Date: 19 January 2023
The Embassy of Canada, in partnership with the Institute for Futures Studies (IFFS), would like to invite you to a seminar presenting the Canada-Sweden collaborative research project on violent threats and internal security. The seminar will present some of the findings from the comparative studies carried out during the project, highlight lessons learned from the collaborative approach and discuss implications with experts in the field.
When: Thursday 19 January 2023, 15:30-18:00
Where: Embassy of Canada to Sweden, Raoul Wallenberg room, 7th floor, Klarabergsgatan 23, Stockholm
RSVP: Register here by January 16, 2023
Welcoming remarks by Jason LaTorre, Ambassador of Canada to Sweden
Opening remarks by Paul Hubbard, Counsellor, DRDC, and by MSB (name tbc)
Targeted Conspiracy Theories and Violence
The significant increase in thespread of extremist conspiracies and disinformation in the past five years has been accompanied by a change in tone, with the advent of theories specifically designed to provoke violence. In some cases, such as the Great Replacement Theory, the target of the violence is diffuse. But in other instances, the scapegoats are much more specific. In Sweden, for example, social service workers have been faced threats over baseless accusations that children from Muslim homes have been kidnapped by Swedish authorities. These targeted conspiracy theories heightened the level risk in already fraught political environments marked by polarization and distrust.
Garth Davies, Associate Professor in the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University
The increase of organised crime and special challenges
Special challenges in Sweden today are violent conflicts between criminal groups, illegal markets concerning drugs, weapons, labour, etc.,political and religious extremism, cybercrime, crimes against welfare systems and economic crime in the form of occupational and corporate crime. Several of these crimes are linked to Sweden’s character as a modern liberal-democratic welfare state, and at the same time constitute a threat to the continued existence of Swedish society. Measures against those types ofcrime must be based on research-based in-depth analyses of these problems. Without such analyses, there are obvious risks that these measures could notonly be ineffective but that they could potentially cause damage to a democratic society. Maintaining a balance between efficiency and legal certaintyis of great importance in the prevention of serious crime.
Jerzy Sarnecki, Professor in Criminology Institute for Futures Studies, Stockholm University and Gävle University
Panel discussions moderated by Anna Hedin Ekström
Jonas Trolle, Head of the Swedish center against violent extremism
Christina Kiernan, Coordinator against welfare crime and unlawful influence, Swedish associaltion of local authorities and regions
Amir Rostami, The Swedish Government's special commissioner against welfare crime
Ahn-Za Hagström, Swedish Security Service
Jenny Dechamps-Berger, Swedish Defence University
Canada and Sweden are key partners in facing societal challenges, exemplified by the bilateral agreement between Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), under which collaborative research projects seek to enhance public security and safety in both countries. Led by IFFS in Stockholm with funding from DRDC and MSB, the four-year research project Violent threats and internal security (2020-2023) brings together researchers from Canada and Sweden to study complex forms of organised violent threats to societal and democratic stability, and the connections between various violent extremist environments. Increased knowledge sharing and greater understanding of the underlying mechanisms behind organised violence and politically- and ideologically-motivated anti-democratic causes will help governments in Canada and Sweden to address destructive behaviour and its impact on communities, and ultimately contribute to strengthening societal resilience.