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Source Criticism as a Technology of Government in the Swedish Psychological Defence: The Impact of Humanistic Knowledge on Contemporary Security Policy
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History, History of Science, Technology and Environment.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5876-7587
2021 (English)In: Humanities, E-ISSN 2076-0787, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 13-Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

“Source criticism” (källkritik) has become an essential part of the Swedish government’s activities against false information, deception campaigns, and propaganda, which are viewed as fundamentally destabilising forces that can potentially undermine the democratic system, the public debate, and political decision-making. The purpose of this article is to explore source criticism as a technology of government focusing on the Swedish Psychological Defence. I analyse the way in which source criticism is brought to bear on Swedish national security policy in the light of Foucauldian theories about modern governmentality and technologies of the self. Source criticism is seen as an example of a contemporary form of government that entails a redistribution of responsibility from the state to the individual, who is provided with certain “technologies of self” to master an unpredictable political environment. With this case study as empirical example, the aim of the article is to contribute to the research on the influence of humanistic knowledge in security and defence policy domains. This prompts further discussion about what happens with the democratic and critical potential of humanistic knowledge as it is enrolled in government operations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI AG , 2021. Vol. 10, no 1, p. 13-
Keywords [en]
source criticism; technologies of government; impact of the humanities; security policy; government; policy influence; population management
National Category
History Social Anthropology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-288862DOI: 10.3390/h10010013ISI: 000683360600013Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85136852107OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-288862DiVA, id: diva2:1517446
Projects
Humanistisk kunskap i den svenska försvarsforskningen
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, P18-0780:1
Note

QC 20210119

Available from: 2021-01-14 Created: 2021-01-14 Last updated: 2023-06-08Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full textScopushttps://www.mdpi.com/2076-0787/10/1/13

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Bertilsson, Fredrik

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CiteExportLink to record
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