Coordinator: Wenche Iren Hauge

​​This research group has adopted a rather broad definition of peacebuilding, in line with the UN Security Council's resolution in 2001 (S/PRST/2001/5). This resolution changes the definition of peacebuilding from focusing explicitly on post-war activities to stating that 'peacebuilding is aimed at preventing the outbreak, the recurrence or continuation of armed conflict'. The Peacebuilding research group is multidisciplinary, constituted by historians, political scientists, human geographers, philosophers, sociologists, and anthropologists.

​Whereas much of the academic and political debate on peacebuilding has focused on definitions, strategies, and context, there have been fewer debates on the peacebuilders –  or on the actors in peacebuilding. There are many types of peacebuilders: international, regional, national, local, men, women - and even children. The question of who takes the initiative to participate - or who is (or is not) invited to participate in a peacebuilding process - raises several new questions about ethics, motivation, legitimacy, representativity, resources, capabilities and efficiency.​

Who the peacebuilders are influences the agenda and the content of peacebuilding. Specific strategic interests are often the driving forces behind the participation of both international and national actors. This often sets the premises for what the peacebuilding process is going to be about – security issues and/or political issues – or more seldom – socio-economic improvements and reconciliation. The relationship between the actors' vested interests and the content of peacebuilding will be an important focus area of this research group. 


Current Projects

Past Projects

Upcoming Events

Past Events


Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Fangen , Katrine & Åshild Kolås (2016) The “Syria traveller”: Reintegration or legal sanctioning?, Critical Studies on Terrorism. DOI: 10.1080/17539153.2016.1192260: 1–19.
Lidén, Kristoffer; Nona Mikhelidze; Elena B. Stavrevska & Birte Vogel (2016) EU support to civil society organizations in conflict-ridden countries: A governance perspective from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus and Georgia, International Peacekeeping 23(2): 274–301.
Rolandsen, Øystein H. (2015) Small and Far Between: Peacekeeping Economies in South Sudan, Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 9(3): 353–371.
Hauge, Wenche Iren; Rachelle Doucet & Alain Gilles (2015) Building peace from below - the potential of local models of conflict prevention in Haiti, Conflict, Security & Development 15(3): 259–282.
Kolås, Åshild (2015) Framing the tribal: Ethnic violence in Northeast India, Asian Ethnicity. DOI: 10.1080/14631369.2015.1062050 : 1–16.
Binningsbø, Helga Malmin (2013) Power sharing, peace and democracy: Any obvious relationships?, International Area Studies Review 16(1): 89–112.
Nordås, Ragnhild & Siri Aas Rustad (2013) Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by Peacekeepers: Understanding Variation, International Interactions 39(4): 511–534.
Liden, Kristoffer (2013) In love with a lie? On the social and political preconditions for global peacebuilding governance, Peacebuilding 1(1): 73–90.
Binningsbø, Helga Malmin; & Rustad, Siri Aas (2012) Sharing the wealth: A pathway to peace or a trail to nowhere? , Conflict Management and Peace Science 29(5): 547–566.
Binningsbø, Helga Malmin; Cyanne Loyle; Scott Gates; & Jon Elster (2012) Armed conflict and Post-conflict Justice, 1946–2006: A Dataset, Journal of Peace Research 49(5): 731–740.
Harpviken, Kristian Berg (2012) The Transnationalization of the Taliban, International Area Studies Review15(3): 203–229.
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.
Hauge, Wenche Iren (2011) Madagascar between Peace and Conflict - Domestic Capabilities for Peaceful Conflict Management, Conflict, Security and Development 11(5): 509–531.
Hauge, Wenche Iren (2010) When Peace Prevails: The Management of Political Crises in Ecuador, Madagascar, Tunisia and Venezuela, Alternatives 35(4): 469–493.
Harpviken, Kristian Berg & Inger Skjelsbæk (2010) Tilslørt fredspolitikk [Blurred Peace Policy], Nytt Norsk Tidsskrift 27(4): 379–388.
Binningsbø, Helga Malmin & Kendra Dupuy (2009) Using Power-Sharing to Win a War: The Implementation of the Lomé Agreement in Sierra Leone, Africa Spectrum 44(3): 87–107.
Thoresen, Beate (2009) Rebellion Without a Shot—Peaceful Conflict Management in Ecuador , Conflict, Security & Development 9(3): 361–385.
Harpviken, Kristian Berg; & Røislien, Hanne Eggen (2008) Faithful Brokers? Potentials and Pitfalls of Religion in Peacemaking , Conflict Resolution Quarterly 25(3): 351–373.
Kolås, Åshild (2003) Modernising Tibet: Contemporary Discourses and Practices of “Modernity', Inner Asia 5: 17–37.
Suhrke, Astri;Harpviken, Kristian Berg; & Strand, Arne (2002) After Bonn: Conflictual Peacebuilding , Third World Quarterly 23(5): 875–891.

