Coordinator: Kristin Bergtora Sandvik

​​​​​​​The humanitarian enterprise currently finds itself at a crossroads. At the tail end of armed international engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is increasingly also faced with new types of emergencies related to climate change, urbanization, and shifting geopolitical dynamics. What is the future of the humanitarian system in light of these challenges? This is the most basic research question that occupies us. Answering it requires investigations into humanitarianism's current character, how it is changing, and how it ought to change. 

The Humanitarianism Research Group has a close collaboration with The Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies. The Centre aims to promote and facilitate critical and relevant research on key humanitarian issues, and serves as a hub for research and policy discussion. The Centre is established as a joint PRIO, CMI and NUPI initiative. NCHS also features a national network of scholars working on humanitarian issues from outside the three core institutions, as well as featuring an extensive network of international humanitarian scholars. ​​

Humanitarianism is still an evolving field of study. As illustrated by events over the past ten years, the institutional and political frameworks of the humanitarian enterprise will continue to shift the terrain of global governance in the new century, posing novel challenges to traditional ideas of sovereignty, security, and human welfare. To understand the political, legal, ethical, cultural, and economic implications of this development, there is a need for basic research into the premises and impact of contemporary humanitarian practice, with a focus on developing better conceptual and methodological approaches.

The work of the Humanitarianism research group seeks to contribute to the development of humanitarianism as a field of study in its own right, and to further a more critical debate on humanitarian issues and humanitarian policies at the national, regional, and international level. It also seeks to develop the insights of a variety of cognate disciplines in relation to the complex issue of contemporary humanitarianism. We carry out this work under four thematic headings:

1. Local actors and dynamics of humanitarianism

Humanitarianism is faced with the challenge of finding the right balance between the need for standardized approaches and the need to adapt to unique contexts and challenges for each specific crisis. It also faces the challenges of how to adjust to the persistence of complex armed violence. While addressing these issues, the Humanitarianism research group explores how urbanization shapes the relationship between structural poverty and humanitarian crisis, as well as our understanding of it, and the ways in which climate-change related phenomena, whether sudden-onset or gradual, both trigger displacement and affect those already displaced. Furthermore, we critically examine the coupling of humanitarianism and the protection of vulnerable groups (eg. women, children, and minorities) and how governments affected by humanitarian crisis relate to issues of protection, access, and responsibility.

2. Humanitarianism and technology

The technological underpinnings of the contemporary will-to-care are a basic and yet understudied element of contemporary humanitarianism. There are both possibilities and pitfalls, for example, in using biometrics, information and robot technology, and social media in the identification of humanitarian emergencies and for the delivery of assistance and protection. In addition to studying these, we are interested in the ways in which humanitarian reform and regulatory processes (including standardization, regulation, and measurement efforts) continue to reshape service delivery and protection.

3. New humanitarian actors: rising powers, diasporas, and faith-based actors

Rising powers are increasingly involved in delivering humanitarian assistance. We are therefore interested in understanding how these rising powers understand humanitarianism conceptually. More precisely, how will the common and diverging interests of humanitarian actors, both established and new, shape the understanding of humanitarian crisis at the law and policy level, and how will they impact the delivery of assistance? In addition, we know that diasporas play an increasingly important role in providing assistance during and in the aftermath of humanitarian crisis. But how do diasporas interact with humanitarian organizations and policy makers? We also want to better understand the role of faith-based humanitarianisms within the contemporary system; the approaches, values, and practices that faith-based actors bring to crisis and post-crisis settings.

4. Power and ethics in humanitarianism

The fundamental issues of power and ethics are explored through a critical approach to the relevance and appropriateness of humanitarian engagement. The changing norms of sovereignty and security are examined, as well as the related transformations in the techniques and practices of governance. We address the question of how the security/development/humanitarianism nexus continues to shift the terrain of humanitarian assistance, and how the boundary between crisis and normalcy is determined, especially when crisis is perpetuated. We also examine the evolutions in "human rights based humanitarianism", as we look at whether there are other ways in which a more 'just' humanitarianism can be envisioned.


The Humanitarianism research group aims to establish a strong humanitarian research community at PRIO, with the ability to undertake interdisciplinary and long-term research at the highest academic level. We aim to contribute to public debate and agenda-setting, as well as to the general professionalization of humanitarian practice.

