Nils Petter Gleditsch

Research Professor; Professor Emeritus of Political Science, NTNU

Nils Petter Gleditsch
Email: nilspg@prio.org
Work phone: (+47) 22 54 77 21
Mobile phone: (+47) 906 05 639

Research Interests

The decline of war
Environmental conflict
 

Background

​​​Languages spoken:

Norwegian, English (German, French)   


Research Groups

Full member:

PRIO Departments

Current
Historical

PRIO Projects

Finished:

Events

PRIO started tracking events online in 2007. This listing is not complete. Past events may be mentioned in our news archive.

Publications

Further publications listed at ResearcherID 

Recent publications

Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2016) Mot en mer fredelig verden?. Oslo: Pax Forlag.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter; Erik Melander & Henrik Urdal (2016) Introduction – Patterns of Armed Conflict Since 1945, in Mason, T. David; & Sara McLaughlin Mitchell, eds, What Do We Know About Civil War?. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield (15–32).

All publications

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Gleditsch, Nils Petter & Ida Rudolfsen (2016) Are Muslim countries more prone to violence?, Research and Politics. DOI: 10.1177/2053168016646392.
Buhaug, Halvard; Jonas Nordkvelle; Thomas Bernauer; Tobias Böhmelt; Michael Brzoska; Joshua W. Busby; Antonio Ciccone; Hanne Fjelde; Erik Gartzke; Nils Petter Gleditsch; Jack A. Goldstone; Håvard Hegre; Helge Holtermann; Vally Koubi; Jasmin S. A. Link; Peter Michael Link; Päivi Lujala; John O'Loughlin; Clionadh Raleigh; Jürgen Scheffran; Janpeter Schilling; Todd G. Smith; Ole Magnus Theisen; Richard S. J. Tol; Henrik Urdal & Nina von Uexküll (2014) One effect to rule them all? A comment on climate and conflict, Climatic Change 127(3): 391–397.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter & Ragnhild Nordås (2014) Conflicting messages? The IPCC on conflict and human security, Political Geography. DOI: DOI: 10.1016/j.polgeo.2014.08.007.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter; Jonas Nordkvelle & Håvard Strand (2014) Peace research - Just the study of war?, Journal of Peace Research 51(2): 145–158.
Böhmelt, Tobias; Thomas Bernauer; Halvard Buhaug; Nils Petter Gleditsch; Theresa Tribaldos & Gerdis Wischnath (2014) Demand, Supply, and Restraint: Determinants of Domestic Water Conflict and Cooperation, Global Environmental Change 29: 337–348.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter; Steven Pinker; Bradley A. Thayer; Jack S. Levy & William R. Thompson (2013) The Forum: The Decline of War, International Studies Review 15(3): 396–419.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2013) The Decline of War - The Main Issues, International Studies Review 15(3): 397–399.
Østby, Gudrun; Håvard Strand; Nils Petter Gleditsch; & Ragnhild Nordås (2013) Gender Gap or Gender Bias in Peace Research? Publication Patterns for Journal of Peace Research 1983–2008, International Studies Perspectives 14(4): 493–506.
Theisen, Ole Magnus; Nils Petter Gleditsch & Halvard Buhaug (2013) Is climate change a driver of armed conflict?, Climatic Change 117(3): 613–625.
Lacina, Bethany Ann & Nils Petter Gleditsch (2013) The waning of war is real: a response to Gohdes and Price, Journal of Conflict Resolution 57(6): 1109–1127.
Bernauer, Thomas; & Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2012)New Event Data in Conflict Research , International Interactions 38(4): 375–381.
Brochmann, Marit & Nils Petter Gleditsch (2012) Shared Rivers and Conflict - A Reconsideration, Political Geography 31(8): 519–527.