PhD Thesis

Lidén, Kristoffer (2014) Between Intervention and Sovereignty: Ethics of Liberal Peacebuilding and the Philosophy of Global Governance. PhD thesis, Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas, University of Oslo, Oslo.

Book Chapter

Kolås, Åshild (2016) Sovereignty at the Frontiers: Contests and Contradictions, in Dilip Gogoi, ed., Unheeded Hinterland: Identity and Sovereignty In Northeast India. New Delhi: Routledge India (17–29).
Kolås, Åshild (2015) Introduction. Writing the “Reindeer Ewenki”, in Reclaiming the Forest. the Ewenki Reindeer Herders of Aoluguya. Oxford: Berghahn (1–17).
Lidén, Kristoffer & Henrik Syse (2015) The Politics of Peace and Law: Realism, Internationalism and the Cosmopolitan Challenge, in Larsen, Kjetil M. ; & Cecilia Bailliet, eds, Promoting Peace Through International Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press (21–42).
Kolås, Åshild (2015) Ambiguities of the Aoluguya Ewenki, in Reclaiming the Forest. the Ewenki Reindeer Herders of Aoluguya. Oxford: Berghahn (61–76).
Hudson, Heidi (2014) The ANC in perspective: Agents, structures and the politics of change, in Treading the Waters of History: Perspectives on the ANC. Pretoria: Africa Institute of South Africa (196–).
Kolås, Åshild (2014) Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding: Ideas, Approaches and Debates , in Upadhyaya, Priyankar; & Samrat Schmiem Kumar, eds, Peace and Conflict - the South Asian Experience. New Delhi: Cambridge University Press India (1–22).
Rolandsen, Øystein H. (2013) Sudan: The role of foreign involvement in the shaping and implementation of the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement, in Mikael Eriksson, ed., Mediation and Liberal Peacebuilding: Peace from the Ashes of War?. London: Routledge (76–91).
Harpviken, Kristian Berg (2012) Warlordism: Three Biographies From Southeastern Afghanistan, in Suhrke, Astri; & Mats Berdal, eds, The Peace In Between: Post-War Violence and Peacebuilding. London: Routledge (173–191).
Harpviken, Kristian Berg (2012) Blodig Møteplass i et Splittet Nabolag, in Dyndal, Gjert Lage; & Torbjørn L. Knutsen, eds, Exit Afghanistan. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget (203–211).
Jacobsen, Elida Kristine Undrum; & Lidén, Kristoffer (2012) Theoretical Challenges for Assessing Socio-Cultural Sensitivity in Governance and Conflict Resolution [15 May] Norms and Premises of Peace Governance. Socio-Cultural Commonalities and Differences In Europe and India . Berghof Foundation(25–30).
Harpviken, Kristian Berg (2011) A Peace Nation in the War on Terror: The Norwegian Engagement in Afghanistan, in Hynek, Nik; & Péter Marton, eds, Statebuilding In Afghanistan: Multinational Contributions to Reconstruction. London: Routledge (157–173).
Hauge, Wenche Iren (2011) Girl Soldiers in Guatemala, in Child Soldiers: from Recruitment to Reintegration. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (91–103).
Borchgrevink, Kaja & Kristian Berg Harpviken (2010) Afghanistan: Civil Society Between Modernity and Tradition, in Civil Society and Peacebuilding: a Critical Assessment. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner (235–257).
Kjellman, Kjell Erling; & Harpviken, Kristian Berg(2010) Civil Society and the State Civil Society and Peacebuilding: a Critical Assessment. : Lynne Rienner Publishers(29–42).
(0) Haiti Latin-Amerikanske Løsninger (Latin American Solutions). : Latin-Amerika Gruppene. Solidaritet Forlag(238–241).

Edited Volume

Ibarra Güell, Pedro; & Åshild Kolås, eds, (2016) Basque Nationhood: Towards a Democratic Scenario. Oxford: Peter Lang. Nationalisms Across the Globe.
Kolås, Åshild; & Yuanyuan Xie, eds, (2015) Reclaiming the Forest. The Ewenki Reindeer Herders of Aoluguya. Oxford: Berghahn.

Non-refereed Journal Article

Baruah, Sanjib (2016) Naga peace: Road ahead still uncertain, The Seminar 677: 64–68.
Hauge, Wenche Iren (2012) Haiti - Det brysame etterslepet frå 80-åra [Haiti - The Troublesome Baggage from the 1980s], Latinamerika 17(3): 22–23.

Popular Article

Harpviken, Kristian Berg & Kaja Borchgrevink (2009) A Muted Voice? Religious Actors and Civil Society in Post-2001 Afghanistan, Afghanistan Info, 15 March.
Harpviken, Kristian Berg (2008) Peace Building and its Components – the State of the Art, Peacebuilding In Afghanistan: Local, Regional and Global Perspectives, 31 December.

PRIO Report

Barth, Elise Fredrikke (2002) Peace as Disappointment: The Reintegration of Female Soldiers in Post-Conflict Societies: A Comparative Study from Africa, PRIO Report, 3. Oslo: PRIO.

Conference Paper

Lidén, Kristoffer (2015) Luhmann goes to Juba: a systems theoretical perspective on the postliberal condition, presented at Worlds of Violence: 9th Pan-European Conference on International Relations, European International Studies Association, Giardini Naxos, Sicily, Italy , 26 September 2015.
Kolås, Åshild (2015) Sovereignty revisited: The Basque case, presented at International Workshop on ‘A Multidisciplinary Approach to Processes of Sovereignty Construction: The Basque Case’, Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law (IISL), 14–15 May 2015.
Lidén, Kristoffer 2012 In Love with a Lie? On the Political Preconditions for Global Peacebuilding Governance, presented at New Frontiers for Peacebuilding: Hybridity, Governance, and Local Agency, , 13–14 September 2012.

PRIO Policy Brief

Upreti, Bishnu Raj & Åshild Kolås (2016) Women in Nepal’s Transition, PRIO Policy Brief, 11. Oslo: PRIO.
Horst, Cindy & Elin Martine Doeland (2016) Introducing a Women’s Empowerment Agenda from Abroad? Gender and Stability in Somalia, PRIO Policy Brief, 13. Oslo: PRIO.
Hauge, Wenche Iren (2015) Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Processes (DDR): The Gender Asset, GPS Policy Brief, 1. Oslo: PRIO.
Svensson, Isak & Magnus Lundgren (2015) Patterns of Peacemaking, Conflict Trends, 4. Oslo: PRIO.
Nilsen, Marte & Stein Tønnesson (2013) Political Parties and Peacebuilding in Myanmar, PRIO Policy Brief, 5. Oslo: PRIO.
Ghosh, Atig (2013) Governing conflict and peacebuilding in India’s northeast and Bihar, CORE Policy Brief, 8. Oslo: PRIO.
Harpviken, Kristian Berg (2011) Power Prevails: The Failure of Whole-of-Government Approaches in Afghanistan, PRIO Policy Brief, 4. Oslo: PRIO.
Falch, Åshild (2010) Affirmative Action: A Kick-Start with Limitations, PRIO Policy Brief, 2. Oslo: PRIO.
Falch, Åshild (2010) Women's Organizations: A Driving Force Behind Women's Participation and Rights, PRIO Policy Brief, 3. Oslo: PRIO.
Gomsrud, Lars Seland & Mohamed Husein Gaas (2010) Somalia's Transitional Federal Government at a Crossroads, PRIO Policy Brief, 10. Oslo: PRIO.
Tryggestad, Torunn L. (2010) The UN Peacebuilding Commission and Women: What Role for Norway?, PRIO Policy Brief, 12. Oslo: PRIO.

