From climate change to counter terrorism.

From Climate Change to Counter Terrorism: NordForsk Celebrates a Decade of Societal Security Research

The Nordforsk coordinated Societal Security Research Initiative celebrates a decade of Nordic research co-operation in societal security. In a period characterised by several security challenges, the initiative today contributes to a deeper understanding of the risks and threats that define our time, but also to knowledge about the capacities required to face these challenges. With its extensive and interdisciplinary research, the initiative has the potential to positively contribute knowledge for decision-making, practical measures, and further research.

– The initiative has provided timely and relevant knowledge for Nordic societies and other countries to address complex societal security challenges, says Arne Flåøyen, Director of NordForsk.

– As the challenges in many areas are shared, research co-operation on societal security in the Nordic region is more important than ever. These challenges include adapting to climate change, combating antimicrobial resistance, developing counter-terrorism measures, fighting organised crime, strengthening civil protection, understanding the impact of artificial intelligence, and building resilience in all sectors of society, Flåøyen continues.

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The anniversary of the NordForsk Societal Security initiative was celebrated in connection with this year's Session of Nordic Council in Oslo. Among the speakers were Karen Ellemann.Jensen, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, and NordForsk director Arne Flåøyen.
Photo: Simon Granroth, NordForsk

Central to the initiative’s approach is the acknowledgment of the nature of modern risks and threats, often emphasizing the importance of transboundary cooperation and governance. The recent buildup of global crises highlighting these complexities, reinforcing the need for a collaborative stance in problem–solving.

– The cross-border nature of risks and threats will become even more multifaceted. Interdependencies will increase, affecting individuals, organisations, economies, and authorities. Given this, there is much to be gained from Nordic and broader European and international co-operation," says Bengt Sundelius, chair of the call committee.

Sundelius suggests a strategic approach.

– EU-based security research programmes continue to be important for Nordic researchers. In order to influence these processes, larger, better integrated, more profiled and thematically focussed Nordic research communities are needed," says Sundelius.

The impact of the program transcends academic exploration, contributing to real-world applications and policy formation. These can be instrumental in harnessing Nordic synergies to address shared challenges, from climate change adaptation and counter-extremism measures to understanding the implications of artificial intelligence. 

Impact report

To mark the ten years, NordForsk has compiled an overview of the results and effects of the research.

Read the report here: