Bitte Hammargren is Senior Associate Fellow at The Middle East and North Africa programme.
Bitte Hammargren has an academic exam in Libarianship (1980); a B.A. from Gothenburg University (1981); an academic exam in Journalism from Gothenburg University (1985); additional university degrees in Arabic.
Bitte is an award-winning journalist, author and Turkey and Middle East analyst, currently working on a free-lance basis. In 2018–2020 she held a position as a security policy analyst at the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI). In early 2020 she also worked as a consultant to the Swedish Center for Preventing Violent Extremism (CVE). Prior to that, she was the head of UI:s Middle East and North Africa Programme (2017–2018) as well as advisor to the Swedish Institute (SI). Between 2016-2018 she was the first publisher of UI:s online magazine Utrikesmagasinet.
Bitte has a long background in journalism, primarily as a staff reporter at Svenska Dagbladet (SvD), where she worked for more than 25 years, starting at the Foreign Desk. For twelve years, 2001–2012, she was Turkey and Middle East correspondent at SvD, partly based in Beirut and Istanbul. She started to travel to the MENA region in the 1970s and has since then reported from all countries in the MENA region except Yemen. She has made extensive travels in Turkey since the early 1990s, plus numerous visits to Iran, the monarchies on the Arabian Peninsula, Israel/Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon and Iraq etc. From 2011 and on, she covered the Arab Spring on the ground from Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and rebel held areas in Syria. In 1982–1983 she worked as a librarian at Bir Zeit University, in occupied Palestine.
Currently she is working as a consultant with Middle East related projects for SKR International (owned by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions)
Areas of Expertise
Security policy issues related to Turkey, Middle East and North Africa.
"Analysis: Sweden must be prepared for more ISIS returnees", The Swedish Center for Preventing Violent Extremism, CVE, 23 juni 2020 (Swe)
"Navigating in a complex neighbourhood: Algeria’s responses to security challenges in Libya and Sahel", FOI-R–4960, 2020
Iraq moving closer into Iran’s orbit, FOI Memo 7024, 2020
"Turkey’s tightrope act: Staying in Nato while warming towards Russia", FOI Memo 6676, 2019
"Cracks in the Saudi system", FOI Memo 6528, 2018
"Authoritarian at home and impulsive abroad - Erdoğan's foreign policy in the Middle East", UI Brief, 2018
"An Impulsive Actor in the Middle East", Global Policy Journal and Arab Digest, 2017
"The Gulf: a future tinderbox", Leopard förlag, 2014; 2nd edition 2015 (Swe)
"Maxaabiis Daacish Al-hol ka timid oo Sweden ku soo noqonaya", Comments in Somali for Radio Sweden, 24 June 2020
"1979 – a key to understanding why the Middle East was torn apart", Review of ’Black Wave’ by Kim Ghattas, Under strecket, Svenska Dagbladet, 18 maj 2020 (Swe)
"Analyst: Sweden hoping for peaceful solution between US and Iran", Radio Sweden, 8 January 2020
"What did international commentators say about June 23 Istanbul elections?", Commenting for Dokuz8 Haber, 25 June 2019, also available in Turkish
Prospects of reform in Saudi Arabia, Moderated a UI event with Yahya Assiri, a founder of the Saudi human rights organization ALQST, 23 November 2018
"Saudi Arabia: Reformative or authoritarian development", A lecture at Uppsala Association of Foreign Affairs, November 2018
Swedish, English, French, German, some Spanish and Arabic.