Cappelen, Ådne; & Nils Petter Gleditsch (2012) En fredsgevinst for Norge - eller fortsatt opprustning? [A Peace Dividend for Norway - Or Continued Rearmament?], Samfunnsøkonomen 26(6): 26–31.
Bernauer, Thomas; Tobias Böhmelt; Halvard Buhaug; Nils Petter Gleditsch; Theresa Tribaldos; Eivind Berg Weibust; & Gerdis Wischnath (2012) Water-Related Intrastate Conflict and Cooperation (WARICC): A New Event Dataset, International Interactions 38(4): 529–545.
Brochmann, Marit;Rød, Jan Ketil; & Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2012)International Borders and Conflict Revisited , Conflict Management and Peace Science 29(2): 170–194.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2012)Whither the Weather? Climate Change and Conflict , Journal of Peace Research 49(1): 3–9.
Schneider, Gerald;Carey, Sabine C.; & Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2011) Forecasting in International Relations: One Quest, Three Approaches , Conflict Management and Peace Science 28(1): 5–14.
Urdal, Henrik;Theisen, Ole Magnus;Gleditsch, Nils Petter; & Buhaug, Halvard (2010) Klimakriger? En vurdering av det faglige grunnlaget [Climate Wars? An Assessment of the Scientific Foundation] , Norsk Statsvitenskapelig Tidsskrift 26(4): 297–320.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter; & Nordås, Ragnhild (2009) Climate Change and Conflict: A Critical Overview , Die Friedens-Warte 84(2): 11–28.
Rustad, Siri Aas; Jan Ketil Rød; Wenche Larsen; & Nils Petter Gleditsch (2008) Foliage and Fighting: Forest Resources and the Onset, Duration, and Location of Civil War, Political Geography 27(7): 761–782.
Buhaug, Halvard;Gleditsch, Nils Petter; & Theisen, Ole Magnus (2008) Implications of Climate Change for Armed Conflict .
Nordås, Ragnhild; & Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2007)Climate Change and Conflict , Political Geography 26(6): 627–638.
Binningsbø, Helga Malmin; Indra de Soysa; & Nils Petter Gleditsch (2007) Green Giant or Straw Man? Environmental Pressure and Civil Conflict, 1961-99, Population and Environment 28(6): 337–353.
Lacina, Bethany Ann; Nils Petter Gleditsch; & Bruce M. Russett (2006) The Declining Risk of Death in Battle, International Studies Quarterly 50(3): 673–680.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter; Kathryn Furlong; Håvard Hegre; Bethany Ann Lacina & Taylor Owen (2006) Conflicts over Shared Rivers: Resource Wars or Fuzzy Boundaries?, Political Geography 25(4): 361–382.
Furlong, Kathryn; Nils Petter Gleditsch & Håvard Hegre (2006) Geographic Opportunity and Neomalthusian Willingness: Boundaries, Shared Rivers, and Conflict, International Interactions 32(1): 79–108.
Lacina, Bethany Ann; & Nils Petter Gleditsch (2005) Monitoring Trends in Global Combat: A New Dataset of Battle Deaths, European Journal of Population 21(2): 145–165.
Lujala, Päivi; Nils Petter Gleditsch; & Elisabeth Gilmore (2005) A Diamond Curse? Civil War and a Lootable Resource, Journal of Conflict Resolution 49(4): 538–562.
Strand, Håvard; Nils Petter Gleditsch; & Mirjam E. Sørli (2005) Why Is There So Much Conflict in the Middle East?, Journal of Conflict Resolution 49(1): 141–165.
Furlong, Kathryn & Nils Petter Gleditsch (2003) The Boundary Dataset, Conflict Management and Peace Science 20(1): 93–117.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter; Claire Metelits & Håvard Strand (2003) Posting Your Data: Will You Be Scooped or Will You Be Famous?, International Studies Perspectives 4(1): 89–97.
Toset, Hans Petter Wollebæk; Nils Petter Gleditsch; & Håvard Hegre (2000) Shared Rivers and Interstate Conflict, Political Geography 19(8): 971–996.

