Civil defence in the grey zone


  • Daniel Jonsson
  • Jenny Ingemarsdotter
  • Bengt Johansson
  • Niklas Rossbach
  • Christoffer Wedebrand
  • Camilla Eriksson

Publish date: 2019-06-12

Report number: FOI-R--4769--SE

Pages: 89

Written in: Swedish


  • civil defence
  • total defence
  • grey zone
  • grey zone conflict
  • grey zone strategy
  • hybrid threats
  • hybrid warfare
  • security policy
  • resilience
  • willingness to defend
  • security of supply
  • threat comprehension


Reflecting the current security policy situation, planning for a reconstructed total defence has commenced in Sweden. In this context it is argued that Sweden is exposed to grey zone threats and that particularly the civil defence must have the capability to withstand these threats. However, the understanding of what the grey zone constitutes and what grey zone threats entail is insufficient. In this report three areas, regarded as central for the building of a resilient civil defence, are introduced: willingness to defend, security of supply, and threat comprehension. These areas are contextualised through a description of Swedish security policy after the Second World War, and how different perceptions of threats historically have affected the development of the total defence. Contemporary perspectives on the grey zone are presented as well as a model for interpretation and analysis of the grey zone and its threats.