PRIO Paper

Doucet, Rachelle (2015) Modèles locaux de prévention et de gestion des conflits dans le Sud-est et le Sud-ouest d’Haïti [Local Models of Conflict Prevention in the Southeast and Southwest of Haiti], PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.
Hedayat, Lida Nadery & Kristian Berg Harpviken (2014) Where Do Afghan Women Stand on Education and Economic Empowerment?, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.
Eide, Kai (2014) Afghanistan and the US: Between Partnership and Occupation, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.
Gilles, Alain (2012) Lien Social, conflit et violence en Haïti [The Social Bond, Conflict and Violence in Haiti], PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.
Doucet, Rachelle (2012) Local Models of Conflict Prevention and Conflict Management in the South-East and South-West of Haiti, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.
Harpviken, Kristian Berg (2011) A Peace Nation Takes Up Arms: The Norwegian Engagement in Afghanistan, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.

Report - Other

Hauge, Wenche Iren; Alain Gilles; & Rachelle Doucet (2014) Conflict Prevention and Conflict Management in Haiti: Insight from Marginalized Communities. Phase III, A Report to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Oslo: CERDECS/PRIO.
Hauge, Wenche Iren; Alain Gilles; & Rachelle Doucet (2012) Conflict Prevention and Conflict management in Haiti: Insight from Marginalized Communities. Phase IIPRIO Oslo: Port-Au-Prince: Centre D’Études Et De Recherche Sur Le Développement Des Cultures Et Des Sociétés (CERDECS) and Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO).
Gilles, Alain (2012) Lien social, conflit et violence en Haïti: Une étude dans la région du Sud’Est: Centre D’Études Et De Recherche Sur Le Développement Des Cultures Et Des Sociétés (CERDECS) and Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO).
Gilles, Alain (2012) Lien social, conflit et violence en Haïti: Une étude dans la region du Sud.: Port-Au-Prince: Centre D’Études Et De Recherche Sur Le Développement Des Cultures Et Des Sociétés (CERDECS) and Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO).
Borchgrevink, Kaja; Kristian Berg Harpviken; Kanishka Nawabi; Mirwais Wardak; Astri Suhrke; & Arne Strand (2007) Disconnected and Discounted? Religious actors and Civil Society in Post - 2001 Afghanistan, PRIO-CPAU-CMI Policy Brief. Oslo/Bergen: PRIO/CPAU/CMI.

Report - External Series

Hauge, Wenche Iren (2015) Haitian migrant workers in the Dominican Republic: a different framework, NOREF Policy Brief. Oslo: NOREF.
Harpviken, Kristian Berg (2013) Initiatives to Foster an Afghan Peace Process, 2001-12: A Role for Norway? , NOREF Report Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre (NOREF).
Suhrke, Astri;Wimpelmann Chaudhary, Torunn;Hakimi, Aziz;Harpviken, Kristian Berg;Sarwari, Akbar; & Strand, Arne (2009) Conciliatory Approaches to the Insurgency in Afghanistan: An Overview, CMI Report, 1. : Chr. Michelsen Institute.
Suhrke, Astri;Wimpelmann Chaudhary, Torunn;Harpviken, Kristian Berg;Sarwari, Akbar; & Strand, Arne (2008) Applied Social Science Research in Afghanistan: An Overview of the Institutional Landscape, CMI Report, 12. : Chr. Michelsen Institute.
Harpviken, Kristian Berg; & Røislien, Hanne Eggen (2005) Mapping the Terrain: The Role of Religion in Peacemaking, State of the Art Paper to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, : PRIO.
Harpviken, Kristian Berg; & Kjellman, Kjell Erling (2004) Beyond Blueprints: Civil Society and Peacebuilding, Concept Paper commissioned by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), : .

Blog Posts

No More Lost Opportunities

Posted by Harry Tzimitras on Thursday, 1 September 2016

The leaders of Cyprus’ communities enjoy a rapport that would seem encouraging for settling decades-long differences. But new geopolitical realities could easily sideline progress. The time is now for visionary and credible political initiative, coupled with the constructive engagement of the international community. Few would disagree that negotiations for the solution of the decades-old Cyprus problem have made considerable progress. But few would agree that the final solution is only a matter of time. The euphoric climate surrounding the negotiations, prompted especially by the good rapport between the leaders of the two communities leads to much optimism. At the same ...