Monograph

Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2016) Mot en mer fredelig verden?. Oslo: Pax Forlag.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2015) Nils Petter Gleditsch: Pioneer in the Analysis of War and Peace. New York: Springer. SpringerBriefs on Pioneers in Science and Practice .
Wilkes, Owen & Nils Petter Gleditsch (1987) Loran-C and Omega. A Study of the Military Importance of Radio Navigation Aids. Oslo: Norwegian University Press.

Book Chapter

Gleditsch, Nils Petter; Erik Melander & Henrik Urdal (2016) Introduction – Patterns of Armed Conflict Since 1945, in Mason, T. David; & Sara McLaughlin Mitchell, eds, What Do We Know About Civil War?. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield (15–32).
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2015) Climate Change, Environmental Stress, and Conflict, in Crocker, Chester; Fen Osler Hampson; & Pamela Aall, eds, Managing Conflict In a World Adrift. Washington DC: United States Institute of Peace Press (147–168).
Nordås, Ragnhild & Nils Petter Gleditsch (2015) Climate change and conflict, in Hartland, Susanne; & Wolfgang Liebert, eds, Competition and Conflicts on Resource Use. London: Springer (21–38).
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2015) A personal retrospective, in Nils Petter Gleditsch, ed., Nils Petter Gleditsch – Pioneer In the Analysis of War and Peace. New York: Springer (3–18).
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2014) Will climate change reverse the trend towards peace?, in Schneckener, Ulrich; Arnulf von Scheliha; Andreas Lienkamp; & Britta Klagge, eds, Wettstreit Um Ressourcen. Konflikte Um Klima, Wasser Und Boden. Berlin: Oekom-Verlag (49–60).
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2014) Overvåking under kontroll [Surveillance under Control], in Lene Berg, ed., Gompen Og Andre Beretninger Om Overvåking I Norge 1948–89. Oslo: URO/KORO (7–16).
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2013) Arthur Westing: A Personal Memoir, in Hans Günther Brauch, ed., From Environmental to Comprehensive Security. New York: Springer (xi-xiii).
Schneider, Gerald & Nils Petter Gleditsch (2013) The capitalist peace: Origins and prospects of a liberal idea, in Schneider, Gerald; & Nils Petter Gleditsch, eds, Assessing the Capitalist Peace. London: Routledge .
Nordås, Ragnhild & Nils Petter Gleditsch (2013) The IPCC, Human Security, and the Climate-conflict Nexus, in Redclift, Michael; & Marco Grasso, eds, Handbook on Climate Change and Human Security. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing (67–88).
Gleditsch, Nils Petter; & Buhaug, Halvard(2011) Årsaker til krig [Causes of War] Anarki, Makt Og Normer: Innføring I Internasjonal Politikk. : Abstrakt Forlag(167–190).
Gleditsch, Nils Petter(2010) Introductory Essay The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace. : (xxxiii–xxxvi).
Gleditsch, Nils Petter; & Theisen, Ole Magnus(2010) Resources, the Environment and Conflict The Routledge Handbook of Security Studies. : (221–232).
Gleditsch, Nils Petter; & Theisen, Ole Magnus(2010) Implications of Climate Change for Armed Conflict The Social Dimensions of Climate Change: Equity and Vulnerability In a Warming World. : (75–101).
Gleditsch, Nils Petter; Håvard Hegre; & Håvard Strand (2009) Democracy and Civil War, in Handbook of War Studies III. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press (155–192).
Gleditsch, Nils Petter(2008) Armed Conflict and the Environment International Environmental Politics (Volume IV). : (273–258).
Gleditsch, Nils Petter(2008) Peace and Democracy Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace, and Conflict. : (1430–1437).
Gleditsch, Nils Petter & Håvard Hegre (2008) Paqja dhe demokracia [Peace and Democracy], in Demokracia – Kushtet Dhe Pasojat. (279–301).
Buhaug, Halvard & Nils Petter Gleditsch (2006) The Death of Distance? The Globalization of Armed Conflict, in Kahler, Miles; & Barbara F. Walter, eds, Territoriality and Conflict In an Era of Globalization. New York: Cambridge University Press (187–216).
Lacina, Bethany Ann; & Nils Petter Gleditsch (2006) Monitoring Trends in Global Combat: A New Dataset of Battle Deaths, in Brunborg, Helge; Ewa Tabeau; & Henrik Urdal, eds, The Demography of Armed Conflict. Berlin: Springer (145–165).
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2005) Mot et Utvidet Sikkerthetsbegrep [Towards an Extended Concept of Security], in Hovi, Jon; & Raino Malnes, eds, Normer Og Makt: Innføring I Internasjonal Politikk. Oslo: Abstrakt Forlag (95–114).

