Theme 2: Integration, Democracy and Political Culture

This theme links multiculturalism and religious diversity to civil society and political life. The aim is to understand better the complex relationships between religion, human rights, democracy and national security.

Increasing diversity in Sweden provokes difficult questions that penetrate to the core of democracy. How can basic constitutional rights as the freedoms of speech and religion, be understood alongside laws that forbid hate speech and persecution on the grounds of ethnicity, gender, religion and sexual preferences? How do counterterrorism programmes intersect with civic liberties and freedoms? To what extent has religion become a factor of discrimination in Swedish society? How do multiculturalism and religious diversity relate to the reformulations of civil society and political life?

Empirical evidence tells us that manifest religion, most notably Islam, has become a source of anxiety and mistrust in Sweden. At the same time, European states (partly under the influence of the USA) have responded to “terrorism” by adopting stringent security measures at the national and regional (EU) level, policies that are likely to continue. These developments affect very deeply the freedoms of religion, expression, association and personal privacy. The goal of this research is to describe and analyse these far-reaching changes and to grasp their consequences for the Swedish/European society. How, in other words, is political culture shaped by the changing perceptions of religion and what are the implications of such shifts for civil society?

Theme Leader: Mattias Gardell
Deputy Team Leader: : Victoria Enqvist

Work Packages

2.1 Religion, Terrorism and Human Rights
2.2 Religion and Freedom of Expression
2.3 Human Rights and Religion
2.4 Islamophobia, Stigmatised Minorities and Muslim Participation in the Political Life of Sweden
2.5 Religion and Security Policy: the Challenge to Swedish Political Culture
2.6 Citizenship and Cultural Identity
2.7 Religion, Secularism and Democracy
2.8 Burkas and Baguettes: Secularism, Nation, and Islam in Contemporary France.
2.9 Teaching Religion in Late Modern Sweden: Professionalism on the borders between public and private 

Publications Theme 2
The list contains publications by researchers active in the Impact programme.