Peace is a Process

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 ...

Interfaith Dialogue can Help Build Peace

Posted by Trond Bakkevig on Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Interfaith dialogue is a necessary aid in conflicts involving religion. Some years ago, many Western social scientists were claiming that religion was a dying phenomenon. Such assertions were part of an arrogant assumption that the entire world would soon come to resemble the north-western corner of Europe. In Eastern Europe, which lay under the yoke of Communism, atheistic faith prevailed. And no doubt many people believed that atheism would continue to prevail after the Communist system was abolished. After the fall of Communism, however, atheistic was to a large extent replaced by religious faith. Putin, a former KGB officer, became ...

The Right to Decide: Exit and Basque Self-Determination

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 ...

It’s Time to Open our Eyes to Women’s Involvement in Peace Processes

Posted by Elin Martine Doeland on Monday, 13 June 2016

Women are central contributors to peace processes. But the crucial roles that women play in transitions from war to peace are rarely acknowledged. The focus on the negotiating table and formal politics – the diplomatic aspects of conflict resolution – is a too narrow understanding of peace processes. Recent case studies on Somalia and Bosnia found that such a narrow focus has undermined the many arenas in which women contribute. It is necessary to reconsider the way we think within the field of ‘Women, Peace and Security’. Peace is not created at the negotiating table alone. In countries struck by ...

Political Defeat – Military Inadequacy! The Swaddling Blanket of Intervention

Posted by Robert Mood on Thursday, 9 June 2016

The military interventions by the West in the Middle East, Afghanistan and North Africa in recent years are examples of bold and efficient use of force resulting in immediate achievement of goals. Saddam Hussein’s military forces were defeated, the Taliban were deprived of their havens and possible massacres in Libya were prevented. The attempts however to build stable democracies in the aftermath of such use of military force have been less successful. Iraq, Syria and Libya are all once again experiencing significant conflict, and the Taliban are back on the advance. These are clear reminders that the use of classical ...

The Gender Asset in Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Processes (DDR)

Posted by Wenche Iren Hauge on Monday, 8 February 2016

The Potentials of Changing Gender Patterns. Both genders – female and male – can be actors as well as victims in armed conflict, depending on the context. Changed gender roles among ex-combatants of armed groups constitute a potential source of change towards more balanced gender relations in the larger post-conflict society. It is necessary to take into account the particular needs of victims of armed conflict, but it is equally important to bear in mind that female and male conflict actors also represent resources that bring their new skills and experiences into the post-conflict situation. Changing gender roles during armed ...

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 ...

An Academic New Year’s Resolution for Colombia: Understanding Continued Gendered Violence as a Threat to Positive Peace

Posted by Kristin B. Sandvik on Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Over the last decade, Colombia has been host to the world’s largest population of internally displaced people (IDP). In 2016, it is expected that the Colombian government and FARC will reach a peace agreement, marking the formal end of more than 50 years of civil war. It is widely recognized that this peace agreement will not resolve the immediate causes of displacement, but rather generate one kind of settlement in a context of longstanding and complex uses of violence. At present, contradictory tendencies seem to be at play: While periods of 2015 have seen the lowest levels of violence recorded ...

A Peace Prize Against Terror

Posted by Øyvind Tønnesson on Friday, 11 December 2015

European news headlines in 2015 have been all about the refugee crisis and religion-based terrorism. Is there still room for discussing “peace”? Should we not concentrate on bombing ISIS and protect national security? Yesterday, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet. This quartet consists of four organizations – with distinct differences – that have contributed to brokering a foundation for a democratic, rights-based society in the former French protectorate in Northern Africa. The situation in Tunisia is tense. Internal rifts, impulses from other countries that have more or less broken apart after ...

