Military sociology

The relationship between political and military institutions is a major theme of traditional military sociology.

Military sociology is a well-established discipline on the international stage, but one that has not made much headway in Scandinavia. Scholars at the Centre analyse this relationship in light of changes in security, technological and economic conditions, and study Norwegian military culture in a comparative perspective.

We also study specific groups in the military organisation, especially recruits and veterans.

Research projects

The Russian Patriot Recast: Militarist Identity Formation in Russian State Policy under Putin

«The Russian Patriot Recast» runs over three years (2016-19) and examines Russian official patriotism with particular stress on the State Program of Patriotic Education. The research considers elements of militarism in official identity policy, and discusses its driving forces and possible security implications. Key research questions include:

  • What processes can explain the resurgence of militarism in Russian identity policy?
  • What role have military actors played in these processes and what have been their motivations?
  • How do militaristic policy initiatives resonate with the Russian public opinion?

The project involves document studies, field research and a planned survey for 2018. It is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Defence.

Contact: Havard Bakken

Research programme on Norwegian Afghanistan veterans
The programme is conducted in collaboration with the Norwegian School of Sports Science/Defence Institute (NiH/F), the Military Academy (KS) and the Air Force Academy (LKSK). It is made up of four projects which examine the strategies employed by different veterans in their effort to endow their war experiences with meaning.

Project 1 examines how veterans and their immediate families manage their lives after a deployment. The project tries to assess to what extent recognition from society at large is helpful in their everyday life and contribute to give meaning to their war experiences (IFS).

Project 2 studies learning under high-risk conditions and the value of acquired skills before, during and after deployment (NiH/F).

Project 3 analyses the construction of meaning and the ability to manage life after deployments specifically among the veterans from the Air Force (LKSK).

Project 4 is a grant awarded for a master thesis dealing with veterans who have deployed as staff officers and their families during and after deployment (KS).

The programme is funded by the Ministry of Defence, coordinated by the Norwegian Defence University College and will be carried out over the years 2012 to 2016.
Contact: Researcher/Programme Coordinator Elin Gustavsen


How do veterans and their immediate families experience their daily lives after a deployment and to what extent is recognition from society helpful in their effort to cope and endow meaning to their war experiences?

This is a PhD project about the construction of meaning and self-perception among service personnel who are still in service and veterans who have left the Armed Forces. The project sets out to investigate the perceptions of the veterans and their immediate families of how the Armed Forces, politicians and society at large consider their war experiences, and the impact this have on the veterans themselves and their families. The project will be carried through 2012–2016.
Contact: Elin Gustavsen


The Turkish Armed Forces and civilianisation of civil-military ties
This PhD project deals with changes in civil-military relations in Turkey in the period after 2002. The project aims to explain how the Turkish Armed Forces have adapted to these changes, and what this adaptation will mean for civil-military relations in Turkey in the future.
Contact: Lars Haugom


Russian Nuclear Strategy – created in a vacuum? Civilian control over Russian nuclear weapons strategy 1993–2010
The project examines civilian control over Russian nuclear strategy in the post-Cold War period. Bruusgaard considers bureaucratic and organisational interests, the public debate on nuclear strategy, and the degree of formal and informal civilian control over the military establishment. How do these factors relate to Russian nuclear strategy?
Contact:  Kristin Ven Bruusgaard


Published 05 November 2014 10:07.. Last updated 27 March 2017 13:12.