Totalförsvar och Comprehensive Approach. Två sidor av samma mynt?


  • Emma Skeppström
  • Erik Wikén

Publish date: 2011-12-30

Report number: FOI-R--3350--SE

Pages: 27

Written in: Swedish


  • Comprehensive Approach
  • total defence
  • emergency management
  • civil-military cooperation


Civilian and military actors cooperate in different areas and the cooperation can take on different shapes depending on the context in which it occurs. Comprehensive Approach (CA) and total defence are two concepts normally associated with different types of civil-military cooperation. The aim of this study is to compare differences and similarities between the two concepts in terms of origin, meaning and applicability. Total defence, as well as CA, builds on the premise that cooperation between actors creates a better effect and higher efficiency for a given task. The two concepts, however, originate from different backgrounds. The Swedish total defence was established as a comprehensive mode of national defence cooperation, between civilian and military actors, with the purpose of preparing the society for war. CA has its origins in an international context, within the field of peace operations, and seeks to harmonize and coordinate actors involved in the areas of security and development. Another difference between the concepts is that total defence is governed by laws and regulations. Both the military defence and the civilian defence are bound to act according to those laws. CA does not possess the same status. It is, at best, a clearly stated political will that cooperation between actors should occur, to the benefit of the overall aim. Shared experiences may however be found between the established structures of cooperation that exist within the total defence and the process of national preparation before an international peace support operation is deployed. However, the civilian actors involved in total defence and CA respectively differ, which makes the possibility of finding useful synergies less likely. Today, civil-military cooperation within the realms of total defence is not prioritised. Instead, focus is on peacetime emergency management. Therefore, it is more likely that synergies and useful experiences can be drawn between these activities and CA.

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