Hidden rebellions: Information control in Sweden, 1680-1720

Research project
Active research
Project size
3.150.000 SEK
Project period
2020 - 2022
Project owner
Institutionen för historiska studier

Short description

What role did secrecy and control of information play in maintaining absolutist rule over Sweden 1680–1720? Previously unrecognised rebellions offer a unique opportunity to investigate what was communicated and how, and what was kept secret and to whom. The multileveled approach acknowledges the many parties involved in information flows. I will address textual silences and manipulated information by comparing depictions of the same event by local communities, authorities and monarch.

The project confronts the historical roots of political dialogue by highlighting how authorities’ steered the preconditions of dialogue by controlling flows of information. At the same time, it challenges the persistent focus on the absolutist state’s control of violence and presents its control of information as an equally necessary precondition for power.