In times of crisis it is possible to gain legitimacy for dramatic and controversial decisions under the guise of risk management. For example, in response to the refugee situation in the autumn 2015 the government of Sweden launched a dramatic change in Sweden’s immigration policy, challenging the national identity of a society built on equality and solidarity. “We have been too naive“, stated the Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven in November 2015. Since then we have experienced several events where securitization is established as a focal point of current national politics, not least the terror attacks 7th April 2017 and the current military mobilisation.
Gender is very much critical to these shifts and processes, as masculinity constructions are pivotal to politics of securitization. In this paper I suggest that masculinity construction in relation to alarming and haunting threats can be analysed at three different levels. First, masculinity construction can be analysed on an individual or micro level, such as when narratives of haunting threats brings about enthusiasm and instate clear sense of having a slot to fill for certain persons. Second, masculinity can be analysed at a meso level of organizations. The organisations engaged in response to risk and crisis situations reflect and reproduce the general gender segregation of professions. Specific masculine coded and male dominated professions tend to gain central functions, such as firefighters, the police and the military. Third, masculinity can be analysed at a macro level, such as in the form of the temporal structures that privilege a focus on sudden and dramatic events rather than diffuse or slowly evolving crisis situations.
The paper that will be presented is an elaboration of how these theoretical perspectives can be used in studies of crisis management and work with enhancing societal crisis preparedness. It is based on an ongoing research project called Power and norms in the work with achieving direction and collaboration during crisis (MaNISK) funded by the Swedish Contingency Agency during 2017-2022.