Unpacking the gendered Nordic Model of Security Work


Special issue editors: Cathrine Egeland, Dag Ellingsen, Alma Persson, Sanna Strand

Deadline for full papers 31. May 2021. The issue is expected to be published by the January/February 2022.

Papers should be submitted to Journal manager Bo Carstens, bo@nordicwl.dk. If you have any questions regarding submissions of full texts, please contact the Journal manager.

We hereby call for contributions for an upcoming special issue of NJWLS which aims to examine the connections between gender, diversity and work within security organizations in a Nordic context. More specifically, the special sets out to unpack what might be considered a gendered Nordic model of security work; a model in which gender equality and diversity are portrayed as increasingly important, both on a policy level and in everyday security work. The Nordic model is traditionally associated with high levels of societal trust, egalitarian values, and peaceful forms of conflict resolution through cooperation within and among political and corporative organizations. These characteristics also constitute the underpinnings for the ways in which security work is perceived and conducted in a Nordic setting, manifested for example in recent reforms introducing conscription on formally equal terms for men and women in Norway as well as Sweden.

Recent decades have seen an increased focus on gender equality and diversity in Nordic security organizations, and indeed in organizations more broadly. Traditionally male-dominated security organizations find themselves under political pressure to become more inclusive. Security organizations such as the armed forces have described gender equality, and particularly women’s inclusion, as a means to widen the recruitment base and overcome recruitment shortages as well as to increase quality and operational efficiency. More diversity has also been tied to issues of legitimacy and democracy, and the need to represent the citizens and society which security organization serve. Empirically and theoretically, the special issue explores how pressures and aspirations to diversify Nordic security forces (military, police and security organizations) shape perceptions of security work, but also how conceptions of security enable and limit understandings of diversity. In this effort, a range of issues come to the fore: from the organization of everyday work within security forces and their interactions with various target groups, to perceptions of gender, diversity and security within the forces as well as within related policy- and decision making processes.

We invite scholars to explore historical as well as contemporary aspects of gender in/and security work in a Nordic context. We welcome case studies of particular security organizations also beyond the armed forces and the police, such as fire-fighters, security companies etc., comparative studies across the Nordic countries, as well as efforts to unpack the notion of a Nordic model of security work theoretically. Suggested topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Everyday processes of inclusion, exclusion and discrimination in security work
  • Spatial aspects of gender in security work, e.g. mixed rooms
  • Diversity, mixed teams, and mixed troops
  • The materiality of security work, e.g. the gendered aspects of personal equipment
  • Policy analysis of gender and diversity in a Nordic security context
  • Men, masculinity and militarization in security work
  • Gendered aspects of collaboration and cohesion
  • Gender, conscription and the Nordic model of security
  • Work environment, sexual harassment and violence
  • Training and education for security professions
  • Diversity, legitimacy and trust in security work

Guest Editors:

Dag Ellingsen, Senior researcher at Work Research Institute, OsloMet and Professor at Norwegian Police University College

Alma Persson, Senior lecturer, tema Genus, Linköping university, Sweden

Sanna Strand, Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Economic History and International Relations, Stockholm University, Sweden