Psychological defence agency

We defend and safeguard our open and democratic society and the free formation of opinions.

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About the agency

To strengthen the psychological defence

Psychological defence is society’s common capabilities for detecting and resisting malign information influence directed at Sweden by antagonistic foreign powers. Our mission covers external information influence that is directed at Sweden with the aim of harming Swedish interests.

Three Swedish flags.

Handbooks that will help you counter information influence

We have produced handbooks to help you identify, understand and respond to information influence. The handbooks are aimed at private individuals, communication officers or journalists.

Image of text about information influence.

Current topics


Propaganda is messages that, through images, language or symbols, seek to influence the opinions, values or behaviour of a large number of recipients.

Theme propaganda Megaphones and televisions.

Source criticism - Who is saying what, and why?

Source criticism is an important part of a country’s psychological defence against malign information influence from antagonistic foreign powers. When we are critical of sources, we evaluate information rather than automatically accepting it as true.

Theme source criticism Man with magnifying glass.

Freedom of expression - always worth to defend

Freedom of expression is a constitutional right in Sweden and is important for an open and functioning democracy. Everybody has the right to have their voice heard.

Theme freedom of expression Speech bubble with steel wire.

Frequently asked questions

Psychological defence is society’s common capabilities for identifying and resisting malign information influence directed at Sweden by antagonistic foreign powers or other external threat actors.

We are all a part of psychological defence – agencies, municipalities, regions, civil society, businesses, the cultural sector and everyone living in Sweden. Our collective resilience against disinformation, misleading information and propaganda will prevent or pre-empt antagonists from influencing our decisions, perceptions or behaviour. During peacetime and in a heightened state of alert or war alike, psychological defence shall ensure Sweden’s freedom and independence, an open and democratic society with freedom of opinion and free media.

Strong psychological defence rests on three pillars:

  • free, scrutinising independent media
  • a well-informed and well-educated population
  • a society that holds together, in which people trust in each other and in authorities.

The agency leads efforts to coordinate, develop and strengthen Sweden’s psychological defence. In order to strengthen our psychological defence and capabilities for resisting external influences, we inform and support the population of Sweden, as well as agencies, municipalities, regions, the business sector, civil society and other organisations. We do this through training, exercises, information initiatives and knowledge enhancement.

An important part of our work is also preventing, detecting, analysing and counteracting malign information influence and other misleading information that can pose a threat to the people of Sweden.

Malign information influence is when antagonistic foreign powers or other external threat actors attempt to harmfully influence, disrupt or steer public discourse in Sweden. Means of information influence include disinformation, misleading information and propaganda.

For something to be identified as malign information influence, the following criteria must be met:


The information influence is deliberately misleading. Reliable communication is open and transparent, and its content is credible and verifiable.


The information influence aims to undermine constructive dialogue and open debate. Reliable communication shall contribute to and strengthen constructive debate, even if the content or arguments might be controversial in themselves.


The information influence disrupts and weakens the functioning of society and our democratic discourse. Reliable communication is a natural part of our society which, although it can of course sometimes cause friction, bolsters our democracy.

The traditional picture of warfare has been erased. Today, there are other means for causing great harm to our society and our democracy that do not have to involve armed attacks. Malign information influence is a security threat whereby antagonistic foreign powers exploit society’s vulnerabilities to achieve their goals without having to resort to weapons. Instead, means are used such as disinformation, misleading information and propaganda to harm Sweden.

Information influence can exploit society’s vulnerabilities and challenge society’s functionality, our fundamental values such as democracy, rule of law and human rights and, ultimately, life and health.

The Psychological Defence Agency works with a long-term and preventive approach by providing training and exercises, conducting research and engaging in international cooperation. We study and develop methods, and disseminate knowledge. We identify and analyse attempts at malign information influence and stand prepared to act swiftly when needed. We also cooperate with other agencies and actors in Sweden – both for preventive and operational purposes.

You are a part of Sweden’s psychological defence. If you are able recognise and deal with disinformation, misleading information and propaganda, it will be more difficult for antagonistic foreign powers to cause division. This in turn helps protect Sweden and Swedish interests. The harder it is to fool you, the stronger our open, democratic society will be.

Learn the techniques – don’t be fooled External link.