An attractive employer and public authority in the era of voluntarism
Sanna Strand´s new thesis explores the Swedish Armed Forces (SAF) efforts to cast the military organization as an attractive employer and public authority in the era of voluntarism. The thesis '(Re)Inventing the Armed Forces: A Governmentality Analysis of Swedish Military Marketing and Outreach in the Era of Voluntarism' was successfully defended at the School of Global Studies on 25 October 2019.
The aim of the thesis is to contribute insights into how the Swedish population is called upon to identify as soldiers and supporters of the armed forces in order to enable war preparations and deployments. It does so through a compilation of four research articles, each analyzing different sites of military marketing and public outreach, including recruitment campaigns, social media activities and public events.
The thesis shows how marketing and outreach promote the SAF as an entrepreneurial and inclusive organization offering opportunities for personal, professional and corporal development to a wide diversity of citizens. It also demonstrates how the SAF is promoted as both a symbol and guarantor of a responsible and progressive nation/state.
The study problematizes the liberal claim that voluntary military service symbolizes a removal of power and government from the private sphere of the individual, and proposes an understanding of voluntary military recruitment and marketing practices as a regulating form of power. The thesis brings unique insights into efforts made by the armed forces to render war preparations and deployments not only acceptable but also attractive to the population of a liberal democracy.
Link to thesis: https://gupea.ub.gu.se/handle/2077/61728