Securitized or Not Securitized? : A Case Study of Sweden's COVID-19 Strategy During the First Year of the Pandemic

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Uppsala universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Sammanfattning: This thesis analyzes Sweden's unique and puzzling approach to the COVID-19 pandemic by using the securitization framework, exploring if Sweden's strategy during the pandemic's first year reflects securitization, (de)securitization, or non-securitization. It employs content analysis to evaluate Sweden's response, analyzing primary sources and academic literature, and uses a discourse table based on existing theoretical studies by Barry Buzan, Ole Waever, and Jaap de Wilde (1998) and Lene Hansen (2012) to assess indicators of securitization, (de)securitization or non-securitization. The study finds that initially, Sweden combined (de)securitization and non-securitization, led by the state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell and the Public Health Agency of Sweden (PHAS), treating the virus as a manageable health issue within existing healthcare systems. However, as the pandemic progressed, the Swedish government, led by Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, adopted a securitization strategy, framing COVID-19 as a significant national health threat. This shift illustrates the dynamic roles of various actors in pandemic discourse. The thesis argues against a binary view of securitization and (de)securitization, showing their fluid application in real-world crises. It highlights the interaction between scientific and political decision-making in crisis management, suggesting a spectrum of responses involving (de)securitization and non-securitization.

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