Interdisciplinarity and methodology

The Humanitarianism research group encompasses the academic fields of anthropology, history, criminology, sociology, geography, law, political theory, international relations, and ethics. Although quantitative approaches will oftentimes be utilized or developed, the researchers within this group mainly employ a variety of qualitative approaches. The Humanitarianism research group includes both normative and descriptive projects.


Current Projects

Past Projects

Research Group News

Past Events


Recent publications

Tellander, Ebba & Cindy Horst (2019) A Foreign Policy Actor of Importance? The Role of the Somali Diaspora in Shaping Norwegian Policy towards Somalia, Foreign Policy Analysis 1(1): 136–154.
Dijkzeul, Dennis & Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (2019) A world in turmoil: governing risk, establishing order in humanitarian crises, Disasters 43(52).
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2019) ‘Safeguarding’ as humanitarian buzzword: an initial scoping, Journal of International Humanitarian Action 4(1): 3–.

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Tellander, Ebba & Cindy Horst (2019) A Foreign Policy Actor of Importance? The Role of the Somali Diaspora in Shaping Norwegian Policy towards Somalia, Foreign Policy Analysis 1(1): 136–154.
Dijkzeul, Dennis & Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (2019) A world in turmoil: governing risk, establishing order in humanitarian crises, Disasters 43(52).
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2019) ‘Safeguarding’ as humanitarian buzzword: an initial scoping, Journal of International Humanitarian Action 4(1): 3–.
Høigilt, Jacob (2019) The futility of rights‐based humanitarian aid to the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Disasters. DOI: 10.1111/disa.12334.
Druce, Philippa; Ekaterina Bogatyreva; Frederik Francois Siem; Scott Gates; Hanna Kaade; Johanne Sundby; Morten Rostrup; Catherine Andersen; Siri Aas Rustad; Andrew Tchie; Robert Mood; Håvard Mokleiv Nygård; Henrik Urdal & Andrea Sylvia Winkler (2019) Approaches to protect and maintain health care services in armed conflict – meeting SDGs 3 and 16, Conflict and Health 13.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2019) Humanitarians in court: how duty of care travelled from human resources to legal liability, The Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law. DOI: 10.1080/07329113.2018.1548192.
Wilson, Chris & Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert (2018) The new informatics of pandemic response: humanitarian technology, efficiency, and the subtle retreat of national agency, Journal of International Humanitarian Action 3(8): 1–13.
Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen (2018) Control or rescue at sea? Aims and limits of border surveillance technologies in the Mediterranean Sea, Disasters. DOI: 10.1111/disa.12286.
Comes, Tina; Bartel van de Walle & Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (2018) Cold chains, interrupted: The use of technology and information for decisions that keep humanitarian vaccines cool, Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management 8(1): 49–69.
Lindskov Jacobsen, Katja & Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (2018) UNHCR and the pursuit of international protection: accountability through technology?, Third World Quarterly. DOI: 10.1080/01436597.2018.1432346.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Katja Lindskov Jacobsen & Sean Martin McDonald (2017) Do no harm: A taxonomy of the challenges of humanitarian experimentation, International Review of the Red Cross. DOI: 10.1017/S181638311700042X.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Julieta Lemaitre (2017) Finding the Roads to Justice? Examining Trajectories of Transition for Internally Displaced Women in Colombia, Stability: International Journal of Security and Development 6(1): 1–18.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Nathaniel A. Raymond (2017) Beyond the Protective Effect: Towards a Theory of Harm for Information Communication Technologies in Mass Atrocity Response, Genocide Studies and Prevention: an International Journal 11(1): 9–24.
