The Juridification of School Bullying in Sweden: The Emerging Struggle Between the Scientific-Based Pedagogical Discourse and the Legal Discourse

  • Robert ThornbergEmail author
Part of the Young People and Learning Processes in School and Everyday Life book series (YPLP, volume 2)


The international school bullying research field has its origin in Sweden, as it was initiated by the work of Olweus during the 1970s. His definition of bullying is the most widely spread and used definition in the international school bullying research field. At the same time, there has been and still is an ongoing debate and critique regarding the definition among international scholars, including Nordic and Swedish scholars. In this chapter, I will discuss the juridification of school bullying and the emerging struggle between a scientific discourse and a legal discourse as the guiding national discourse for schools’ anti-bullying practises in Sweden by giving a very brief review of how the definition and understanding of bullying have been disputed, including in Sweden, and the historical changes in the Swedish school policy from a scientific-based pedagogical discourse to a de-professionalizing legal discourse in relation to how schools should understand and counteract bullying.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Behavioural Sciences and LearningLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden

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