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Title [en]
Organisational culture, norms and modern warfare
Abstract [en]
During the last twenty years there are two parallel developments that have fundamentally shaken the conditions of military power. The strategic context has been rapidly changing since the Cold War. The terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, the war in Afghanistan from 2001, Iraq from 2003, and the Russian invasions and interventions of former Soviet republics are all events that are forcing military organisations to continually adapt and change. The greatest threat in today's context is no longer the contradiction between rival great powers, but rather one of weak and failing states. As the strategic context has changed, also the political goals concerning military use of force have shifted. The clear missions during the Cold War - the invasion defence, and limited participation in international peace support operations – led to relatively predictable organisational and doctrinal implications of defence and security policy orientations.

Today military means are used to achieve a wide range of complex policy objectives - state-building, democratisation, economic development etc. This leads not only to a series of new task for military organisations, but also an increased complexity of the planning processes, as the military effects clearly becomes linked to political objectives beyond military capacity. How should military organisations best respond to these threats?

A challenge for the military organisation, professionals and staff regards the redefinition of the profession's self-perception. Two different systems of norms are central. Constitutive norms express who we want to be, while the regulative norms express what behaviour is desirable. After the Cold War, some argue that change-related conflict patterns and altered forms of Western military involvement raises issues relating to the heart of how we traditionally have perceived the military organisation's identity, whereas traditional concepts on how to achieve political goals with military force has been questioned.

Should the military profession include more than the ability to lead battles? Are large-scale decisive battles a relevant way of achieving policy objectives in today's context? Current debates about the composition of forces, military efficiency, new operation types and forms of organisation are all signs of fundamental shifts in the military system of norms and of fundamental importance to understand. How should we understand the military profession and how do they affect the military organisation's view of themselves? What is the relationship between the changing strategic context and the creation and re-creation of the military organisation and the profession's self-image?

Main financial support
Swedish Armed Forces

Publications not in DiVA
- Noreen, E. (2013) “What did we learn from Afghanistan? Swedish experiences from a decade long mission within ISAF.” Paper presented at the International Studies Association Convention in San Francisco, April 2013.
- Angstrom, Jan (2013) “The Changing Norms of Civil and Military and Civil-Military Relations Theory”, Small Wars & Insurgencies, 24(2): 224–236.
- Egnell, Robert (2013) “A Western Insurgency in Afghanistan”, Joint Forces Quarterly, 70(3): 8-14.
- Egnell, Robert (2013) “Women in Battle: Gender Perspectives and Fighting” Parameters 43(2): 33-41.
- Egnell, Robert (2013) “Civil–military coordination for operational effectiveness: Towards a measured approach”, Small Wars & Insurgencies 24(2): 237-256.
Publications (4 of 4) Show all publications
Noreen, E., Sjöstedt, R. & Ångström, J. (2017). Why small states join big wars: The case of Sweden in Afghanistan 2002–2014. International Relations, 31(2), 145-168
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Why small states join big wars: The case of Sweden in Afghanistan 2002–2014
2017 (English)In: International Relations, ISSN 0047-1178, E-ISSN 1741-2862, Vol. 31, no 2, p. 145-168Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The security behavior of small states has traditionally been explained by different takes of realism, liberalism, or constructivism – focusing on the behavior that aims toward safeguarding sovereignty or engaging in peace policies. The issue of why states with limited military capacities and little or no military alignments or engagements decide to participate in an international mission has received limited attention by previous research. In contrast, this article argues that a three-layered discursive model can make the choices of small states more precisely explained and thereby contribute to an increased understanding of small states’ security behavior beyond threat balancing and interdependence. Analyzing a deviant case of a non-aligned small state, this article explains why Sweden became increasingly involved in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan. By focusing on the domestic political discourses regarding the Swedish involvement in this mission, it is suggested that a narrative shapes public perception of a particular policy and establishes interpretative dominance of how a particular event should be understood. This dominant domestic discourse makes a certain international behavior possible and even impossible to alter once established. In the Swedish case, it is demonstrated that this discourse assumed a ‘catch-all’ ambition, satisfying both domestic and international demands. In general terms, it should thus be emphasized that certain discourses and narratives are required in order to make it possible for a country to participate in a mission such as ISAF and prolong the mission for several years.

