A FEMINIST MILITARY? THE SWEDISH CASE An ideational analysis of the perceptions of security that have shaped the role of the Swedish Armed Forces and their current and future military strategic guidance and defence

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: This thesis aims to contribute knowledge to the current and contemporary debate on the conceptof security in relation to feminism, by seeking which ideas that have shaped the role of the Swedish Armed Forces (SAF) and their current and future military strategic guidance and defence. Based on the theoretical framework of Feminist Security Theory and Classical Realism in International Relations, this case study seeks to identify these ideas in the SAF’sstrategic documents and interviews with SAF Officials. To achieve this aim qualitative textual analysis and the VDP-triad of ideational analysis are utilized, identifying core characteristics of feminist theory and realism as ideal types, which are then further categorised into a methodological framework. The results of the analysis showed recurring traces of feminist thought in the empirical material, reflecting the SAF’s willingness and ambition to broaden their security-thinking by (theoretically) including gender perspectives. Analysis of the interviews with SAF Officials proved that many are still struggling to understand the relevance of gender issues in relation to the SAF’s work, in turn mirroring traces of classical realist thought manifested in the “on-ground” security thinking and practice of the SAF.

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