Military Recruitment in the Age of “Globalization”: Perception Management, Circulation of Non-Knowledge and the De-Politicization of the Swedish Armed Forces

University essay from Lunds universitet/Graduate School

Abstract: This thesis investigates what the abolishment of the National Military Service (July 2010) meant for the content of what, and the manner in which, the Swedish Armed Forces communicates to the Swedish public. The main theoretical and methodological approach of the thesis lies within discourse analysis. Additionally, theories of globalization and perception management (propaganda) are used to analyze the result of the discourse analysis. The empirics used are two types of “texts” – military doctrinal texts and commercial texts (used for marketing or branding The Swedish Armed Forces) – which originates either from the Swedish Armed Forces or the Swedish Government. It is demonstrated that there exists grave discontinuities between what is communicated in the two types of “texts”. It is also shown that the Swedish Armed Forces uses various perception management techniques in attempts to steer the public’s understanding of their organization. It is concluded that the Swedish Armed Forces understanding of the “globalized” post-Cold War world meant that, in order to reach their targeted defense ability, they thought it necessary to misinform the Swedish public about their mission, values and political considerations.

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