The Segerstedt Institute was established at the University of Gothenburg on the first of July 2015 based on the decision of the Chancellor. The Segerstedt Institute’s origins can be found in a long-standing collaboration between the University of Gothenburg and the municipality of Kungälv in the work against racist and violent subcultures.
The Segerstedt Institute’s assignment
The institute’s mission is to contribute to the development of knowledge about preventive work against violent ideologies, structures, and racist organisations.
As a national resource centre, the Segerstedt Institute will disseminate knowledge about how, when, and why ideologically motivated violent subcultures arise. The institute shall work for systematic work among children and young people to prevent and counteract the emergence and reproduction of these environments. In this work, the institute will collaborate with public organisations and civil society organisations.
The work of the Segerstedt Institute
The Segerstedt Institute works with three main areas – research, education, and collaboration – within the framework of the University of Gothenburg’s ambition to contribute to social innovation. This focus means that none of the parts is superior to the others, and it is through synergies between these that the contribution to social innovations is strengthened. You can read more about the three main areas in the tabs on the left.
The Segerstedt Institute’s research, education, and collaboration focus on a number of areas of knowledge, and it is around these that the institute’s ambition is to be a national and internationally significant actor. These are briefly described below.
Teaching and learning about the Holocaust and preventing anti-Semitism
The Segerstedt Institute conducts extensive research on how memorial trips to the Holocaust memorial sites are designed and implemented, and the effects they have on participating individuals. In the two university courses offered by the institute, teaching and learning about the Holocaust and its memorial sites are central themes. Based on a collaboration agreement between Yad Vashem and the Segerstedt Institute, advanced training was also carried out for Swedish teachers and other teaching staff on-site in Jerusalem.
A central theme in the Segerstedt Institute's research and education is to develop knowledge on how antisemitism, both historical and contemporary, matters for extreme ideologies and groups. Furthermore, the institute's researchers study pedagogical initiatives aimed at preventing antisemitism. This knowledge is translated into training programs for teachers and other professionals with the aim of sharpening society's ability to respond to antisemitism.
Entry and exit from extreme environments
The Segerstedt Institute has been granted significant research funding for studies of entry and exit from right-wing extremist circles, and research in this area constitutes a special excellence among several researchers. Furthermore, the institute collaborates with organisations, both public and civil society, in a number of projects to increase understanding of why so many individuals from Sweden joined militant Islamist groups in Syria and Iraq, and how relatives of these individuals receive support and help.
Society’s efforts to prevent violent extremism
Another central theme in the Segerstedt Institute’s activities is the understanding and development of international, national, and local efforts to prevent violent extremism. In a number of publications, the Segerstedt Institute’s researchers mapped and analysed such preventive work. This knowledge is then translated into support for authorities, municipalities, civil society, and business actors.