Hoelscher, Kristian; Jason Miklian & Håvard Mokleiv Nygård (2017) Conflict, Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Security: Understanding Violent Attacks against Aid Workers, International Peacekeeping. DOI: 10.1080/13533312.2017.1321958: 1–28.
Lohne, Kjersti & Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (2017) Bringing Law into the Political Sociology of Humanitarianism, Oslo Law Review 4(1): 4–27.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Kristian Hoelscher (2017) The Reframing of the War on Drugs as a “Humanitarian Crisis”: Costs, Benefits and Consequences, Latin American Perspectives 44(4): 168–182.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2016) The humanitarian cyberspace: shrinking space or an expanding frontier?, Third World Quarterly 37(1): 17–32.
Horst, Cindy & Anab Nur (2016) Governing Mobility through Humanitarianism in Somalia: Compromising Protection for the Sake of Return, Development and Change 47(3): 542–562.
Lemaitre, Julieta (2016) After the War: Displaced Women, Ordinary Ethics, and Grassroots Reconstruction in Colombia, Social & Legal Studies 25(5): 545–565.
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.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2015) African Drone Stories, BEHEMOTH a Journal on Civilisation 8(2): 73–96.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert (2015) Les drones humanitaires [Humanitarian drones], RIS La Revue Internationale et Strategique 98(2): 139–146.
Horst, Cindy & Katarzyna Grabska (2015) Flight and Exile — Uncertainty in the Context of Conflict-induced displacement, Social Analysis: Journal of Cultural and Social Practice 59(1): 1–18.
Reid-Henry, Simon (2015) Genealogies of Liberal Violence: Human Rights, State Violence and the Police, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 33(4): 626–641.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert; John Karlsrud & Mareile Kaufmann (2014) Humanitarian technology: a critical research agenda, International Review of the Red Cross 96(893): 219–242.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Kjersti Lohne (2014) The Rise of the Humanitarian Drone: Giving Content to an Emerging Concept, Millennium Journal of International Studies 43(1): 145–164.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2014) Teknologi og det humanitære fornyelsesprosjektet [Technology and the Humanitarian Renewal Project], Internasjonal Politikk(2): 272–281.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert & John Karlsrud (2014) Ny humanitær teknologi - en kritisk forskningsagenda [New humanitarian technologies - a critical research agenda], Internasjonal Politikk(2): 224–233.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert; John Karlsrud & Mareile Kaufmann (2014) Technologie humanitaire: pour un programme de recherche critique [Humanitarian technology: a critical research agenda], Revue Internationale de la Croix-Rouge, Sélection francaise 96(1): 179–204.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Julieta Lemaitre (2013) Internally Displaced Women as Knowledge Producers and Users in Humanitarian Action: The View from Colombia, Disasters 37(1): 36–50.
Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen & David Lanz (2013) Globalised Rebellion: The Darfur insurgents and the world, Journal of Modern African Studies 51(2): 193–217.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2012) Negotiating the Humanitarian Past: History, Memory, and Unstable Cityscapes in Kampala, Uganda, Refugee Survey Quarterly 31(1): 108–122.
Fadnes, Ellen & Cindy Horst (2009) Responses to Internal Displacement in Colombia: Guided by What Principles?, Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees 26(1): 111–120.
Horst, Cindy (2006) Refugee livelihoods: Continuity and Transformations, Refugee Survey Quarterly 25(2): 6–22.

