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Norwegian veterans and civil society

How Norwegian veterans and their families cope and construct meaning from their wartime experiences in light of Norwegian society.

​​​​​​​​This research programme focusing on Norwegian veterans is a collaborative undertaking involving the Norwegian Defence University College, Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy and Norwegian Military Academy. The programme is funded by the Ministry of Defence and consists of three PhD projects and one MA project.  

​The purpose of these projects is to understand how veterans and their families cope, interpret and construct meaning from their experiences in light of Norwegian society, a society otherwise characterised by a profound sense of peace. The objective is to produce new knowledge that will complement existing research, which has largely concerned itself with been directed towards veterans' health and living conditions.  

The programme has a qualitative and interdisciplinary approach and combines the disciplines of sociology, psychology and theology. The researchers also work to forge links with the international research community in this field of research by participating at conferences and working together with relevant organisations in Norway and other countries.


  • Construction of meaning – personal growth and coping with stress among veterans
  • The taking of lives in military operations
  • The construction of meaning among Afghanistan veterans and spouses/partners in light of the Norwegian cultural context
  • Staff veterans and their families


Bendik Baasland, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Defence Institute
military ethics
taking lives in battle
Elin Gustavsen, Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies
military sociology
veteran experiences
military families
June Kvål, Norwegian Military Academy
health and social psychology
staff veterans
Roger Lien, Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy
military sociology
personal growth

Published 27 April 2016 15:32.. Last updated 13 April 2018 12:33.