Tobias Harding

Tobias Harding

Faculty of Humanities, Sports and Educational Science
Department of Culture, Religion and Social Studies
Campus Bø (2-358)
My background is in political science, history of religion and culture studies. In the early 2000's, I started doing research on national identity and the institutional development of Swedish cultural policy. Later research has concerned topics such as heritage policy, civil society, religious heritage, secularization and cultural policy, and the concept of Bildung. I have also acted as an expert in cultural policy and civil society, for the Swedish government, in various contexts.


  • Coordinator of the Master’s Degree Program in Culture Studies.
  • Teaching cources in methodology, cultural policy, cultural heritage, and cultural leadership.

Research Groups:

  • Uses of Cultural Heritage
  • Culture and Sport Policy


  • Cultural policy
  • Cultural heritage
  • Nationalism
  • Civil society
  • Religion and secularization
  • Bildung


2007. Ph.D. in Culture Studies, Linköping University. Dissertation title: Nationalising culture: The reorganisation of national culture in Swedish cultural policy 1970-2002.

2007-2009. Secretary to the Swedish Government Commission on Cultural Policy.

2009-2012. Postdoc/Expert at Linköping University. Head of the Swecult institute, and researcher in the project Democracit Learning in Educational NGO's.

2012-2013. Expert evaluation of Culture Programs for the Swedish National Council for Adult Education.

2013-2017. Senior Lecturer in Cultural Policy at University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Researcher in the research project How the Church of Sweden was Transformed into National Cultural Heritage.

2016-. Member of the Expert Committee on Evaluation, Swedish National Council for Adult Education.

2017. Received the Title of Docent in Cultural Policy from the University of Jyväskylä, in Finland.

2017-. Member of the Advisory Council of the Swedish Agency for Cultural Policy Analysis.

2017-. Professor at University College of South-East Norway /University of South-Eastern Norway.


Selected publications:

Tobias Harding (2020) "World culture, world history, and the roles of a museum: A conceptual study of the Swedish museums of world culture, debates concerning them, and their roles in cultural politics" in International Journal of Cultural Policy.

Tobias Harding (2019) "Heritage Churches as Post-Christian Sacred Spaces: Reflections on the Significance of Government Protection of
Ecclesiastical Heritage in Swedish National and Secular Self-Identity" in Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research

Tobias Harding (2019) "The Role of the Popular Movement Tradition in Shaping Civil Society Leadership Education in Sweden" in Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership (JNEL), Vol 9, No 1 (2019).

Tobias Harding (2018) "Preserving churches for future generations: Central values in Swedish policies on Church heritage 1920-2010" in Nordic Journal of Cultural Policy. 2018:1.

Tobias Harding (2015) “Bildning as a Central Concept in the Cultural Policy of the Swedish Government - From Arthur Engberg to Alice Bah Kuhnke” in Nordic Journal of Cultural Policy, 2015:2.

Tobias Harding (2015) “The Dawn of the Secular State? Heritage and Identity in Swedish Church and State Debates 1920-1939”, in International Journal of Cultural Policy,  vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 631-647.

Erling Bjurström & Tobias Harding (eds.) (2013) Bildning och demokrati. Nya vägar i det svenska folkbildningslandskapet. (”Bildning and democracy: New paths in Swedish popular adult education and learning”). Stockholm: Carlssons.

Tobias Harding (2013) “Faith-Based Organizations and the Secular State: The Establishment of a Muslim Study Association in Sweden”, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 341-355.

Harding, Tobias (2012) Framtidens civilsamhälle: Underlagsrapport 3 till Framtidskommissionen. (”Civil society of the future: Background report 3 to the Commission on the Future of Sweden”), Stockholm: Office of the Prime Minister.

Harding, Tobias (2012) ”How to Establish a Study Association: Translation, Packaging and Isomorphic Pressures on New CSOs Entering a Neo-Corporative Adult Education Field in Sweden” in Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, vol. 23, no. 1.

Harding, Tobias (2011) “Learning Democracy in a Swedish Gamers Association: Representative Democracy as Experiential Knowledge in a Liquid Civil Society” in The European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults (RELA), vol. 2. no. 2.

Harding, Tobias (2010) ”Avförtrollningen av Midgård: Tolkiens modernitetskritik och ambivalenta behandling av esoterism i trilogin Härskarringen” (”The disenchantment of Middle Earth: Tolkien’s ambivalent treatment of esotericm in the Lord of the Rings trilogy”) in Mattias Fyhr & Per Faxneld (eds.) Förborgade tecken: västerländsk esoterism i skönlitteraturen, Lund: Ellerströms.

Harding, Tobias (2010) “Playing Against the Modern World? Role-Playing Games in Late Modernity”, presented at the Nordic role-playing conference Knutpunkt, Katrineholm, April, 2010.
Published in Elge Larsson (ed.) Playing Reality: Articles on Live-Action Role-Playing, Stockholm: Knutpunkt 2010/Interacting Arts.

Harding, Tobias (2009) ”Var finns den statliga kulturpolitiken? Inte bara på kulturdepartementet” (”Where is national cultural policy? Not only at the Ministry of Culture”), in Nordic Journal of Cultural Policy, 2009, no. 2.
Republished in Anders Frenander (ed.) (2010) Arkitekter på armlängds avstånd. Att studera kulturpolitik, Borås: Valfrid.

Harding, Tobias (2009) “Ärans och hjältarnas språk? Det politiska försvaret av svenska språket från 1500-talet och framåt” (”The political defense of the Swedish language from the 16th century and onwards”) in Nordic Journal of Cultural Policy, 2009, no. 1.

Tobias Harding (2007) Nationalising Culture. The Reorganisation of National Culture in Swedish Cultural Policy 1970-2002. Linköping Studies in Arts and Science nr. 393. Doctoral dissertation. Norrköping: University of Linköping.