PhD Thesis

Borchgrevink, Kaja (2017) With Faith in Development: Islamic Charity as Development in Practice?. PhD thesis, Department of International Environment and Development Studies (Noragric), Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås.
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

Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen (2018) European Responses to the Mediterranean 'Refugee Crisis' and the Fear of Saving Lives, in Kuzelewska, Elzbieta; Amy Weatherburn; & Dariusz (Darek) Kloza, eds, Irregular Migration as a Challenge for Democracy. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Intersentia Ltd. (113–122).
Reklev, Linn Marie & Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert (2018) Shaping the political space for resettlement: The debate on burden-sharing in Norway following the Syrian refugee crisis, in Garnier, Adèle; Kristin Bergtora Sandvik; & Liliana Jubilut, eds, Refugee Resettlement: Power, Politics and Humanitarian Governance. New York: Berghahn Books (159–182).
Cellini, Amanda (2018) Current Refugee Resettlement Program Profiles, in Garnier, Adèle; Kristin Bergtora Sandvik; & Liliana Jubilut, eds, Refugee Resettlement: Power, Politics and Humanitarian Governance. New York: Berghahn Books (253–305).
Garnier, Adèle; Kristin Bergtora Sandvik & Liliana Lyra Jubilut (2018) Introduction: Refugee Resettlement as Humanitarian Governance: Power Dynamics, in Garnier, Adèle; Liliana Lyra Jubilut; & Kristin Bergtora Sandvik, eds, Refugee Resettlement: Power, Politics and Humanitarian Governance. New York: Berghahn Books (1–30).
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2018) A Legal History: The Emergence of the African Resettlement Candidate in International Refugee Management, in Garnier, Adèle; Liliana Lyra Jubilut; & Kristin Bergtora Sandvik, eds, Refugee Resettlement: Power, Politics and Humanitarian Governance. New York: Berghahn Books (46–69).
Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen & Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (2016) Introduction: What Does It Take to Be Good?, in Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; & Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert, eds, The Good Drone. London: Ashgate (1–25).
Lidén, Kristoffer & Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (2016) Poison Pill or Cure-All: Drones and the Protection of Civilians, in Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; & Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert, eds, The Good Drone. London: Ashgate. London: Ashgate (65–88).
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2016) Stronger, Faster, Better: Three Logics of Humanitarian Futureproofing, in Heins, Volker; Kai Koddenbrock; & Christine Unrau, eds, Humanitarianism and Challenges of Cooperation. London: Routledge (97–112).
Lindskov Jacobsen, Katja & Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (2016) Introduction: The Quest for an Accountability Cure, in Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; & Katja Lindskov Jacobsen, eds, UNHCR and the Struggle for Accountability, Technology, law and results-based management. London: Routledge Humanitarian Studies (1–25).
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2016) How accountability technologies shape international protection: results-based management and rights-based approaches revisited, in Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; & Katja Lindskov Jacobsen, eds, UNHCR and the Struggle for Accountability, Technology, law and results-based management. London: Routledge Humanitarian Studies (138–158).
Horst, Cindy; Stephen Lubkemann & Robtel Pailey (2016) The Invisibility of a Third Humanitarian Domain, in Sezgin, Zeynep; & Dennis Dijkzeul, eds, The New Humanitarians in International Practice: Emerging actors and contested principles. London: Routledge (213–231).
Lidén, Kristoffer (2016) The UN and International Ethics, in Jubilut, Liliana Lyra ; João Carlos Jarochinski Silva; & Larissa Ramina, eds, The UN at 70: contributions, challenges and perspectives [A ONU aos 70: contribuições, desafios e perspectivas]. Boa Vista: Editora da Universidade Federal de Roraima (144–171).
Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen (2016) Creating the EU Drone: Control, Sorting and Search and Rescue at Sea, in Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; & Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert, eds, The Good Drone. London: Routledge (89–108).
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).
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Julieta Lemaitre (2015) From IDPs to Victims in Colombia: A Bottom-Up Reading of Law in Post-Conflict Transitions, in Saul, Matthew; & James A. Sweeney, eds, International Law and Post-Conflict Reconstruction Policy. London and New York: Routledge (251–271).
Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen (2015) Activist Mobilization and the Internationalization of the Darfur Crisis, in Casciarri, Barbara; Munzoul A. M. Assal; & Francois Ireton, eds, Multidimensional Change in Sudan (1989–2011): Reshaping Livelihoods, Conflicts and Identities. New York, Oxford: Berghahn Books.
Horst, Cindy (2013) International Aid to Refugees in Kenya: The Neglected Role of the Somali Diaspora, in Kane, Abdoulaye; & Todd Leedy, eds, African Migrations: Patterns and Perspectives. Indiana: Indiana University Press (195–210).
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2013) Rights-Based Humanitarianism as Emancipation or Stratification? Rumors and Procedures of Verification in Urban Refugee Management in Kampala, Uganda, in Derman, Bill; Anne Hellum; & Kristin Bergtora Sandvik, eds, Worlds of Human Rights. the Ambiguities of Rights Claiming in Africa. Leiden: Brill.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2013) The Multiple Tracks of Human Rights and Humanitarianism, in Derman, Bill; Anne Hellum; & Kristin Bergtora Sandvik, eds, Worlds of Human Rights. the Ambiguities of Rights Claiming in Africa. Leiden: Brill.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2013) The Risks of Technological Innovation, in World's Disaster Report (2013) Technology and the Future of Humanitarian Action. Geneva: IFRC.
Horst, Cindy(2012) The Livelihoods Approach Food Security Handbook. : Norwegian Refugee Council.
Naftalin, Mark(2012) Darfur The Oxford Companion to American Politics. : Oxford University Press(249–254).
Naftalin, Mark(2012) Darfur The Oxford Companion to Comparative Politics. : Oxford University Press(273–278).
Horst, Cindy & Roger Zetter (2012) Chapter 2: Vulnerability and Protection: reducing risks and promoting security for forced migrants, in World Disaster Report 2012. Geneva: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (46–79).
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora(2009) The physicality of legal consciousness: suffering and the production of credibility in refugee resettlement Humanitarianism and Suffering the Mobilization of Empathy (Wilson & Brown Eds). : Cambridge University Press.