Edited Volume

Schneider, Gerald; & Nils Petter Gleditsch, eds, (2013) Assessing the Capitalist Peace. London: Routledge.
Schneider, Gerald; Katherine Barbieri; & Nils Petter Gleditsch, eds, (2003) Globalization and Armed Conflict. Lanham, MD.
Diehl, Paul F.; & Nils Petter Gleditsch, eds, (2001) Environmental Conflict. Oxford.
Mouhleb, Naima; Göran Lindgren; & Nils Petter Gleditsch, eds, (2000) Making Peace Pay. A Bibliography on Disarmament & Conversion. Claremont, CA. The new war/peace bibliography series.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (ed.) (1997) Conflict and the Environment. Dordrecht.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter; Olav Bjerkholt; Ron P. Smith; Ådne Cappelen; & J. Paul Dunne, eds, (1996) The Peace Dividend. Amsterdam.
Njølstad, Olav; & Nils Petter Gleditsch, eds, (1990) Arms Races. Technological and Political Dynamics. London.

Non-refereed Journal Article

Urdal, Henrik; Gudrun Østby & Nils Petter Gleditsch (2014) Journal of Peace Research, Peace Review 26(4).
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2012)Open Access in International Relations: A Symposium , International Studies Perspectives 13(3): 211–215.
Schneider, Gerald;Gleditsch, Nils Petter; & Carey, Sabine C. (2011) Forecasting in International Relations: One Quest, Three Approaches , Conflict Management and Peace Science 28(1): 5–14.
Urdal, Henrik; & Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2010) Grønn fred? Nobelkomiteens miljøpriser [Green Peace? The Environmental Prizes of the Nobel Committee] , Internasjonal Politikk 68(4): 617–627.
Schneider, Gerald; & Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2010) The Capitalist Peace: The Origins and Prospects of a Liberal Idea , International Interactions 36(2): 107–114.
Schneider, Gerald;Gleditsch, Nils Petter; & Carey, Sabine C. (2010) Exploring the Past, Anticipating the Future: A Symposium , International Studies Review 12(1): 1–7.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter; & Urdal, Henrik (2009) Svar til Neumann [Reply to Neumann] , Internasjonal Politikk 67(2): 309.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2008) The Liberal Moment Fifteen Years On, International Studies Quarterly 52(4): 691–712.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter; & Urdal, Henrik (2008) Om topptidsskrifter i internasjonal politikk [On Top Journals in International Relations] , Internasjonal Politikk 66(4): 699–701.