Dialogue is Not Enough

Posted by Kristian Takvam Kindt on Thursday, 10 December 2015

Why did Tunisia succeed in reaching a compromise that led to democratic development, while other countries in the region have failed? The answer does not lie in the large numbers of activists and demonstrators. There were also massive crowds protesting against the regimes in countries such as Egypt and Yemen. Nor is the answer an absence of Islamists. Islamist parties dominated in all the Arab countries. Following the award of the Peace Prize, politicians and commentators have emphasized that the award shows the importance of “dialogue” and “compromise” in the building of strong democracies. But dialogue alone is insufficient. In ...

National Dialogues as Self-Mediation Mechanisms

Posted by Hannes Siebert on Wednesday, 9 December 2015

In the last century, peace was far more likely the product of victory on the battlefield than a negotiated settlement. From 1940 until 2002, the world witnessed more than 370 state-based conflicts. At any point in time over the last decade, the world hosted nearly 30 armed conflicts simultaneously — many of them “check book wars,” with external powers funding and supplying arms to different internal factions in order to enhance their access to the beleaguered state’s resources. In this “post-post-colonial” era we are witnessing the post-colonial government incarnations of the colonial “strong man” being replaced by new democratic forces. ...

Attacks on Humanitarian Aid Workers: Five New Findings

Posted by Jason Miklian, Kristian Hoelscher & Håvard Mokleiv Nygård on Tuesday, 1 December 2015

More aid workers are being targeted in violent attacks than ever before, but the roots of humanitarian insecurity have nuanced and surprising causes. Syria. Afghanistan. Mali. Central African Republic. Today’s complex conflicts seem to be defined by insurgents, terrorist groups and other violent actors with ideologies that increasingly disregard the rules of war. Over 150,000 people died in conflicts around the world last year, with a further 59 million displaced – the highest total ever recorded. Troublingly, aid worker attacks have increased in tandem. Headlines relay stories of humanitarian aid workers caught in the middle, killed either in the fog of war – or ...

Santos and Jiménez: Fraternal Enough?

Posted by Catalina Vallejo on Friday, 9 October 2015

Celebration. The best work for fraternity during the precedent year. Abolition of standing armies. The formation and spreading of peace congresses. Conferring the greatest benefit on (hu)mankind. These where the elements that Alfred Nobel had in his mind when he imagined a peace prize. These elements combined in extraordinary manners should embody Alfred Nobel´s spirit every year. Colombia. A Latin American nation with 45 million inhabitants and infamous for a 50 year long armed conflict that internally displaced around seven million people and did force approximately half that number to live in exile. With one foot in the dichotomies of ...

Women’s Empowerment in India

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 ...

Peace Processes Need Women

Posted by Kristian Berg Harpviken & Torunn L. Tryggestad on Tuesday, 18 November 2014

International peace processes are dominated by men and men’s perspectives. In general the approaches used have changed little in many decades. The focus is invariably on bringing the conflicting parties to the negotiating table, where their claims to power and strategic positions are renegotiated and defined. Amnesties for brutal attacks on civilian populations have been the rule rather than the exception, conveying a message that the route to power is through the actual or threatened use of armed force. People who distance themselves from the use of violence and endeavour to find alternative approaches to conflict resolution are seldom invited ...

Norway's Tightrope Walk in Myanmar

Posted by Marte Nilsen, Stein Tønnesson & Emil Jeremic on Thursday, 23 October 2014

Are the people of Myanmar able to distinguish between Norway’s role in promoting peace and the commercial interests of Norwegian businesses? Now that several state-owned Norwegian companies have entered into large and risky ventures in Myanmar, Norway is walking a tightrope between peace and commerce. The maintenance of support for the peace process is critical. Peace and commercial interests Norway has gained an international reputation as a peace builder, a role enabled by, among other factors, the Nobel Peace Prize and Norway’s status as a small country on the edge of Europe, without superpower pretensions. Norway’s oil wealth has made ...

A Dangerous Census

Posted by Marte Nilsen, Kristin Dalen & Kristin Jesnes on Friday, 17 October 2014

Norway has spent NOK 40 million to help fund a census in Myanmar (Burma). The census results are at odds with previous assumptions and may increase the level of conflict in the country in the run-up to the elections in 2015. Norway must take responsibility. Every country needs to know who is living within its borders. This is especially true of Myanmar, which is emerging from decades of military dictatorship and civil war. There is broad political consensus in Norway in favour of supporting reforms in Myanmar, and the census data will be important for decision-making in the future. At the ...

