Øystein H. Rolandsen

Research Professor

Øystein H. Rolandsen
Additional position(s):
Co-director PRIO Centre for Culture and Violent Conflict

Email: oystein@prio.org
Work phone: +47 22 54 77 65
Twitter: @oysteinhr

Research Interests

Follow me on Twitter: ​@oysteinhr​

  • Organised violence, African rebels and government counter-insurgency strategies
  • African militaries and security force assistance (SFA)
  • Humanitarian policy and practices
  • History and current affairs of the two Sudans
  • Critical approaches to peace negotiations and post-war interventions
A historian and area specialist with experience from research, strategy development, information analysis, planning and administration of projects. Substantial professional experience from the non-government sector within the fields of policy advice, humanitarian aid and long-term development co-operation.​

Editorial Board member of the Centre for Peace and Development (CPDS) Journal, University of Juba, South Sudan.

Editor in chief for the blog Monitoring South Sudan​ @PRIOSouthSudan.


​​​​​​Personal profiles on other sites​
Google Scholar Citations
Academia & Research Gate

Language Skills
Proficient: Norwegian, English
Basic skills: German, Italian

Work Experience
2020 - Research Professor
2017 - Co-director PRIO Centre for Culture and Violent Conflict

2010-2020: Senior Researcher, PRIO 
005-2010: Researcher, Centre for the Study of Civil War​, PRIO 
2003-2005: Advisor, Norwegian People’s Aid
2002: Senior Executive Officer, Norwegian Centre for Human rights

Academic Visitorships 
2014: African Studies Centre, Oxford University
2012-2013: Global Security Institute/Dep. of History, Durham University
2007: Progra
mme of African Studies, Northwestern University

2010: Ph.D. History, University of Oslo
2003: Cand. philol. History, University of Oslo
2000: MA African History, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
1999: Cand. mag. History and Political Science, University of Oslo 

Research Groups

Full member:
Associated member:

PRIO Departments


PRIO Projects



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

Kindersley, Nicki & Øystein H. Rolandsen (2019) Who are the civilians in the wars of South Sudan?, Security Dialogue 50(5): 383–397.
Rolandsen, Øystein H. (2019) Trade, peace-building and hybrid governance in the Sudan-South Sudan borderlands, Conflict, Security & Development 19(1): 79–97.
Rolandsen, Øystein H. & Nicki Kindersley (2019) The Nasty War: Organised Violence During the Anya-Nya Insurgency in South Sudan, 1963–72, The Journal of African History 60(1): 87–107.
Rolandsen, Øystein H.; Tove Heggli Sagmo & Fanny Nicolaisen (2015) South Sudan – Uganda Relations: The Cost of Peace, Conflict Trends 2015(4): 33–40.
Rolandsen, Øystein H. (2015) Small and Far Between: Peacekeeping Economies in South Sudan, Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 9(3): 353–371.
Rolandsen, Øystein H. & David M. Anderson (2015) Violence in the Contemporary Political History of Eastern Africa, International Journal of African Historical Studies 48(1): 1–12.
Rolandsen, Øystein H.; Helene Molteberg Glomnes; Sebabatso Manoeli & Fanny Nicolaisen (2015) A year of South Sudan’s third civil war, International Area Studies Review 18(1): 87–104.
Rolandsen, Øystein H. (2015) Another civil war in South Sudan: the failure of Guerrilla Government?, Journal of Eastern African Studies 9(1): 163–174.
Rolandsen, Øystein H. & Cherry Leonardi (2014) Discourses of violence in the transition from colonialism to independence in southern Sudan, 1955–1960, Journal of Eastern African Studies 8(4): 609–625.
Anderson, David M. & Øystein H. Rolandsen (2014) Violence as Politics in Eastern Africa, 1940–1990: Legacy, Agency, Contingency, Journal of Eastern African Studies 8(4): 539–557.
Rolandsen, Øystein H. & Ingrid Marie Breidlid (2012) A Critical Analysis of Cultural Explanations for the Violence in Jonglei State, South Sudan, Conflict Trends(1): 49–56.
Rolandsen, Øystein H. (2011) A Quick Fix? A Retrospective Analysis of the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Review of African Political Economy 38(130): 551–564.
Rolandsen, Øystein H. (2011) The Making of the Anya-Nya Insurgency in the Southern Sudan, 1961–64, Journal of Eastern African Studies 5(2): 211–232.
Rolandsen, Øystein H. (2011) A False Start: Between War and Peace in the Southern Sudan, 1956–62, Journal of African History 52(1): 105–23.


Rolandsen, Øystein H. & M. W. Daly (2016) A History of South Sudan: From Slavery to Independence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Rolandsen, Øystein H. (2005) Guerrilla Government: Political Changes in the Southern Sudan during the 1990s. Uppsala: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet.

