Resilience in Sweden: Governing, Social Networks and Learning

The overall aim of the research project is to contribute to a resilient society through in-depth and nuanced understanding of the contextual and underlying factors that create and maintain resilience and break down and undermine the same.


The concept of resilience has recently gained considerable traction within risk and security research and practice. However, resilience is a slippery term, not only because it has nearly as many definitions as users, but also because it is applied to the micro, meso, and macro levels. Indeed, we refer to individual resilience as well as community resilience, and we also use the term in transnational issues such as migration and climate change.

More specifically, resilience is used in conjunction with global issues such as extreme weather conditions, in contexts including areas exposed to poverty, starvation, and large scale disasters caused by nature or political instability. It is not, however, clear, what resilience means for the (advanced Western) Nordic context in general and the Swedish context in particular. The aim of this research project is to contribute to a more resilient society through the production of knowledge linking the idiosyncratic Swedish contextual factors with how resilience plays out in practice. We propose to do this through a nuanced understanding of those contextual and underlying factors that may create and maintain resilience, as well as those factors that may undermine it.

Resilience in the Swedish society: Governance, social networks and learning is a collaboration between Mid Sweden University, Swedish Defence University and Karlstad University.