Inger Skjelsbæk

Research Professor

Inger Skjelsbæk
Work phone: (+47) 22 54 77 51
Mobile phone: (+47) 938 02 492
Twitter: @bertavonsuttner

Research Interests

Research project titled Why Rape? Perpetrator, Punishment and Social Narratives, funded by the Research Council of Norway (personal post-doc)
Research project titled Gender, Conflict and Peacebuilding, funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Research project titled Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict (SVAC), pilot study funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Book publication, 15 September, 2011:  The Political Psychology of War Rape: Studies from Bosnia and Herzegovina (London: Routledge)


​​​​​​​​​Languages spoken:

English, French and German

Working experience:

Aug 2013 - Feb 2014: Research Director, Dimensions of Security Department, PRIO

2011/2012 (summers): Visiting scholar at the Human Rights Center, University of California Berkeley

2009-2015 : Deputy Director at PRIO

2008-2009: Programme Leader of the Ethics, Norms and Identities programme at PRIO

2002-2003: Guest Researcher and Fulbright Scholar at the Institute of Slavic, Eurasian and Eastern European Studies (ISEEES) at the University of California, Berkeley, USA

1996- : Researcher at PRIO

Associate editor of International Feminist Journal of Politics since July 2011



2007 Dr. Polit. Degree at the Institute for Psychology, University of Trondheim (NTNU). The title of the Ph.D. dissertation is "Sexual Violence In Time of War: Sexuality, Ethnicity and Gender Diversity in the War in Bosnia-Herzegovina".

1996, Cand. Polit. Degree from the University of Trondheim (NTNU) with a Master’s degree in psychology. The title of the Master’s dissertation was "Women and War: A Qualitative Study of the Construction of Femininity in the Wars in the Former Yugoslavia, El Salvador and Vietnam".

1993, Cand. Mag. Degree from the University of Oslo with the following subjects: English language and literature, French language and literature, Psychology and Social science statistics.


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

All Publications

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Skjelsbæk, Inger (2015) The Military Perpetrator: A Narrative Analysis of Sentencing Judgments on Sexual Violence Offenders at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Journal of Social and Political Psychology 3(1): 46–70.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2012) Responsibility to Protect or Prevent? Victims and Perpetrators of Sexual Violence Crimes in Armed Conflicts, Global Responsibility to Protect 4(2): 154–171.
Skjelsbæk, Inger & Torunn L. Tryggestad (2011) Kvinner i det norske forsvaret: Likestilling eller operasjonelt imperativ? [Women in the Norwegian Armed Forces: Gender Equality or Operational Imperative?], Sosiologi i dag 41(1): 53–75.
Harpviken, Kristian Berg & Inger Skjelsbæk (2010) Tilslørt fredspolitikk [Blurred Peace Policy], Nytt Norsk Tidsskrift 27(4): 379–388.
Skjelsbæk, Inger & Torunn L. Tryggestad (2009) Women in the Norwegian Armed Forces. Gender Equality or Operational Imperative?, Minerva Journal of Women and War 3(2): 34–51.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2009) Traditions and Transitions: Perceptions of 'Good Womanhood' Among Twenty Bosnian Focus Group Participants , International Feminist Journal of Politics 11(3): 392–411.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2009) Kjønnsbasert vold i krig: Hvordan få god kunnskap og på hvilken måte? [Gender Based Violence in War: How to get good knowlede and in which ways?] , Sociologi I Dag 39(2): 72–90.


Skjelsbæk, Inger (2013) Statsfeministen, Statsfeminismen og Verden Utenfor [The State Feminist, The State Feminism and the World Beyond]. Oslo: Aschehoug. 978-82-03-35421-2.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2011) The Political Psychology of War Rape: Studies from Bosnia and Herzegovina. London: Routledge. War, Politics and Experience.

Book Chapter

Skjelsbæk, Inger (2015) Women, War, Violence and Peacemaking – International Developments, in Kjersti Ericsson, ed., Women In War: Examples from Norway and Beyond. London: Ashgate (217–236).
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2013) Responsibility to Protect or Prevent? Victims and Perpetrators of Sexual Violence in Armed Conflicts, in Stamnes, Eli; Sara Davies; Zim Nwokora; & Sarah Teitt, eds, Responsibility to Protect and Women, Peace and Security. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers (81–101).
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2012) Conceptualizing Sexual Violence Perpetrators in War Understanding and Proving International Sex Crimes . Torkel Opsahl Academic Epublisher(495–509).
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2011) Sexual Violence in the Post-Yugoslav Wars, in Women and War: Power and Protection In the 21St Century. Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace Press (65–84).
Skjelsbæk, Inger(2008) Demokrati og Likestilling [Democracy and Gender Equality] Demokrati: Vilkår Og Virkninger. : (349–365).

Edited Volume

Skjelsbæk, Inger; Hege Skjeie; & Torunn L. Tryggestad, eds, (2008) Kjønn, Krig og Konflikt [Gender, War, Conflict]. Oslo, Norway: PAX.
Smith, Dan; & Inger Skjelsbæk, eds, (2001) Gender, Peace and Conflict. London.

Non-refereed Journal Article

Skjelsbæk, Inger (2013) "It's not small talk material" - om krig, fred, vold og forskning, Samtiden. Tidsskrift for politikk, litteratur og samfunnsspørsmål 3.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2008) Statskvinne med barrierebrytergen. Om forskeren , feministen og politikeren Helga Hernes [Helga Hernes: Researcher, Feminist and Politician] , PROSA 4.