Book Chapter

Rolandsen, Øystein H. (2016) Sudan: Fredens Pris [Sudan: The Price of Peace], in Mona Fixdal, ed., Fredsmegling i teori og praksis. Oslo: Cappelen Damm (209–239).
Rolandsen, Øystein H. (2013) Too Much Water under the Bridge: Internationalization of the Sudan–South Sudan Border and Local Demands for Its Regulation, in Vaughan, Christopher; Mereike Schomerus; & Lotje de Vries, eds, The Borderlands of South Sudan Authority and Identity In Contemporary and Historical Perspectives. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (23–44).
Rolandsen, Øystein H. (2013) Sudan: The role of foreign involvement in the shaping and implementation of the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement, in Eriksson, Mikael; & Roland Kostić, eds, Mediation and Liberal Peacebuilding: Peace from the Ashes of War?. London: Routledge (76–91).
Rolandsen, Øystein H.(2012) From Colonial Backwater to an Independent State: Reflections on the History of South Sudan, in Ashworth, John, ed., One Church from Every Tribe, Tongue and People. : Paulines Publications Africa(16–27).
Rolandsen, Øystein H. (2007) Sudan: The Janjawiid and Government Militias, in Bøås, Morten; & Kevin C. Dunn, eds, African Guerrillas: Raging Against the Machine. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers (151–171).
Manger, Leif O.; Endre Stiansen; Øystein H. Rolandsen & Samia Ali (2005) The Sudan- Perspectives on the Peace Agreement, Gender and Society, in Nordic Africa Institute Research Forum. .
Stiansen, Endre; Samia Ali; Leif O. Manger & Øystein H. Rolandsen (2005) The Sudan- Perspectives on the Peace Agreement, Gender and Society, in Nordic Africa Institute Research Forum. .

Edited Volume

Anderson, David M.; & Øystein H. Rolandsen, eds, (2015) Politics and Violence in Eastern Africa: The Struggles of Emerging States. London & New York: Routledge.

Non-refereed Journal Article

Kindersley, Nicki & Øystein H. Rolandsen (2016) Prospects for Peace and the UN Regional Protection Force in South Sudan, African Affairs (Virtual Issue: Making Sense of South Sudan). DOI: 10.1093/afraf/adw067: 1–12.
Rolandsen, Øystein H. (2011) Sudán 2011: la independencia del sur a un paso [The Sudan 2011: One Step from Independence], Política Exterior 25(139): 146–57.

Popular Article

Nicolaisen, Fanny & Øystein H. Rolandsen (2017) Sør-Sudan: fra fest til katastrofe, NUPI, Hvor Hender Det?, 8 May.
Rolandsen, Øystein H.; Ingrid Marie Breidlid & Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert (2012) Sudan and South Sudan: negotiating amidst brinkmanship and armed rebellions, Open Democracy, 17 September.
Rolandsen, Øystein H.; Ingrid Marie Breidlid & Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert (2012) Tiden renner ut [Time is Running Out], Dagsavisen, 6 August.
Rolandsen, Øystein H. (2010) Sudan: Usikker framtid [Sudan: An Uncertain Future], Hvor hender det?, 19 April.
Rolandsen, Øystein H. (2010) Sudan and the ICC: One Year After, Forum for Peacebuilding Ethics (discussion forum), 12 March.

PRIO Report

Miklian, Jason; Peer Schouten; Cindy Horst; & Øystein H. Rolandsen (2018) Business and Peacebuilding: Seven Ways to Maximize Positive Impact, PRIO Project Summary. Oslo: PRIO.

