My research has primarily focused on social trust, and how this can be promoted in difficult environments through school and civil society. Empirically, I have researched about the fight against organised crime in southern Italy, more specifically in Palermo, and the efforts made there to reduce the power of the mafia by creating long-term changes in values. More precisely, I have studied how the school can promote the general trust of young people. I have also studied the Addiopizzo organization and their mobilization of the local business community and support for entrepreneurs who refuse to pay the mafia for protection. I have also done research on general trust in upper secondary schools in Stockholm, where I was particularly interested in young citizens and their perceptions of trust.
At the Institute for Futures Studies, I am part of the project “Crossing boundaries in social work. Collaboration in partnership in interventions in particularly vulnerable areas in Sweden” head by Professor Torbjörn Forkby at Linnaeus University in Växjö. This project examines how police, schools, social authorities and other actors work at the local level in four selected areas in the areas of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Växjö. Other participants in the project are: Amir Rostami, Jerzy Sarnecki, Kristina Alstam and Paula Wahlgren. The project is funded by Forte and was initiated in April 2019.
I have a long research interest in French domestic and foreign policy; my dissertation was about France's Africa policy.
In addition to working as a researcher at the Institute for Futures Studies, I am employed by the Swedish Defense Research Agency, where I work at the division for Security Policy and Strategic Studies. I am also affiliated with the Department of Government, Uppsala University.
Gunnarson, C. and Rostami, A. (2019) “Organized crime and politics in Sweden: The case of Södertälje” in Felia Allum & Stan Gilmor Handbook on Organised Crime and Politics, Cheltenham Glos: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited: pp. 35-49.
Gunnarson, C. (2018). “From Generalized Trust to Street Smart: Secondary School Students in Stockholm on Social Trust”, Young 27(3): 1-20.
Gunnarson, C. (2018) “Frankrike” i T. Denk och C. Anckar (red.) Komparativ politik: Nio politiska system. Lund: Studentlitteratur, andra uppl.
Gunnarson, C. (2015) “United, yet Divided: Analyzing the Cohesion of Addiopizzo’s Anti-racketeering campaign in Palermo”, Global Crime 16 (2): 139-161.
Forno, F. and Gunnarson, C. (2010), “Everyday shopping to fight the Italian Mafia”, in M. Micheletti and A. MacFarland, eds. Creative Participation: Responsibility-taking in the Political World, Paradigm Publishers, pp. 101-124.
Gunnarson, C. (2008), Cultural Warfare and Trust: Fighting the Mafia in Palermo, Manchester: Manchester University Press).