Negotiating Values: Collective Identities and Resilience after 22/7 (NECORE)

Led by Henrik Syse
Jan 2013 - Oct 2017

​​​​​​​​​​The NECORE project addresses a wide range of questions related to resilience and identity formation, seen in light of – and in the wake of – the terror attacks in Oslo and on Utøya on 22 July 2011.​

​In confro​nting the attacks of 22 July, Norwegian society had to mobilize, negotiate, and re-think a number of core values. This was exemplified by Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, in a speech made immediately after the attacks:

We are still shaken by what hit us, but we will never give up our values. Our answer is more democracy, more openness, and more humanity.”

How can we understand the processes underway, relating to such values? NECORE seeks to pursue this question by investigating the following themes:

First of all: Who are “we”? Norway is populated by people with different political views, levels of education, languages, and ethnicities – and it was exactly this diverse Norway that the attacker intended to harm. How are the events of 22 July understood at an individual and a collective level in the Norwegian society? 

Secondly: The events of 22 July were broadcast around the world. This widespread attention is arguably linked to the perception that the attacks were directed against the liberal and democratic values characterizing not only Norway, but also many other countries. So how have “Norwegian values” been understood throughout this massive press coverage? Many were struck by the dignity and relative calm of immediate reactions – but we also know that the fact that the perpetrator was a white Norwegian created a complex and conflict-ridden image of Norway.

Thirdly, how stable and strong is Norwegian society after the attacks? What values make it possible for us – both those directly touched by the incidents, and the rest of society – to move on? The concept of resilience is often used to describe a one’s ability to adapt to dramatic change and loss. Exchanges of views, opinions, and indeed emotions play a major role in that process. How were the values that we see as central to our society – such as democracy and openness – expressed and negotiated on the internet and in social media? What kind of resilience do these discussions reveal?

And finally: How do we address similar incidents in a way that is open, direct, and truthful, but at the same time not hurtful or unnecessarily disturbing? This brings us back to the world of media, with a special focus on press ethics. A thorough investigation of how various media managed – or not – to balance the norms of press ethics with the demand to spread news, will tell us much about our society’s ability to tackle such events in a dignified yet truthful way.

Please continue to the Project Summary page​ for NECORE's research questions and organization.

NECORE Project Summary Report

NECORE Project Summary
NECORE Project Summary

Download the NECORE Summary Report 

NECORE Newsletters

News from the NECORE project were sent semi-annually until the project ended in 2017.

You can read all the newsletters here


Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Joo, Jungseock; Francis Steen & Mark Turner (2017) Red Hen Lab: Dataset and Tools for Multimodal Human Communication Research, KI – Künstliche Intelligenz. DOI: 10.1007/s13218-017-0505-9: 1–5.
Figenschou, Tine Ustad & Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud (2017) Disruptive Media Events: Managing mediated dissent in the aftermath of terror, Journalism Practice 11(8): 942–959.
Ezzati, Rojan Tordhol & Marta Bivand Erdal (2017) Do we have to agree? Accommodating unity in diversity in post-terror Norway, Ethnicities. DOI: 10.1177/1468796816684145.
Thorbjørnsrud, Kjersti & Tine Ustad Figenschou (2016) Consensus and dissent after terror: Editorial policies in times of crisis, Journalism. DOI: 10.1177/1464884916657519.
Lysaker, Odin & Henrik Syse (2016) The Dignity in Free Speech: Civility Norms in Post-Terror Societies, Nordic Journal of Human Rights 34(2): 104–123.
Kaufmann, Mareile (2015) Resilience 2.0: social media use and (self-)care during the 2011 Norway attacks, Media, Culture & Society 37(7): 972–987.
Figenschou, Tine Ustad & Audun Beyer (2014) The Limits of the Debate: How the Oslo Terror Shook the Norwegian Immigration Debate, The International Journal of Press/Politics 19(4): 430–452.

PhD Thesis

Kaufmann, Mareile (2016) Resilience - governance and in/security in interconnected societies. PhD thesis, Criminology, Hamburg University.


Kaufmann, Mareile (2017) Resilience, Emergencies and the Internet: Security In-Formation. New York: Routledge. Routledge Studies in Resilience.

Book Chapter

Syse, Henrik & Asbjørn Bjornes (2016) Memory and Conflict: Reflections on the Abuse of Memory – and on Finding Community through Memory, in Mikalsen, Kjartan Koch; Erling Skjei; & Audun Øfsti, eds, Modernity: Unity in Diversity?. Oslo: Novus Forlag (505–530).
Kaufmann, Mareile (2016) The Digitization of Resilience, in Chandler, David; & Jon Coaffee, eds, The Routledge Handbook of International Resilience. London; New York: Routledge (106–118).
Lysaker, Odin (2016) Å bli seg selv gjennom andre: Axel Honneths politisk-etiske ytringsfrihet, in Mesel, Terje; & Paul Leer-Salvesen, eds, Moralske borgere: Refleksjoner over etikk og samfunn. Oslo: Portal Forlag (27–48).
Syse, Henrik (2016) The Difficult Ethics of Communication and Ideological Difference: How to Uphold Human Dignity in the Face of Disagreement, in Martin Palouš, ed., The Solidarity of the Shaken. Prague: Vaclav Havel Library (71–83).
Lysaker, Odin (2015) Democratic Disagreement and Embodied Dignity: The Moral Grammar of Political Conflicts, in Jakobsen, Jonas; & Odin Lysaker, eds, Recognition and Freedom: Axel Honneth's Political Thought. Leiden: Brill (147–168).

Popular Article

Ezzati, Rojan Tordhol (2016) Fellesskap i terrorens tid [A sense of community in times of terror], Dagsavisen, 20 July.
Jakobsen, Jonas & Odin Lysaker (2014) Den sekulære religiøse tidsalder, Morgenbladet, 12 December.
Syse, Henrik & Odin Lysaker (2014) Slik får vi en anstendig debatt, Aftenposten, 22. september, 22 September.
Lysaker, Odin (2014) Menneskerettigheter og etikk – spørsmål og svar [Human Rights and Ethics – Questions and Answers], MRbloggen - Norges Menneskerettighetsblogg, 28 July.
Lysaker, Odin (2014) Ytringsansvar styrker demokratiet, Klassekampen, 13 February.
Lysaker, Odin & Henrik Syse (2013) Ingen ytringsfrihet uten etikk [No freedom of speech without ethics], Aftenposten, 29 mai, 29 May.
Ezzati, Rojan Tordhol (2011) Fragmentering i terrorens tid [Fragmentation in the Time of Terror], Dagsavisen, 2 August.

PRIO Report

Syse, Henrik; Rojan Tordhol Ezzati; Marta Bivand Erdal; Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud; Tine Ustad Figenschou; Mareile Kaufmann; Odin Lysaker; & Francis Steen (2017) Negotiating Values: Norway in the wake of July 22, PRIO Project Summary. Oslo: PRIO.

Negotiating Values: Collective Identities and Resilience after 22/7 (NECORE)

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