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The Radicalisation of Sweden’s Image

The Radicalisation of Sweden’s Image

Full project title: The Radicalisation of Sweden’s Image: A study of how radical right groups in other countries depict Sweden online


This project studies how Sweden is depicted online and in news media by foreign radical right groups, particularly in the US, Germany, India and China, and how these images, in turn, gain visibility in Swedish media. It asks three questions:

  1. How is Sweden discursively depicted by foreign radical right groups online?
  2. Which foreign radical right depictions of Sweden gain visibility within mainstream news media abroad and in Sweden itself?
  3. How do digital media platforms make these online radical right depictions more broadly visible in society?

The project will focus between 2015 and 2025 – a period during which Sweden’s international reputation shifted considering its response to the European refugee crisis, Islamic terrorism and the Covid-19 pandemic. Depictions of Sweden will be computationally identified within the digital content of foreign radical right groups and online forums and then closely analysed using critical discourse analysis. An additional computational and discourse analysis methods is used to track traces of these depictions within mainstream news media content. These steps will inform new understandings of the role of digital media platforms in rendering radical right discourse more visible in mainstream news. The project will deepen knowledge about the digital dynamics by which radical right discourses gain broader societal visibility and highlight discourses that might influence Sweden’s image abroad.

Key Information

Project dates:
January 2022 - December 2025


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