Popular Article

Gleditsch, Nils Petter & Ida Rudolfsen (2016) Are Muslim countries more prone to violence?, Washington Post - Monkey Cage.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter & Ida Rudolfsen (2015) Brannen i islams hus [The Fire in the House of Islam], Aftenposten Innsikt.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2010) Klima og politisk uro [Climate and Political Unrest], Aftenposten, 21 July.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2009) Mappene våre [Our Files], Rettferd Og Politikk. Festskrift Til Hilde Bojer, 18 December.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2009) Krenkende kritikk [Injurious Criticism], Dagbladet, 27 November.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2009) Fra opprørere til statsstøtter? [From Rebels to Pillars of the State?], Dagbladet, 20 November.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2008) Til fest [The Festchrift], Forskningspolitikk, 16 December.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter; & Holtsmark, Bjart (2008) På stadig tynnere is [On Ever Thinner Ice], Aftenposten, 2 November.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2008) Doktorgraden [The Doctoral Degree], Forskningspolitikk, 20 October.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2008) Forskerne mangler dokumentasjon [The Scholars Lack Documentation], Aftenposten, 2 October.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2008) Hva hviler de på? [On What Do They Rest?], Aftenposten, 18 September.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2008) Klima, klima, klima [Climate, Climate, Climate], Forskningspolitikk, 16 June.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2008) Erich Weedes regel [Erich Weede's Rule], Forskningspolitikk, 2008.

PRIO Report

Gleditsch, Nils Petter (1999) To Cultivate Peace - Agriculture in a World of Conflict, PRIO Report, 1. Oslo: PRIO.

Conference Paper

Rolseth, Amund; Ole Magnus Theisen & Nils Petter Gleditsch (2015) Violence against civilians 1900-87: Regime type, climate change and the severity of democide, presented at 56th Annual Convention of the International Studies Association, New Orleans, 18–21 February 2015.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2013) Climate, Geography, and Civil Conflict, presented at 54th Annual Convention of the International Studies Association, San Francisco, 03.04.13 – 06.04.13.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2013) Climate, Geography, and Civil Conflict, presented at PSS-ISA Joint International Conference, Budapest, 27.06.13 – 29.06.13.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2013) Climate, Geography, and Civil Conflict, presented at Jan Tinbergen European Peace Science Conference, Milan, 24.06.13 – 26.06.13.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2013) The Future of War and Conflict, presented at Panel contribution at the conference on Conflict Management and Global Governance in an Age of Awakening, Waterloo, 24.01.13 – 25.01.13.
Buhaug, Halvard;Falch, Åshild; & Gleditsch, Nils Petter 2010 The Bottom Billion and Climate Change, presented at International Studies Association Annual Convention, , 17–20 February.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter 2009 Updating the Battle Deaths Dataset, presented at XXVI International Population Conference, , 27 September.
Nordås, Ragnhild; & Gleditsch, Nils Petter 2009IPCC and the Climate-Conflict Nexus , presented at 50th Annual Convention of the International Studies Association15 February.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter; & Theisen, Ole Magnus 2008 Climate Change, the Environment, and Armed Conflict, presented at American Political Science Association, , 28–31 August.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter; & Theisen, Ole Magnus 2008 Climate Change, the Environment, and Armed Conflict, presented at International Studies Association, , 26–29 March.
Rustad, Siri Aas;Rød, Jan Ketil;Larsen, Wenche; & Gleditsch, Nils Petter 2007 Foilage and Fighting: Forest resources and the onset, duration and location of civil war , presented at Polarization and Conflict Workshop, , December.
Nordås, Ragnhild; & Gleditsch, Nils Petter 2005Climate Change and Conflict: Common Sense or Nonsense 8–10 September.
Nordås, Ragnhild; & Gleditsch, Nils Petter 2005Climate Change and Conflict: Common Sense or Nonsense? 22–23 June.

PRIO Policy Brief

Gleditsch, Nils Petter & Ida Rudolfsen (2015) Are Muslim Countries More War-Prone?, Conflict Trends, 3. Oslo: PRIO.

Report - External Series

Gleditsch, Nils Petter; Lene Siljeholm Christiansen; & Håvard Hegre (2007) Democratic Jihad? Military Intervention and Democracy, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, 4242. .
Salehyan, Idean; Ragnhild Nordås; & Nils Petter Gleditsch (2007) Climate Change and Conflict: The Migration Link, Coping with Crisis Working Paper Series. New York: International Peace Academy.

