HEX-NA: Handling extremism – Nordic approaches
The purpose of the research project: Nordic Multiagency Approaches to Handling Extremism: Policies, Perceptions and Practice, is to study multiagency collaborations – such as collaborations between school, social services and the police – in the work of preventing and dealing with violent extremism among young people. Cooperative organisations in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden are studied through three different approaches and empirical material.
The project was funded by Nordforsk and is called HEX-NA. The research project runs over three years (2018–2021) and is a collaboration between the Segerstedt Institute, C-REX, University of Oslo, Norway; Oslo Police Academy, Norway; University of Turku, Finland; and Aarhus University, Denmark.
Part 1: Mapping Policy focuses on mapping and analysing policy in the area of violent extremism in the Nordic countries and how measures and proposed actions relate to legal frameworks and institutional regulations. Special focus is placed on mapping the exchange of information within multiagency teams that are subject to different institutional logics and legal boundaries. The sub-project was ongoing in 2018 and in 2019 was led and carried out mainly by representatives of the Segerstedt Institute.
The study shows, among other things, how policies that relate to how multiagency collaborations against violent extremism rest on different logics in various Nordic countries. While Swedish cooperation and, to some extent, that in Norway rests more heavily on social care logic, the Danish and Finnish work rests upon a social security logic, which can affect how different cases are handled and how cooperation is organised. The study also shows that secrecy rules in different countries, despite general claims that they differ greatly, de facto have great similarities in terms of legal space: it is practice and institutional interpretations in using the rules that differ. The content of the mapping of differences and similarities may be relevant to policymakers and decision-makers at national and local levels in the field, whom we plan to rely upon as a reference group to communicate, validate, and discuss the results with those who may have used it.
Part 2: Exploring perceptions – focusing on experiences and perceptions of preventive work against violent extremism among practitioners and the general public in the four Nordic countries. This sub-study was conducted using a large-scale survey. Representatives of the Segerstedt Institute participated in the production and processing of quantitative data.
Results of the sub-study will be published during 2021–2022
Part 3: Studying Practice – studies the practice and work carried out in collaborative teams consisting mainly of schools, social services, and the police to prevent young people from being harmed by involvement in extreme environments. The subproject will produce data through observations of teams working with fictitious cases, as well as through focus group interviews and individual interviews with practitioners.
Results of the study will be published in 2022
The study as a whole will be able to offer knowledge and information on how Nordic approaches to violent extremism relate to issues such as institutional legitimacy and trust. By exploring similarities and differences between the Nordic countries in terms of policy, perceptions, and practice, factors that lead to success or failure in collaborations between different institutions can be identified. For example, this knowledge can be used in the preparation and development of policies and measures aimed at dealing with violent extremism.
Part 1 was reported during the winter of 2019 and shows differences and similarities in the Nordic countries’ handling of pro-violence extremism, where opportunities and obstacles to sharing information between cooperating authorities are key issues.
Nordforsk, ‘The Underpinnings of Nordic Social Security’
2018 - 2021
Participating departments and researchers, University of Gothenburg:
Jennie Sivenbring, senior lecturer in child and youth science, researcher at the Segerstedt Institute
Robin Andersson Malmros, doctoral student at the School of Public Administration, Assistant Researcher Segerstedt Institute
Anna-Maria Fjellman, senior lecturer in pedagogy, researcher at the Segerstedt Institute
Partners in Norway
Professor Tore Bjørgo, Randi Solhjell, Håvard Haugsvedt, Ingvild Magnæs Gjelsvik, Yngve Carlsson, C-Rex University of Oslo
Professor Lasse Lindekilde, Tina Wilchen Christensen, Olof Gøtzche-Astrup, Aarhus University
Partners in Finland
Mari Kangasniemi, Tanja Moilanen, Hanna Kallio, Turku University