The emotions and experiences of the public have become of increasingly prominent concern in criminal policy debates in Western countries. In Sweden, the concepts of trygghet (security) and otrygghet (insecurity) are often used during discussions on public safety and fear of crime. In this article, I address how the Swedish concept of (in)security is politically constructed in the criminal policy discourse, by scrutinising the political debate taking place prior to Swedish general elections in the 21st century. By analysing the symbolic potential of the concept of security, I demonstrate how people are encouraged to turn towards the welfare state and its associated values to feel secure and how collective emotions such as trust and solidarity play a key role in enhancing the emotional tone of the discourse. By relating the political discourse on crime and (in)security to the welfare state context, the aim of this article is to further our understanding of how a culture of insecurity and a normative order of emotions manifest in Sweden. In the concluding discussion, I address some of the consequences of the discourse: in particular, the potentially unifying and solidarity-producing, as well as exclusionary, effects.
Aas, K. (2006) Ta vare på deg selv, lommeboka, mobile og dine venner [Take care of youself, your wallet, your cell and your friends], in T.H. Eriksen (ed) Trygghet [Security], Oslo: Universitetsforlag, pp 73–95.
Ahmed, S. (2014) The Cultural Politics of Emotion, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Altheide, D. (2017) Terrorism and the Politics of Fear, Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield.
Andersson, J. (2002) Mellan Tillväxt Och Trygghet. Idélinjer i Socialdemokratisk Socialpolitik Under Efterkrigstiden [Between Growth and Security], PhD Thesis, Uppsala: Uppsala University.
Andersson, R. (2010) Tryggare kan ingen vara. En svensk kriminalpolitik för 2000-talet, [No one can be safer. A Swedish criminal policy for the 21st century] in T. Hjort, P. Lalander and R. Nilsson (eds) Den Ifrågasatte Medborgaren. Om Utsatta Gruppers Relation Till Välfärdssystemet [The questioned citizen. Vulnerable groups’ relationship to the welfare systems], Växjö: Linnéuniversitetet, pp 141–63.
Bacchi, C. (2009) Analysing Policy: What’s the Problem Represented To Be?, Frenchs Forest: Pearson.
Barbalet, J.M. (2001) Emotion, Social Theory and Social Structure: A Macrosociological Approach, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Barbalet, J.M. (2006) Emotions in politics: from the ballot to suicide terrorism, in S. Clarke, P. Hoggett and S. Thompson (eds) Emotion, Politics and Society, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp 31–55.
Barbalet, J.M. (2019) Trust: condition of action or condition of appraisal, International Sociology, 34(1): 85–298. doi: 10.1177/0268580918812268
Barker, V. (2013) Nordic exceptionalism revisited: explaining the paradox of a Janus-faced penal regime, Theoretical Criminology, 17(1): 5–25. doi: 10.1177/1362480612468935
Barker, V. (2017) Nordic vagabonds: the Roma and the logic of benevolent violence in the Swedish welfare state, European Journal of Criminology, 14(1): 120–39. doi: 10.1177/1477370816640141
Bauman, Z. (2000) Social issues of law and order, The British Journal of Criminology, 40(2): 205–21. doi: 10.1093/bjc/40.2.205
Bauman, Z. (2006) Liquid Fear, Cambridge: Polity.
Beck, U. (1992) Risk Society: Towards A New Modernity, London: Sage.
Bourdieu, P. (1979) Symbolic power, Critique of Anthropology, 4(13–14): 77–85. doi: 10.1177/0308275X7900401307
Boutellier, H. (2004) The Safety Utopia: Contemporary Discontent and Desire as to Crime and Punishment, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.
Carvalho, H. and Chamberlen, A. (2018) Why punishment pleases: punitive feelings in a world of hostile solidarity, Punishment & Society, 20(2): 217–34. doi: 10.1177/1462474517699814
Cavadino, M. and Dignan, J. (2006) Penal Systems: A Comparative Approach, London: Sage.
Clark, C. (1987) Sympathy biography and sympathy margin, American Journal of Sociology, 93(2): 290–321. doi: 10.1086/228746
Collins, R. (2004) Interaction Ritual Chains, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Denney, D. (2008) Fear, human rights and New Labour policy post-9/11, Social Policy & Administration, 42(6): 560–75. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9515.2008.00624
Durkheim, E. (1964) The Division of Labour in Society, New York: Free Press.
Elgenius, G. and Rydgren, J. (2017) The Sweden democrats and the ethno-nationalist rhetoric of decay and betrayal, Sociologisk Forskning, 54(4): 353–8. doi: 10.37062/sf.54.18235
Eriksen, T.H. (ed.) (2006) Trygghet [Security], Oslo: Universitetsforlag.
Fanghanel, A. (2016) The trouble with safety: fear of crime, pollution and subjectification in public space, Theoretical Criminology, 20(1): 1–18. doi: 10.1177/1362480615582097
Frevert, U. (2011) Emotions in History: Lost and Found, New York: Central European University Press.
Furedi, F. (1997) Culture of Fear: Risk-Taking and the Morality of Low Expectation, London: Cassell.
Garland, D. (1990) Punishment in Modern Society: A Study in Social Theory, Oxford: Clarendon.
