. NRL was established in 2022, but research in the field has been conducted at the Swedish Defence University for more than a decade.


  • To conduct innovative and high-quality research based on the conviction that narratives are central to the study of politics and security.
  • To develop theories and methods in order to strengthen research on narrative, politics and security.
  • To collaborate with prominent researchers internationally and with actors in the surrounding society.
  • To create and conduct courses, supervise undergraduate theses and doctoral dissertations in the research area.


Linus Hagström, Professor of Political Science, and Charlotte Wagnsson, professor of Political Science.

Active researchers in the area at the Swedish Defence University

Rasmus Andrén

Arash Heydarian Pashakhanlou

Yrsa Landström

Magnus Lundström

Johanna Muhrbeck

Nicola Nymalm

Annick Wibben

Stephanie Winkler


Maxime Audinet, Institut de Recherche Stratégique de l’Ecole Militaire

Paul Charon, Institut de Recherche Stratégique de l'Ecole Militaire

Thomas Colley, Sandhurst/King’s College

Emil Edenborg, Stockholm University

Karl Gustafsson, Stockholm University/Swedish Institute of International Affairs

Sten Hansson, University of Tartu

Aiden Hoyle, University of Amsterdam/TNO/Netherlands Defence Academy

Carolijn van Noort, Aalborg University 

Carl Ritter, Stockholm School of Economics

Joanna Szostek, University of Glasgow/Chatham House


We are based at the Swedish Defence University, Drottning Kristinas Väg 37, Stockholm.

Publications on narratives