Klara Hermansson


Visa sidan på svenska
Works at Department of Criminology
Visiting address Universitetsvägen 10 C, plan 6
Room C 690
Postal address Kriminologiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm

About me


Crime policy, Criminology I

Supervising BA theses, Criminology III


Research area:

Crime policy, political parties, symbols, emotions, election campaigns


Current projects:

The political usage of symbols and emotions in crime policy debate. A study of Swedish election campaigns.



Hermansson, K. (2018) ”Den svenska tryggheten. En studie av en kriminalpolitisk symbol.” (Public safety in Sweden: A study of a crime policy symbol) Sociologisk forskning, 55 (2-3): 179–202.

Hermansson, K. (2018) “The role of symbolic politics in exceptional crime policy debate: a study of the 2014 Swedish general election.” Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention, 19 (1): 22–40.

Heber, A. & Hermansson, K. (2015) “Crime and punishment in Sweden”, in: Jennings, W. G. (ed.), The encyclopedia of crime and punishment.


Paper presentations:

Hermansson, K. (2017) “The symbolic meaning of the Swedish concept ‘trygghet’ – between welfare and punishment”, Presentation at working group meeting on Nordic crime policy, Scandinavian Research Council for Criminology, Helsingfors.

Hermansson, K. (2016) ”Trygghet som kriminalpolitisk symbol – mellan välfärd och straff” (Trygghet as a crime policy symbol – between welfare and punishment), Presentation at research seminar, Scandinavian Research Council for Criminology, Borgarnes.

Hermansson, K. (2015) “Political parties on crime policy – Symbolic politics and technicalities in Swedish electoral debate 2014”, Presentation at conference, European Society of Criminology, Porto.

Hermansson, K. (2014) ”Politiska partier och kriminalpolitisk debatt – symbolpolitik och teknikaliteter i svensk valdebatt 2014” (Political parties on crime policy – Symbolic politics and technicalities in Swedish electoral debate 2014), Presentation at research seminar, Scandinavian Research Council for Criminology, Aarhus.


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2018. Klara Hermansson. Sociologisk forskning 55 (2-3), 179-202

    Public safety in Sweden. A study of a crime policy symbol

    Public safety has become an increasingly important part of crime policy debates in the Western countries. In Sweden, the concepts of trygghet (safety) and its negative counterpart otrygghet (insecurity) are often used in discussions about public safety and fear of crime. In this article, I argue that in order to understand Swedish crime policy, the symbolic meaning of these concepts cannot be overlooked. The political debates on public safety preceding the general elections in 2006, 2010 and 2014 are analysed with reference to three political parties: the Social Democratic party, the Conservative Party (Moderaterna) and the Sweden Democrats. By analysing the concept of safety (trygghet) as a condensation symbol, with its imaginative potential stemming from the historically strong relation between safety and the welfare state, this article illustrates how political solutions within the crime policy field are depicted as benign and universal. The article further explores how the political usage of the concept of safety generates feelings of ”national pride” to the general public.

  • 2018. Klara Hermansson. Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention 19 (1), 22-40

    Symbolic politics are often considered to be closely linked to an alarmist rhetoric, as well as to punitive crime policy initiatives. This article explores the symbolic dimension of the Swedish crime policy debate. Since Sweden is frequently depicted as an antithesis to punitive Anglophone societies, exploring symbolic politics in this setting might expand our understanding of what symbolic statements may consist of. The article analyses the electoral campaign preceding the Swedish general election of 2014, with the aim of identifying which symbolic statements occupy a central position in the debate through the use of a qualitative content analysis. This analysis reveals an ambiguous political rhetoric, comprising morally and emotionally charged condemnatory statements about getting tough on crime, as well as reformist and restrained references to expert knowledge and long-term solutions. On the one hand, these reformist statements strengthen the image of Swedish crime policy as being based on ideals such as rationality and humanity. On the other, they also serve to legitimize and obscure penal expansion.

  • 2015. Anita Heber, Klara Hermansson. The encyclopedia of crime and punishment
Show all publications by Klara Hermansson at Stockholm University

Last updated: March 8, 2019

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