Book Review

Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2013) Review of Arthur H. Westing, ed., Arthur H. Westing: Pioneer on the Environmental Impact of War, in Journal of Peace Research 50(2): 264–264.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2013) Review of Lawrence S. Wittner, ed., Working for Peace and Justice: Memoirs of an Activist Intellectual, in Journal of Peace Research 50(1): 142–142.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2013) Review of Review of Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson , ed., Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, in Journal of Peace Research 50(6): 761–761.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2013) Review of Human Security Report 2012, in Journal of Peace Research 50(2): 261–261.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2013) Review of Review of Jared Diamond, ed., The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?, in Journal of Peace Research 50(4): 534–534.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2013) Review of Review of Paul Preston, ed., The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain, in Journal of Peace Research 50(4): 537–537.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter (2013) Review of Review of Jeff D. Colgan, ed., Petro-Aggression: When Oil Causes War, in Journal of Peace Research 50(6): 770–770.

Blog Posts

Oh my, not another ‘Festschrift’!

Posted by Nils Petter Gleditsch on Friday, 14 August 2015

Eight years ago, I wrote a short piece for a Norwegian science policy journal lampooning the Festschrift as an outmoded form of academic communication. The Festschrift, I can hear some of my non-Scandinavian readers ask: Are such volumes still being published? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. Of course, it is largely a self-financing enterprise. In signing up for the Tabula gratulatoria, friends of the honoree promise to fork out a few hundred kroner for a book they are often unlikely to read. A book filled with articles that are generally not quite important enough to be published in academic journals ...

The Fire in the House of Islam

Posted by Nils Petter Gleditsch on Friday, 20 March 2015

Generally speaking, the global map of conflict is increasingly shaped by armed conflicts involving Muslims on one side or the other, or on both. Are Muslim countries particularly belligerent? Is the religion to blame? Despite the numerous items of bad news delivered by the mass media on a daily basis, a global overview of armed conflict shows several positive trends. During most of the Cold War, there was an increase in the number of ongoing armed conflicts worldwide, but the number decreased sharply after the fall of the Berlin Wall. This trend is even stronger if we restrict our survey ...

Fifty Years Since the Selma March

Posted by Nils Petter Gleditsch on Sunday, 8 March 2015

Yesterday, at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, President Obama and over 100 members of the US Congress celebrated the 50th anniversary of the historic civil rights march in Selma, a turning-point in the non-violent civil rights movement. President Obama was introduced by John Lewis, who with Hosea Williams and others led the march fifty years ago and was severely beaten by the Alabama police. For Barack Obama’s speech at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, yesterday – 7 March 2015, please follow this link. For John Lewis’s PRIO Annual Peace Address 2011, please follow this link. For PRIO’s current project on nonviolent resistance, ...

More on the Waning of War

Posted by Nils Petter Gleditsch on Tuesday, 27 January 2015

On 22 December I reported in this blog on an article by political science professor Øyvind Østerud 18 December in the leading Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten that attacked Steven Pinker and ‘large parts of peace research’ for using ‘relative numbers’, i.e. numbers weighted by population, to assess long-term trends in the severity of war. In my brief response to Østerud, published in the print version of Aftenposten on 28 December, I pointed out that both absolute and relative numbers of battle-related deaths have declined after World War II. I also argued that although criticizing established truths is an important part of the ...

Surveillance Under Control?1/a>

Posted by Nils Petter Gleditsch on Wednesday, 21 January 2015

We cannot make do without surveillance, and even political actors must expect to be kept under observation if they espouse extreme positions. But we must keep surveillance under control. This article tells the story of the information about me that had lain in the files of the police security service and to which I gained access in 2001. It also records some reflections that have emerged in my mind about ways to improve legal protection for people who come to the attention of the state security services.2 As one author summed up the new women’s movement of the 1970s, ‘What ...

Poor Research or What?

