Om det säkerhetspolitiska hotet från Ryssland och svensk försvars- och säkerhetspolitik: En studie av opinionsbildning i svensk lokal- och regionalpress åren 2008-2014
Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
The aim of this study was to describe how four Swedish local-and regional newspapers perceived Russia as a military threat to Sweden during 2008-2014 and what military and national security measures these editorials promoted in relation to the perceived threat. The source material was based on newspaper edi- torials from four Swedish newspapers: The liberal Västerbottens-Kuriren, the moderate Norrbottens-Ku- riren, the social democratic Dala-Demokraten and the politically unaffiliated Helsingborgs Dagblad. The source material was retrieved by the database mediaarkivet. The results, delimited from the eight of Au- gust 2008 to the first of July 2014, showed that all four newspapers perceived Russia as a military threat to Sweden from the Russo-Georgian war and onwards. From 2009-2012 the newspapers viewed the Nord Stream pipeline as a cause for a potential military threat. Particularly two events in 2013 caused the newspapers to increase focus towards the perceived Russian threat: The statement from the Swedish military commander regarding the capabilities of Swedish military, and the Russian air force exercise against Stockholm during Easter a few months later. The Ukraine crisis caused the newspapers to view the threat on a new level, the same way as the Russo-Georgian war had five years earlier. The Swedish Declaration of Solidarity signed by the Swedish parliament in 2009 was particularly viewed by Helsing- borgs Dagblad and Norrbottens-Kuriren as a cause for worry as they feared that a Russian attack on the Baltic States would force Sweden into such a conflict against Russia. Why and how the newspapers viewed Russia as a threat differed, as well as the measures the newspapers proposed in relation to these aspects. All the newspapers regarded the Russian internal political development as a source for the threat. The liberal newspaper Västerbottens-Kuriren also viewed the Russian threat in a larger context as di- rected towards EU and/or NATO as a whole. As a result the liberal newspaper wanted a continued inter- national focus of the Swedish military. The moderate newspaper, Norrbottens-Kuriren, partially regarded the threat in the same international context as the liberal one. However the paper also regarded the threat as singularly directed towards Sweden. As a result the newspaper wanted to see a more national focus of the Swedish military as well as a Swedish NATO-membership. The social democratic newspaper Dala- Demokraten regarded the threat as partially a result of EU and NATO expansion towards Russia. As a result of that the paper was not in favor of a Swedish NATO-membership, as the social democratic news- paper thought that it only would increase tensions in the Baltic Sea area. The politically unaffiliated newspaper Helsingborgs Dagblad regarded the Swedish relationship with NATO as a source of bad Swe- dish military policy and therefor wanted to see a decision made in the matter. The paper held a neutral stance until the Ukraine crisis in 2014 when the paper thought that a Swedish NATO membership only would increase tension in the region. All four newspapers regarded increased military cooperation be- tween the Nordic states as positive, as well as increased Swedish military spending in relation to the perceived threat to some degree.
Keywords: Opinion forming, Swedish regional- and local newspaper editorials, perceived Russian mil- itary threat to Sweden 2008-2014, Swedish security politics, Swedish national security, Swedish defense policy, Swedish Declaration of Solidarity, NATO, EU, Russo-Georgian war 2008, Ukraine crisis of 2014.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 87 p.
Opinion forming, Swedish regional- and loca´l newspaper editorials, perceived Russian military threat to Sweden 2008-2014, Swedish security politics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-108633OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-108633DiVA: diva2:854189
Subject / course
Teacher Education Programme
Hårdstedt, Martin, Professor