Popular Article

Skjelsbæk, Inger (2013) Soldaten som overgriper [The soldier that attacks], Forsvarets Forum.
Harpviken, Kristian Berg; & Skjelsbæk, Inger (2012) Kvinner skaper endring [Women create change], Flyktningregnskapet 2012, .
Skjelsbæk, Inger; & Harpviken, Kristian Berg (2011) Gledelig Fredspris [A Peace Prize to Celebrate], Dagbladet, 7 October.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2011) Norwegians Must Build a Climate of Hope, Not Fear, San Francisco Chronicle, 10 August.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2011) Barnas usikre verden [Children's Insecure World], Dagsavisen, 5 August.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2011) Kvinners kropp som slagmark [Women's Bodies as Battlefields], UNICEF Magasinet, February.
Harpviken, Kristian Berg; & Skjelsbæk, Inger (2010) Skjerp fredspolitikken! [Sharpen the Peace Policy!], Aftenposten, 29 November.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2009) Bare Beskyttelse? [Only Protection?], Dagbladet, 6 October.
Hernes, Helga; Inger Skjelsbæk & Torunn L. Tryggestad (2006) Fred og fattigdom [Peace and Poverty], Dagbladet, 10 Dec.

PRIO Report

Skjelsbæk, Inger (1999) Sexual Violence in Times of War. An Annotated Bibliography, PRIO Report, 4. Oslo: PRIO.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (1997) Gendered Battlefields. A Gender Analysis of Peace and Conflict, PRIO Report, 6. Oslo: PRIO.

PRIO Policy Brief

Skjelsbæk, Inger; Nora Sveaass & Rikke Marie Gjerde Kvaale (2015) Therapeutic Prosecutions?, PRIO Policy Brief, 4. Oslo: PRIO.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2013) Preventing Perpetrators: How to go from protection to prevention of sexual violence in war?, PRIO Policy Brief, 3. Oslo: PRIO.
Chun, Suk & Inger Skjelsbæk (2010) Sexual Violence in Armed Conflicts, PRIO Policy Brief, 1. Oslo: PRIO.

Report - Other

Skjelsbæk, Inger (2010) The Elephant in the Room: An Overview of How Sexual Violence came to be Seen as a Weapon of War, Report to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Oslo: PRIO.
Olsson, Louise; Karen Hostens; Inger Skjelsbæk; & Elise Fredrikke Barth (2004) Gender Aspects of Conflict Interventions: Intended and Unintended Consequences, Report to Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Oslo.

Blog Posts

Bosnia 20 Years On

Posted by Inger Skjelsbæk on Monday, 21 December 2015

The Dayton agreement ended the war. But with children from different ethnic groups unable to attend school together in many places, its intentions concerning reconciliation have unfortunately not been realized. “Of course I don’t need good grades in Bosnian when I’ve got good grades in English,” says a 13-year-old to his father in Sarajevo. The boy, who usually does well at school and has consistently good grades, has this year done slightly worse than usual in Bosnian, which is his mother tongue. His father is concerned. “But, why don’t you need good grades in Bosnian?” asks the father, with some ...

The Genocide in Srebrenica

Posted by Inger Skjelsbæk on Friday, 10 July 2015

On 11 July this year, a number of heads of state and foreign ministers, including Bill Clinton, will meet on a plain seven kilometres outside Srebrenica. They will be there to commemorate the fact that it is twenty years since over 8000 men and boys were killed while the women were put to flight and were subjected to systematic persecution here in the heart of Europe. The site where they will be gathering, Potočari, was the headquarters of the UN forces who were supposed to protect the people of Srebrenica. Their total failure to protect the people of the little town ...

Therapeutic Prosecutions?

Posted by Inger Skjelsbæk, Nora Sveaass & Rikke Marie Gjerde Kvale on Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Assessing the therapeutic potential of criminal prosecution of international crimes at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Over the past twenty years, the global community has shown a renewed commitment to the pursuit of international criminal justice. A hallmark development in this regard is the establishment of the permanent International Criminal Court (ICC). A central asset of the court is victim and witness participation, based on an assumption that this approach will benefit those who have been affected by the crimes and their communities. In a recent policy brief we explore the therapeutic potential and pitfalls of this approach based on ...

Tainted by Stigma

Posted by Inger Skjelsbæk on Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Imagine being at a dinner party with friends. Some you know from before and some are new to you. You are served a welcome drink, smile, and begin to greet the other guests. The conversation starts amicably with exchanges about the weather, where you are from, recent events and perhaps your connections to the host or hostess. After initial pleasantries have been exhausted, the conversation turns to lines of work. One guest might work in insurance, his spouse could be an engineer and their friends, the hosts, might be teachers and writers. A few new guests join your conversation which ...

The British are Impatient to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

Posted by Inger Skjelsbæk on Wednesday, 11 June 2014

A Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict is taking place in London on 10-13 June. World leaders are meeting to discuss ways of combating the use of sexual violence in conflict and of improving efforts to bring perpetrators to justice. This is a historic event. Never before have so many powerful people with decision-making authority been gathered to discuss this topic. Let us hope that this initiative brings results for those affected. Sexual violence in conflict is no longer seen as an unintended consequence of warfare, but is increasingly understood as a tactic of war. No longer private and ...

Norwegians Must Build Climate of Hope, not Fear

Posted by Inger Skjelsbæk on Sunday, 14 August 2011

“Why do some people want to attack both my countries?” asks my 11-year old son with tears in his eyes. He is Norwegian and American, and this summer we are in California with his American family. He has just heard about what happened in Norway on 7/22. Our eyes are red, and we speak to him in low, sad voices. This is too much to take in for a boy who understands much but is not yet a grown-up. For us, the bicultural parents, the events in Norway are shocking, yet strangely familiar. On 9/11, our oldest son was 1 ...

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