Garland, D. (2006) The Culture of Control: Crime and Social Order in Contemporary Society, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hagan, J. (2010) Who Are the Criminals? The Politics of Crime Policy from the Age of Roosevelt to the Age of Reagan, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Hall, S., Critcher, C., Jefferson, T., Clarke, J. and Roberts, B. (1978) Policing the Crisis: Mugging, the State and Law and Order, London: Macmillan.
Heber, A. (2011) Fear of crime in the Swedish daily press: descriptions of an increasingly unsafe society, Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention, 12(1): 63–79. doi: 10.1080/14043858.2011.561623
Hermansson, K. (2018) Den svenska tryggheten: en studie av en kriminalpolitisk symbol [Public safety in Sweden. A study of a crime crime policy symbol], Sociologisk Forskning, 55(2–3): 179–202. doi: 10.37062/sf.55.18189
Hermansson, K. (2019) Symbols and Emotions in Swedish Crime Policy Discourse, PhD thesis, Stockholm: Stockholm University.
Hope, T. and Sparks, R. (2000) Crime, Risk and Insecurity, London: Routledge.
Hörnqvist, M. (2016) Riots in the welfare state: the contours of a modern-day moral economy, European Journal of Criminology, 13(5): 573–89. doi: 10.1177/1477370816636901
Illouz, E., Gilon, D. and Shachak, M. (2014) Emotions and cultural theory, in J.E. Stets and J.H. Turner (eds) Handbook in the Sociology of Emotions, Vol II, London: Springer, pp 221–44.
Karstedt, S. (2006) Emotions, crime and justice: exploring durkheimian themes, in M. Deflem (ed) Sociological Theory and Criminological Research, Oxford: Elsevier, pp 223–48.
Karstedt, S. (2011) Handle with care: emotions, crime and justice, in S. Karstedt, I. Loader and H. Strang (eds) Emotions, Crime and Justice, Oxford: Hart Publishing, pp 1–19.
Lappi-Seppälä, T. (2012) Penal policies in the Nordic countries 1960–2010, Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention, 13(1): 85–111. doi: 10.1080/14043858.2012.740858
Lee, M. (2007) Inventing Fear of Crime: Criminology and the Politics of Anxiety, Portland, OR: Willian Publishing.
Ljunggren, J. (2015) Den Uppskjutna Vreden. Socialdemokratisk Känslopolitik Från 1800– Till 1980–Talet [The postponed rage. Socialdemocratic emotion politics from the 1880s to the 1980s], Lund: Nordic Academic Press.
Loader, I. (2011) Playing with fire? Democracy and the emotions of crime and punishment, in S. Karstedt, I. Loader and H. Strang (eds) Emotions, Crime and Justice, Oxford: Hart Publishing, pp 347–61.
Pratt, J. (2008) Scandinavian exceptionalism in an era of penal excess. Part I: The nature and roots of Scandinavian exceptionalism, British Journal of Criminology, 48(2): 119–37. doi: 10.1093/bjc/azm072
Pratt, J. (2020) When risk and populism collide, in J. Pratt and J. Anderson (eds) Criminal Justice, Risk and the Revolt against Uncertainty. Palgrave Studies in Risk, Crime and Society, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, pp 275–300.
Pratt, J. and Eriksson, A. (2013) Contrasts in Punishment: An Explanation of Anglophone Excess and Nordic Exceptionalism, London: Routledge.
Sahlin, I. (ed.) (2010) I Trygghetens Namn [In the name of safety], Göteborg: Bokförlaget Daidalos.
Schmitz, A., Flemmen, M. and Rosenlund, L. (2018) Social class, symbolic domination, and angst: the example of the Norwegian social space, Sociological Review, 66(3): 623–44. doi: 10.1177/0038026117738924
Smith, P.S. (2017) Punishment without conviction? Scandinavian pre-trial practices and the power of the ‘benevolent’ state, in P.S. Smith and T. Ugelvik (eds) Scandinavian Penal History, Culture and Prison Practice: Embraced by the Welfare State?, London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp 129–56.
Smith, P.S. and Ugelvik, T. (eds) (2017) Scandinavian Penal History, Culture and Prison Practice. Embraced by the Welfare State?, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Tham, H. (2001) Law and order as a leftist project? The case of Sweden, Punishment & Society, 3(3): 409–26. doi: 10.1177/1462474501003003004
Tham, H. (2018) Kriminalpolitik. Brott Och Straff i Sverige Sedan 1965 [Criminal policy. Crime and punishment in Sweden since 1965], Stockholm: Norstedts juridik.
Tudor, A. (2003) A (macro) sociology of fear?, The Sociological Review, 51(2): 238–56. doi: 10.1111/1467-954X.00417
Young, A. (1996) Imagining Crime: Textual Outlaws and Criminal Conversations, London: Sage.
Wacquant, L. (2002) From slavery to mass incarceration: rethinking the ‘race question’ in the US, New Left Review, 13: 41–60.
Walklate, S. (2001) Gender, Crime and Criminal Justice, Portland, OR: Willan Publishing.
Wettergren, Å. (2013) Emotionssociologi [Sociology of emotions], Malmö: Gleerups.
Zedner, L. (2000) The pursuit of security, in T. Hope and R. Sparks (eds) Crime, Risk and Insecurity, London: Routledge, pp 200–14.
|May 2022 onwards||Past Year||Past 30 Days|
|Full Text Views||833||827||3|