Major NorForsk grants to research on gender, diversity and security in the Nordic countries
– We will explore how increasing levels of diversity in the personnel of Nordic security forces relate to changing perceptions of trust and security, says Ulla-Britt Lilleaas, professor at Centre for Gender Research.
This month Lilleaas and her Nordic research partners received the news that they have been granted 9,5 million NOK from NordForsk for the project “Gender equality, Diversity and Societal Security”. Lilleaas will be leader of the Norwegian Team, and The Work Research Institute at OsloMet will be leading the general Nordic project.
The call for proposals from NorForsk «The Underpinnings of Nordic Societal Security» was issued to fund research projects that seek to examine the relationships between various aspects of the Nordic models of society on the one hand, and effective and legitimate arrangements for societal security on the other.
Lilleaas and her research team was one of three project that received funds:
– Gender equality and diversity has become increasingly important in the Nordic countries, both in terms of policy and in everyday work within security forces and societal security, says Lilleaas.
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. It is also manifested in recent reforms introducing conscription on formally equal terms for men and women in Norway as well as Sweden, she says.
The project group is multidisciplinary with scholars from four Nordic countries. They will combine empirical studies of four Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland), analysing a range of interconnected phenomena, from the organization of everyday practices within security forces and their interactions with various target groups. They will also look into the perceptions of diversity and security work within the forces as well as within related policy- and decision-making processes.
– Our objective is to provide new knowledge about how actors and organizations involved in producing security in the Nordic countries approach the challenges of increasing diversity in terms of perceptions, policies and practices, as well as knowledge about the outcomes of these processes to date, says Lilleaas.