Edited Volume

Garnier, Adèle; Liliana Lyra Jubilut; & Kristin Bergtora Sandvik, eds, (2018) Refugee Resettlement: Power, Politics and Humanitarian Governance. New York: Berghahn Books.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; & Katja Lindskov Jacobsen, eds, (2016) UNHCR and the Struggle for Accountability: Technology, law and results-based management. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. Routledge Humanitarian Studies.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; & Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert, eds, (2016) The Good Drone. Oxon, New York: Routledge.
Derman, Bill; Anne Hellum; & Kristin Bergtora Sandvik, eds, (2013) Worlds of Human Rights: The Ambiguities of Rights Claiming in Africa. Leiden-Boston: Brill. Afrika-Studiecentrum Series.

Non-refereed Journal Article

Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen; Kristian Hoelscher; Benjamin de Carvalho & Pinar Tank (2014) Brazil: An Aspiring Global Power, Government Gazette: 80–82.

Popular Article

Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2019) Safeguarding: good intentions, difficult process, ALNAP, 22 May.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2019) Safeguarding women after disasters: some progress, but not enough, The Conversation, 13 May.
Reklev, Linn Marie (2016) Resettlement in contemporary Norway – lessons from a discourse analysis of the Norwegian debate on the Syrian refugee crisis, Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies Blog, 1 December.
Lidén, Kristoffer (2016) Against the Merger of Humanitarianism with Development and Security, Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies Blog, 31 May.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2016) Futureproofing humanitarianism for permanent emergencies: unpacking the promise of cooperation, A Quest for Humanitarian Effectiveness, 15 March.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Kristian Hoelscher (2016) Is The War on Drugs a Humanitarian Crisis?, ATHA.SE, 4 March.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2016) The Refugee Crisis as a Global Humanitarian Challenge, European Council of Foreign Relations, 3 February.
Miklian, Jason; Kristian Hoelscher & Håvard Mokleiv Nygård (2016) What makes a country dangerous for aid workers?, The Guardian, 18 January.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Julieta Lemaitre (2015) From IDPs to Victims in Colombia: Transition from Humanitarian Crisis through Law Reform?, Reliefweb, 1 December.
Leira, Torkjell & Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert (2015) Bistandsparadokset Brasil [The Brazilian Aid Paradox], Dagsavisen, 16 November.
Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen & Cindy Horst (2015) En byrde ingen vil bære [A burden no one wants to bear], Dagsavisen, 16 June.
Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen (2015) Terroraksjoner i sosiale medier [Terror attacks in social media], Dagbladet, 14 April.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Julieta Lemaitre (2015) Beyond Sexual Violence: Gendered Political Insecurity as a Threat to Peace, IntLawGrrls, 8 April.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2015) Evaluating Ebola: the politics of the military response narrative, EISF, 16 March.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2015) Conundrums in the Embrace of the Private Sector, ATHA.SE, 18 February.
Østby, Gudrun; Henrik Urdal & Ida Rudolfsen (2014) Utdanning Skaper Fred [Education Creates Peace], Dagsavisen, 10 December.
Lidén, Kristoffer (2014) Do they really care? Protection of Civilians and the Veto Powers, Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies Blog, 18 November.
Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen (2014) Flytkningene er et felles ansvar [Refugees are a shared responsibility], NRK Ytring, 16 September.
Borchgrevink, Kaja & Marta Bivand Erdal (2014) Muslimsk dugnad for de fattige [Muslim charity for the poor], VG, 28 July.
Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen; John Karlsrud & Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (2014) Bedre nødhjelp [Better aid], Dagens Næringsliv, 24 July.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; John Karlsrud & Chris Wilson (2014) A Humanitarian Technology Policy Agenda for 2016, ATHA.SE the Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action, 30 June.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Maral Mirshahi & Nicholas Marsh (2014) Killer robots – hvorfor ønsker man et forbud? [Killer Robots - The Quest for a Ban], NRK Ytring, 12 May.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Nicholas Marsh (2014) Lethal Autonomous Weapons: Issues for the International Community, Security & Defence Agenda, 9 May.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert & John Karlsrud (2014) Blir humanitære organisasjoner de nye overvåkerne? [Will Humanitarian Organizations Become the New Surveillance Monitors?], Bistandsaktuelt, 12 February.
Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen; John Karlsrud & Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (2013) Vil aggressive fredsoperasjoner løse Malis humanitære krise? [Will Aggressive Peace Operations Solve the Humanitarian Crisis in Mali?], Bistandsaktuelt, 20 September.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Kjersti Lohne (2013) The promise and perils of ‘disaster drones’, Humanitarian Exchange Magazine 58, 1 July.
Horst, Cindy (2012) Finding protection from violent conflict and famine?, Sarvi. Horn of Africa Journal, 18 July.
Horst, Cindy (2012) En trygg havn? [A safe haven?], Dagbladet, 3 July.
Erdal, Marta Bivand & Cindy Horst (2010) Ekskludert fra utvikling? [Excluded from Development?], Dagsavisen, 29 July.

