Research at the Swedish Defence University

The Swedish Defence University's research includes both basic research and practical applied research in the fields of defence, crisis management, and security.

The Swedish Defence University's research and postgraduate courses are focused on security in international and national crises and wars. Our research targets factors that affect the ability to prevent and manage crises, conflicts, and wars and what it takes to re-establish security. The military and civilian aspects of security are included, particularly the civil-military relations and cooperation.

Our research ranges from security policy and civilian crisis management to war, defence and military operations. We offer a multi-disciplinary research environment where the subjects can cross-pollinate. We have a wide range of experts, such as researchers of war studies, political science, history, international lawyers, and psychologists. One of our strengths is the interaction between researchers and practitioners, such as officers and other professionals in the defence and security sector.

Postgraduate education

Until 2018, the majority of the postgraduate education at the Swedish Defence University was conducted in collaboration with other universities. Now that we have a permit to issue Ph.D. degrees in the fields of Defence, Crisis Management, and Security, the Swedish Defence University can now proudly house our own postgraduate programmes.

The areas of Defense, Crisis Management, and Security continue to build on a high level of competence at the postgraduate level.

War Studies

In Sweden, this is a subject unique to the Swedish Defense University. The research addresses issues related to defense planning and doctrines, the creation of military capability, and the exercise of military power and warfare.

More about War Studies.

Political Science

The research in political science focuses on matters related to foreign, defence and security policy, crisis management, crisis preparedness and protection of society protection, and international cooperation.

More about Political Science.

Military History

Military History is the study of war, warfare, military institutions, military culture, and military thinking. It involves analyzing the impact of war on civilian society, the interaction between the military and civilians, the generation of society's resources (financial, human, and ideological), and its consequences in different eras.

More about Military History.

Collaboration with other universities

In addition to postgraduate education, we will continue to conduct research and postgraduate education in collaboration with other universities in three additional research areas:

Within our unique niche, we take a wide and extensive approach to the comprehensive defence and its various functions. We have unique expertise that covers areas from military operations to civilian crisis management.

Significant benefits for society

The Swedish Defence University conducts a high degree of applied research, which means that there is a particularly close link between our research and its benefits for society. One example of how this manifests is that our researchers are often making statements in the media and supporting authorities with analyses. In the longer term, the research is beneficial in that our students regularly benefit from the research results in their courses; they obtain knowledge that they eventually take with them into working life. Since we now have our own postgraduate education, the step between research results and education is even shorter and our resources can be used more efficiently.

Future research projects

In addition to applied research, basic research is also conducted at the National Defence University. War Studies and Political Science are social science subjects, and the same scientific practices and methods are applied here as at other universities. Approaches can range from field studies to archival research.

Pro-Vice Chancellor Malena Britz is Head of Research at the Swedish Defence University.


Malena Britz

Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Head of Research, Directorate +46 8-55342716