A New Afghan Spring?

Posted by Kristian Berg Harpviken on Monday, 29 September 2014

Sitting in Kabul today, watching the Presidential inauguration on local television, it is difficult to say whether we are seeing a new Afghan spring or the onset of a disaster. After weeks and weeks of quarrelling, the two main presidential contenders settled on a power-sharing formula: Ashraf Ghani is the new president, while Abdullah Abdullah takes up a newly established Prime Minister post. The latter also demanded a more prominent role during the inauguration, however, which led to a hot debate over the inaugural liturgy during the last few days. In fear of Abdullah abstaining, many sighed with relief when ...

Myanmar's National Census - Helping or Disrupting Peace?

Posted by Marte Nilsen & Stein Tønnesson on Wednesday, 12 February 2014

In March/April 2014 Myanmar will carry out its first population and housing census in more than 30 years. If carried out properly it may provide reliable data to be used not just by the government, but also by civil society organizations and political parties, as a basis for negotiating the terms of the country’s future peace. In a PRIO Policy Brief we analyse the preparations for the census, discuss the risks and challenges, and provide recommendations for how to conduct the census in a conflict sensitive way. The Policy Brief aims to reach stakeholders in Myanmar, and has been translated ...

A Nobel for Colombian Peace Makers? Yes! (But to whom?)

Posted by Catalina Vallejo & Diego Marín on Thursday, 6 October 2016

In its current state, the Colombian peace process not only deserves but could in fact highly benefit from the symbolic effects that go hand in hand with being awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. Recently, in a tight vote, Colombians said ‘No’ to supporting the peace agreement between the government and the FARC-EP. While we, the authors of this text, agree on the benefits the Nobel would provide, we did not quite manage to agree upon whom the prize should actually be awarded to. Laughably enough we managed to repeat the results of last week’s plebiscite and have a divided take ...

Most Importantly a Nobel for the Colombian People and the Victims of the Civil War

Posted by Kristin B. Sandvik on Friday, 7 October 2016

The Norwegian Nobel Committee emphasizes that the award of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize to the Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos is not only a prize given in recognition of his own personal efforts to end the more than 50 year old civil war in the country, but that this award is also given to the Colombian people and to all the parties contributing to the peace process. While not explicitly mentioned, this also includes the FARC, and could be read as an appreciation of FARC’s willingness to contribute to the struggle for peace, post-referendum. The prize is also a ...

A Bold Choice for the Nobel Peace Prize

Posted by Kristian Berg Harpviken on Sunday, 9 October 2016

The award of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize is a bold choice. It rewards President Santos of Colombia for his great political courage, and for his ability to think in a strategic, long-term and principled manner about what is needed to bring peace to his country. Santos is also a “classic” choice for the prize. In his will, Alfred Nobel stated that the prize was for “champions of peace”, and many of the prize awards that we remember best have been awards to statesmen, rebel leaders or peace negotiators who have contributed to the ending of wars. This year’s Peace ...

An Impossible Peace

Posted by Kalle Moene on Wednesday, 12 October 2016

The FARC and the Colombian government deserved to share this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Unfortunately, however, the prize was awarded to only one party. In general we are idiots if we let political correctness govern our views about how the world works. We confuse facts with latent sympathies – a widespread form of intellectual dishonesty, disguised as good manners. Political correctness also influences our thinking about the current and past state of the conflict in Colombia – and about who deserves to share the Nobel prize. As is well known, the FARC rebels and the government are not the only ...

Beyond Recognition to One, Ethical Reassurance to Many

Posted by Catalina Vallejo on Thursday, 13 October 2016

An award can be backward or forward looking; this year’s Nobel Peace Prize is both. By awarding this prize in a moment of crisis for the Colombian peace process, it not only serves as a recognition of past efforts made by individuals, but also rescues an agonizing process and truly encourages further collective efforts for peace in Colombia. Beyond that, the Nobel Peace Prize serves as reassurance of an oft-discarded perspective on political conflicts transformation: non-violence. Recognition of efforts made The Nobel Peace Prize is a pertinent recognition of the individual efforts being made by the current President of Colombia ...