Posted by Nils Petter Gleditsch on Monday, 22 December 2014

A Norwegian political scientist published an article in the Norwegian daily Aftenposten on 17 December where he criticized the ‘waning-of-war’ argument promoted by, among others, Steven Pinker and ‘major parts of peace research’. Curiously, the article was published in the paper’s column for ‘dårlig forskning, flau formidling, kunnskapsløse politiske forslag og ren fusk’ (‘incompetent research, poor popularization, political proposals without a knowledge base, and sheer fraud’). The article does not explain which of these mortal sins were committed by Steven Pinker and the peace research crowd. Be that as it may, below follows my reply to the article. A shorter ...

Climate Change and War

Posted by Nils Petter Gleditsch on Thursday, 17 April 2014

The day after the publication of the latest report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the effects of climate change, Norwegian daily newspaper Dagsavisen was able to report that Norway’s Minister for Climate and Environment now envisaged a future world with more conflicts. This is in line with claims made earlier by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Against this background, I embarked with some anticipation on the report’s 2,679 pages. I found that each of the four chapters that address this question gives a slightly different answer. The question is discussed most thoroughly in the chapter on ...

The Role of Non-violence in the Struggle for Liberation

Posted by Nils Petter Gleditsch on Wednesday, 28 September 2011

US Congressman John Lewis gave the PRIO Annual Peace Address 2011. Lewis has been a Member of the US House of Representatives for the Fifth congressional district in Georgia since 1987. He was a prominent leader in the nonviolent civil rights movement in the early 1960s and President Obama has recognized his role as a source of inspiration. In February 2011 John Lewis was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest US public award for civilian service. See also the 2015 marking of the 50th anniversary of the historic civil rights march in Selma.  Below is a transcript of John ...

Roots of conflict : Don't blame environmental decay for the next war

Posted by Nils Petter Gleditsch & Henrik Urdal on Monday, 22 November 2004

When Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan known for her work in human rights and environmental conservation, including efforts to fight deforestation, won the Nobel Peace Prize last month, many took note that the Nobel Committee had evidently expanded its notion of “peace.” “Peace on earth depends on our ability to secure our living environment,” it proclaimed, seeming to embrace an extended concept of peace as “human security.” More probably, the committee intended to highlight scarcity of renewable natural resources as an important cause of war. Their statement, it is true, didn’t deal with that issue directly, but Maathai herself said that ...

The Victims of War: Light at the End of the Tunnel?

Posted by Nils Petter Gleditsch on Thursday, 10 November 2016

In making the choice between pessimism and optimism, it may be a risky business to lean on everyday news. Let us rather have a look at figures that reveal more long-term tendencies. Steven Pinker’s book The Better Angels of Our Nature, published in 2011, painted an optimistic picture of mankind emerging from its violent past. Since then, however, the trend has gone in the wrong direction. My work on a book in Norwegian on the same topic has been conducted during this reversal. The US election has changed this reversal into fears of a major and dramatic setback, if we ...

Myths About War and Violence

Posted by Nils Petter Gleditsch on Monday, 14 November 2016

‘Calculations made by a former president of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, with the assistance of historians from a number of countries, show that since 3600 BC, the world has known only 292 years of peace. Since 650 BC, there have been 1,656 arms races. Sixteen of them ended in economic collapse, the rest in war.’ This story, or slight variations of it, has been circulating in the media for well over 60 years. Military periodicals, in both East and West, as well as journals published by the peace movement, have taken this story at face value. This ...

Democratic Intervention?

Posted by Nils Petter Gleditsch on Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Donald Trump has made statements sceptical of military interventions in the Middle East. This is perhaps a rare piece of good news. Military intervention as a means of building democracy has once again become a hot topic. The Norwegian government has been criticized due to the consequences of the intervention in Libya. Hillary Clinton has been branded a hawk because she is seen as more willing to use military force than Obama. Some supporters of Bernie Sanders seemed to prefer Trump to Clinton, in the hope that Trump would be less interventionist. The logic behind democratic intervention is clear enough: ...

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