Research InterestsTopics I am currently working on include identity politics and representation, gender, peacebuilding and conflict management, insurgencies and ethnic movements, governance and sovereignty contestations.
English, Norwegian, some German, Chinese and Tibetan
Fieldwork in Inner Mongolia (2 months/year, 2008-11)
Coordination of institutional cooperation with the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) New Delhi (2005-present)
Member of Working Group on Ethnic Minority Rights, Human Rights dialogue between Norway and China (Beijing 2006, Oslo 2007, Oslo 2009)
Member of Working Group on Ethnic Minority Rights, Human Rights dialogue between Norway and Vietnam (Hanoi 2005, Oslo 2007)
Visiting scholar, University of California at San Diego (UCSD) (3 months, 2004)
Board member, Network for University Cooperation Tibet-Norway (2003-present)
Consultancy work in Vietnam for NORAD, Norwegian Church Aid and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2003-05)
Doctoral fieldwork in Diqing Prefecture, Yunnan, China (2002-03)
Fieldwork in China (Gansu, Sichuan, Qinghai and Yunnan) (4 months, 1998-99)
Fieldwork in Tibet and Nepal (3 months, 1996)
Fieldwork for Cand. Polit. degree in India (12 months), Tibet and Nepal (3 months) (1991-92)
Dr. Polit. (PhD) in Social Anthropology, University of Oslo, 2005
Cand. Polit. (MA) in Social Anthropology, University of Oslo, 1994
Cand. mag. (BA) Interfacultary, University of Oslo
Additional accredited courses at University of Oslo:
Chinese Language; Chinese Society and Geography, 2001
Environment and Development; Nature and Humanity, 1994
Supporting subjects, Cand mag. (BA):
Public policy and administration, University of Trondheim, 1991
Media and journalism, Volda University College, 1989
Mass communication, University of Oslo, 1987
Posted by Rajiv Nayan & Åshild Kolås on Thursday, 18 August 2016
India became the 35th member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) on 27 June 2016. The MTCR is an informal and voluntary association of suppliers of ballistic and cruise missiles capable of delivering Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), and other unmanned aerial vehicles. It was established in 1987 with merely seven countries. Though the MTCR does not force any of its members to take ‘legally binding obligations’, in reality, members normally incorporate decisions taken in the informal body. During the Cold War, as more countries joined the MTCR, there were frequent struggles among its members over harmonization. In 1992, ...
Posted by Åshild Kolås & Priyankar Upadhyaya on Wednesday, 29 June 2016
On 21 June 2016, UNESCO hosted a path-breaking Consultative Meeting on the contribution of the UN system to the promotion of peace. The meeting was attended by heads of 28 United Nations entities (programmes, funds, specialized agencies and bodies), who discussed the advancement of the global peace agenda and took stock of the present situation – and the future of the agenda in the new millennium. PRIO Visiting Fellow Priyankar Upadhyaya (UNESCO Chair for Peace and Professor of Peace Research at Banaras Hindu University) is a member of the Steering Committee of this ambitious project, and is likely to lead ...
Posted by Åshild Kolås on Tuesday, 28 June 2016
Five years ago, the Basque militant group ETA (Basque Homeland and Freedom) announced a unilateral and permanent cessation of operations. Since then, the disappearance of political violence has given rise to a new debate on Basque nationhood: more inclusive, more open, more civic, and at the same time stronger in its affirmation of the legitimacy of popular sovereignty and the democratic demand to exercise ‘the right to decide’, as against the earlier radicalism of immediate independence. A new book edited by Pedro Ibarra Güell and Åshild Kolås, Basque Nationhood Towards a Democratic Scenario, takes stock of the contemporary re-imagining of ...
Posted by Åshild Kolås & Katrine Fangen on Wednesday, 22 June 2016
Foreign fighters returning from Syria have emerged as a looming security threat in many European countries, so also in Norway. As well as preventive measures against radicalization and mobilization by the Islamic State, there have been calls for the withdrawal of citizenship and deportation of returned foreign fighters. This raises a number of questions. Are Norwegians more secure if we send potential terrorists out of the country? Is this even feasible, if Norway wants to stay within the ‘border-free’ Europe? What are the trade-offs between security and civil rights to citizenship, and how can they best be balanced? Is citizenship essentially something that needs to be earned, or is ...
Posted by Åshild Kolås on Monday, 30 May 2016
On Friday 27 May 2016, PRIO celebrated Ola Tunander’s 30-year academic career with a seminar on ‘Sovereignty, Subs and PSYOPS’, and a reception. The celebration was, of course, focused on Ola and his work, spanning topics from the geopolitics and organic state theory of Rudolf Kjellén to the 27 October 1981 ‘Whiskey on the Rocks’ submarine crash in the Swedish Archipelago. Obviously, sovereignty was a key topic of the seminar, and is arguably also the critical theme of Ola’s work. As a digital footnote to the seminar, and a distillation of the ‘sovereign’ according to Ola Tunander, here are some ...
Posted by Åshild Kolås on Monday, 11 May 2015
From participation to political agency Women’s empowerment and equal participation in political life is important at all levels of Indian society. Despite benefitting from reservations, women frequently experience obstacles when they participate in politics. However, to address women’s aspirations for political agency we should explore the emerging opportunities, and not only the challenges. We should also keep in mind that there are multiple aspects of identity, and huge differences in the economic and political status of women, within India as in the rest of the world. ‘Women’ is not a homogenous category that can be defined merely by the need ...
Posted by Åshild Kolås on Wednesday, 29 April 2015
Peace researchers often have the opportunity to witness the ‘real world’ of conflict and post-conflict during fieldwork in countries such as Nepal. In some cases we also cooperate with local institutions where we benefit from working with fellow peace researchers and other partners. In Nepal we have had the great pleasure of working with Dr. Bishnu Raj Upreti, director of the Nepal Centre for Contemporary Research (NCCR) on a collaborative project called Making Women Count for Peace. When the 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal’s capital Kathmandu and its surrounding areas on Saturday, our first thoughts naturally went to Bishnu, his colleagues ...