NordForsk expands research on societal security

NordForsk expands research on societal security

Societal security is high on the agenda at the annual Session of the Nordic Council taking place this week in Stockholm. Since 2013 NordForsk has provided funding to a total of nine research projects to generate new knowledge about the challenges facing the Nordic countries ahead, and roughly four new research projects are on the way. The total programme budget is NOK 162 million.

Professor Dag Ellingsen heads one of the ongoing research projects. In his project, researchers are studying connections between gender equality and diversity in security forces and societal security in the Nordic countries. Professor Ellingsen has this to say about the preliminary results of this research:

“Nordic research begins to indicate that gender equality has a positive effect on problem solving within the military – and probably also the police,” says Dag Ellingsen. ​

Unique basis for Nordic cooperation

The Nordic countries are collaborating on societal security research because there is a broad consensus that the countries need to become even more resilient to external threats, and that societal security extends beyond national borders. The Nordic countries share a set of common values and their populations have a high degree of trust in the authorities, which makes it easy to relate to one another and cooperate on societal security.

Professor Angela Sasse, former director of the UK Research Institute in Science of Cyber Security (RISCS), has called the Nordic region a beacon for the rest of Europe when it comes to cooperation on societal security:

“The populations trust their governments to do their best to protect them. That is not always the case in other countries, and something we can all learn from.”

Nine different research projects

The Nordic Societal Security Programme was launched by NordForsk in 2013 and receives funding from all the Nordic countries as well as the UK and the Netherlands.

A total of nine research projects are being funded, addressing a range of topics from cyber attacks to terrorist attacks to natural disasters:

1. Terrorism

2. Gender equality and diversity

3. Human security and a Cyber Multi-disciplinary framework

4. Governance of Health Data in Cyberspace

5. Taking surveillance apart?

6. Extremism

7. Police Detectives on the TOR-network

8. Nordic Centre of Excellence on Resilience and Societal Security

9. Nordic Centre of Excellence for Security Technologies and

Societal Values

Up to four new research projects are on the way and will focus on Nordic societal security in light of emerging regional and global trends. Read more about the call for proposals here.



What is societal security?

Societal security comprises the ability of a society to sustain vital societal functions and secure its population’s life, health, needs and basic values under extraordinary stresses, known as crises.

Who funds this research collaboration?


Read more about research on societal security here in our new brochure.

Calls for Proposals Subscribe to rss feed of calls for proposals
There are currently no open calls