Keywords
Afghanistan, international interventions, International Security Assistance Force, small states, Sweden
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-314661 (URN)10.1177/0047117816651125 (DOI)000403204300003 ()
Funder
Swedish Armed Forces
Available from: 2017-02-04 Created: 2017-02-04 Last updated: 2020-07-02Bibliographically approved
Noreen, E. & Ångström, J. (2016). Swedish Strategy and the Afghan Experience: from neutrality to ambiguity. In: Arita Holmberg & Jan Hellenberg (Ed.), The Swedish Presence in Afghanistan: Security and Defence Transformation (pp. 31-54). London: Routledge
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Swedish Strategy and the Afghan Experience: from neutrality to ambiguity
2016 (English)In: The Swedish Presence in Afghanistan: Security and Defence Transformation / [ed] Arita Holmberg & Jan Hellenberg, London: Routledge, 2016, p. 31-54Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge, 2016
Keywords
"Swedish Security Policy" "Peacekeeping" " Afghanistan"
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-286409 (URN)978-1-4724-7409-4 (ISBN)
Available from: 2016-04-20 Created: 2016-04-20 Last updated: 2020-07-02
Noreen, E. & Ångström, J. (2015). A Catch-All Strategic Narrative: Target Audiences and Swedish Troop Contribution to ISAF in Afghanistan. In: Beatrice De Graaf, George Dimitriu and Jens Ringsmose (Ed.), Strategic narratives, public opinion and war: winning domestic support for the Afghan War (pp. 282-299). London: Routledge
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Catch-All Strategic Narrative: Target Audiences and Swedish Troop Contribution to ISAF in Afghanistan
2015 (English)In: Strategic narratives, public opinion and war: winning domestic support for the Afghan War / [ed] Beatrice De Graaf, George Dimitriu and Jens Ringsmose, London: Routledge, 2015, p. 282-299Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge, 2015
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-248152 (URN)
Available from: 2015-03-28 Created: 2015-03-28 Last updated: 2020-07-02Bibliographically approved
Ångström, J. & Honig, J. W. (2012). Regaining Strategy: Small Powers, Strategic Culture, and Escalation in Afghanistan. Journal of Strategic Studies, 35(5), 663-687
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Regaining Strategy: Small Powers, Strategic Culture, and Escalation in Afghanistan
2012 (English)In: Journal of Strategic Studies, ISSN 0140-2390, E-ISSN 1743-937X, Vol. 35, no 5, p. 663-687Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In Western operations in Afghanistan, small European powers escalate in different ways. While Denmark and the Netherlands have contributed to Western escalation through integration with British and US forces, Norway and Sweden have done so by creating a division of labour allowing US and British combat forces to concentrate their efforts in the south. These variations in strategic behaviour suggest that the strategic choice of small powers is more diversified than usually assumed. We argue that strategic culture can explain the variation in strategic behaviour of the small allies in Afghanistan. In particular, Dutch and Danish internationalism have reconciled the use of force in the national and international domains, while in Sweden and Norway there is still a sharp distinction between national interest and humanitarianism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2012
Keywords
Strategy, Escalation, Afghan War, Strategic Culture, Small States
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-187743 (URN)10.1080/01402390.2012.706969 (DOI)000310840000004 ()
Available from: 2012-12-10 Created: 2012-12-10 Last updated: 2020-07-02Bibliographically approved
Principal InvestigatorNoreen, Erik
Co-InvestigatorÅngström, Jan
Co-InvestigatorEgnell, Robert
Coordinating organisation
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research
Period
2011-01-01 - 2016-12-31
Identifiers
DiVA, id: project:2035

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