Hans Lödén, Professor of Political Science
Hans Lödén is originally from Kristinehamn, but has lived in Karlstad for much of his life. He is a qualified primary school teacher and worked as a teacher for eight years before he felt the urge to study further.
He started studying political science in the evenings and at the start of the 1980s he was appointed as lecturer in political science at the then Karlstad University College, and later he started his doctoral education in Gothenburg.
Hans Lödén has a licentiate in political science and wrote his dissertation on changes in Swedish foreign policy 1950–1975, which focused on what we mean by active foreign policy and which changes are necessary to make the concept relevant.
“I have been interested in this subject since my youth,” says Hans Lödén. “I was a member of the Vietnam movement in the 1960s and of the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan from the start of the 1980s, after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. The Committee tries to strengthen Afghan civil society, for example through education, healthcare and agriculture.”
During the last decade, Hans Lödén’s research has included expressions of national identity, particularly in the light of how young people experience and interpret terrorist attacks.
“I have studied what young people think about democracy and openness after the 9/11 terror attack on New York. I have also looked at the terror attack in Oslo in 2011. In the Norwegian case, I looked at the many cards left at the memorial sites that spontaneously appeared shortly after the attack. I have also conducted focus group interviews with young people five years after the attack and studied the differences between those spontaneous messages and the interviewees’ thoughts five years later. Not one of the 15 000 messages left in 2011 that I looked at contained a critical comment about immigration to Norway. In the interviews, several of the young people stated that anti-immigration sentiments are common at present, although none of them expressed such sentiments.”
Hans Lödén has also researched the EU, focusing on the lobbying activities of small regions and on how members of the Swedish Left Party view European integration. He is also participating in a new project on how research in the social sciences can benefit primary school teaching on climate and migration issues. Hans Lödén likes teaching and doing research equally and thinks that the two complement each other.
“Research and teaching pollinate each other; I personally think that it is much easier to teach a subject I have also researched. Besides, I get many good questions from students on aspects I haven’t considered, and that is invaluable!”
Hans Löden plans to retire during 2017, but he will still be involved in Karlstad University to some extent. His free time will be devoted to listening to music, especially classical music and jazz, reading, watching Färjestad games, and spending time with family and friends.