Conference Paper

Marsh, Nicholas & Øystein H. Rolandsen (2019) The impact of foreign security force assistance on security and governance in Mali, presented at 8th European Conference on African Studies, Edinburgh, 11–14 June.
Marsh, Nicholas & Øystein H. Rolandsen (2018) The impact of foreign security force assistance on security and governance in Mali, presented at Workshop on Security Force Assistance in Fragile States, Peace Research Institute Oslo, 5–7 December.
Rolandsen, Øystein H. & Nicki Kindersley (2016) They are not forbidden from using violence: State Responses to the Anyanya Insurgency in Torit, 1955–1972, presented at 35th Sudan Studies Association Conference , Long Island University, Brooklyn, New York, 28 May 2016.
Breidlid, Ingrid Marie & Øystein H. Rolandsen (2013) The structuring effect of violence on the organization and mobilization of rural youth in Jonglei, presented at ECAS 2013, Lisbon, Portugal, 27–29 June.
Breidlid, Ingrid Marie & Øystein H. Rolandsen (2013) The Political Economy of post-war ”youth violence” in Jonglei, presented at The Political Economy of Peace and Conflict in South Sudan, DIIS, Copenhagen, 19–20 September.
Rolandsen, Øystein H. 2008 Making Civil War in the Southern Sudan, 1961-3, presented at African Studies Association 51st Annual Meeting, , 13–16 November.
Rolandsen, Øystein H. 2008 Guns for Hire Aid Consultancies and Academic Integrity, presented at FIWON, , 6 November.
Rolandsen, Øystein H. 2008 Becoming a Rebel in the Southern Sudan, 1961-63, presented at Meeting of Working Group 8: The Dynamics of Institutional Change and Conflict, , 29 September.
Rolandsen, Øystein H. 2008 Democratication in the Sudan and Prospects for National Elections in 2009, presented at Støttegruppe for Fred i Sudan conference, , 13 June.
Rolandsen, Øystein H. 2008 Democratisation in the Sudan and SPLM’s Second National Convention, presented at University of Durham and Foreign and Commonwealth Office workshop, , 3 July.
Rolandsen, Øystein H. (2006) In Search of the Peace Dividend: the Southern Sudan One Year after the Signatures, presented at the 7th International Sudan Studies Conference, Bergen, 7 April.

PRIO Policy Brief

Rolandsen, Øystein H.; Ilaria Carrozza & Nicholas Marsh (2019) Small States’ Security Force Assistance in the Sahel: Lessons Learned and Future Challenges, PRIO Policy Brief, 13. Oslo: PRIO.

PRIO Paper

Marsh, Nicholas; Øystein H. Rolandsen; Julian Karssen & Marie Sandnes (2020) Compounding Fragmentation: Security Force Assistance to Fragile States in the Sahel and Horn of Africa, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.
Rolandsen, Øystein H. & Ingrid Marie Breidlid (2013) What is Youth Violence in Jonglei?, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.
Rolandsen, Øystein H. & Alfred Lokuji (2011) Drifting Apart? The Impact of Secession and Armed Violence on Border Areas in South Sudan, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.
Høigilt, Jacob; Åshild Falch & Øystein H. Rolandsen (2010) The Sudan Referendum and Neighbouring Countries: Egypt and Uganda, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.
Høigilt, Jacob & Øystein H. Rolandsen (2010) Making Cooperation Attractive: Post-referendum Relations between Egypt and the Sudan, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.
Rolandsen, Øystein H. (2009) Land, Security and Peace Building in the Southern Sudan, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.

Report - External Series

Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen; & Øystein H. Rolandsen (2013) After the Split: post-secession negotiations between South Sudan and Sudan, NOREF Report. Oslo: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre.
Rolandsen, Øystein H.; Ingrid Marie Breidlid; & Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert (2012) Negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan: a two-track process could facilitate agreements on outstanding issues., Noref Article. Oslo: Noref.
Rolandsen, Øystein H.; & Jacob Høigilt (2010) Egypt and the Darfur Conflict, NOREF Policy Brief, 9. Oslo: NOREF.
Rolandsen, Øystein H. (2010) Why is Violence Escalating in Southern Sudan?, Noref Policy Brief, 2. Oslo.

Book Review

Rolandsen, Øystein H. (2013) Review of Beyond Khartoum: A history of subnational government in Sudan, in African Affairs 112(447): 327–328.

Blog Posts

Compounding Fragmentation: New PRIO Policy Paper on Security Force Assistance to the Sahel and Horn of Africa

Posted by Nic Marsh, Øystein Rolandsen, Julian Karssen & Marie Sandnes on Thursday, 18 June 2020

Since 2010 there has been an increase in both the intensity of conflict in the Sahel and Horn of Africa, and of the level of Western military intervention in the regions. Islamist insurgency has received most external attention, but the region has also been affected by inter-communal violence, organised crime, ... Read more »

How Far Should We Go to Stop Migration to Europe?

Posted by Øystein Rolandsen, Marie Sandnes & Nic Marsh on Monday, 4 December 2017

The police, the military and militia groups in Libya are keeping refugees away from Europe. Reports link this situation to funding from the EU and Italy. The money passes through intermediaries, but Europe must bear responsibility nevertheless for making the funds available. To restrict the numbers of refugees arriving from ... Read more »

No Prospects of Cooling Down: why the Crisis in South Sudan must be Solved Immediately

Posted by Øystein Rolandsen & Maral Mirshahi on Sunday, 22 December 2013

The South Sudan crisis becomes more difficult to solve by the hour. The window of opportunity to avoid a full scale civil war is rapidly closing. But, finding a viable solution is dependent on a precise diagnosis of core issues involved. Read more at the blog of the Norwegian Centre ... Read more »

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