Violent extremism and radicalisation in Sweden: an overview

In Sweden, the understanding of processes of radicalization and the development of preventive work against violent extremism can be said to be framed by a few specific political decisions that were formative for the policies developed. These are dealt with in the text. Among other things, the result shows that the security discourse and preventive work are often mixed up at the policy level, which has repercussions in research and prevention. One important key to developing the work on security and prevention lies in the need for further knowledge development regarding everything from methods and field studies to policy practices. Apart from providing an account of developments in Sweden, there are also arguments for a more skeptical, reflexive, and critical attitude towards all forms of simplified categorizations of young people, which risks stigmatizing individuals and groups. By starting from a critical and reflexive social education perspective, it will become possible to contribute to understanding and to an analysis of social contexts, risks, and negative spirals. The ambition of trying to predict which individuals will potentially commit crimes of terror represents a dead end. On the other hand, there are possibilities of identifying risk environments, subcultural groups that cultivate extreme opinions, and then to approach these groups in various ways in order to develop effective social pedagogical work and positive and GLM-based trajectories for young people at risk for radicalisation.

Jesper Andreasson
Institutionen för idrottsvetenskap,

Thomas Johansson
Institutionen för pedagogik,
kommunikation och lärande,
Göteborgs Universitet

Lennart Magnusson
Nationellt kompetenscentrum
anhöriga (Nka) och Linnéuniversitetet

Find the Swedish chapter at page 152 of the full report

(click on the cover to download)