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

Lidén, Kristoffer (2017) Power and Protection: Protection of Civilians and the Geopolitics of Norms at the UN Security Council, presented at BISA 42nd Annual Conference, Roundtable on R2P as a Norm, and its Implementation, Brighton, UK, 15 June.
Lidén, Kristoffer (2017) Introduction to the ethics of humanitarian action, presented at Humanitarian Studies Colloquium: The Ethics of Humanitarian Action – rationale and critique of a do-gooder regime, PRIO, Oslo, 27 November.
Lidén, Kristoffer (2016) The Ethics of the Protection of Civilians: Beyond Intervention and Resilience, presented at The World Conference on Humanitarian Studies, Addis Ababa, 5 March.
Lohne, Kjersti (2016) Cosmopolitan legalism, criminal justice and human rights NGOs, presented at International Studies Association, Atlanta, 18 March.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2016) The refugee crisis: a common challenge?, presented at Europe, China and the UN in an Age of Crises, Peking University, 14.01.2016–15.01.2016.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2015) Drones for Humanitarian «Interventions», presented at Drones: From Technology to Policy, Security to Ethics, Zürich, 30.01.2015.
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.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2015) Humanitarian Cyberspace: Expanding Frontiers or Shrinking Space?, presented at Virtual Zones of Peace and Conflict, Copenhagen, 13.01.2015.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2015) From IDPs to victims in Colombia: Reflections on durable solutions in the post-conflict setting, presented at From beneficiaries to actors: Exploring displaced persons’ roles in resolution processes, McGill University, 14.12.2015–15.12.2015.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2013) Drone Pilots, Humanitarians and the Videogame Analogy: Unpacking the ConversationTrondheim, 5–7 February.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2013) The War on Drugs as “Humanitarian Crisis": Examining the Latin American Experience, presented at Seventh Annual Conference of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy, Bogota.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2013) Relief and Disaster Drones: Commercial Logic as Humanitarian Logic?, presented at Spy in the Sky: Regulatory Issues of Drones and Unmanned Aerial Systems, Ljubliana, Slovenia, May 23, 2013.
Lohne, Kjersti (2012) Drafting the Rome Statute: The Role of Nongovernmental Organizations, presented at Humanitarian Research Group internal seminar, PRIO, 06.12.2012.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; & Lohne, Kjersti 2012 Technology Transfers from the Military to the Humanitarian Field: the Rise of the Humanitarian Drone, presented at Humanitarianism: Past, Present, Future, , .
Lidén, Kristoffer 2012 Recipe for Disaster: Violent Rebellion and Humanitarian Intervention, presented at Humanitarianism: past, present, future, , 8–10 November 2012.
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.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; & Lohne, Kjersti 2012 Robot Technology and the Drone Stare: Seeing or Unseeing Humanitarian Suffering?, presented at Political Theatres of Suffering: Humanitarian Politics and Representation of Distant Suffering, , .
Horst, Cindy 2007 A Monopoly on Assistance? International Aid to Refugee Camps and the Role of the Diaspora, presented at AEGIS Conference, , 11 July.

PRIO Policy Brief

Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen; Rocco Bellanova & Raphaël Gellert (2018) Smart Phones for Refugees: Tools for Survival, or Surveillance?, PRIO Policy Brief, 4. Oslo: PRIO.
Leira, Torkjell (2018) Brazil’s International Humanitarian Engagement: The Missing NGO Channel, PRIO Policy Brief, 8. Oslo: PRIO.
Lemaitre, Julieta (2017) Humanitarian Aid in Relatively Strong Host States, PRIO Policy Brief, 6. Oslo: PRIO.
Lemaitre, Julieta & Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (2016) Tailoring Protection of Civilians to State Capacity, PRIO Policy Brief, 8. Oslo: PRIO.
Fladvad Nielsen, Brita; Kristin Bergtora Sandvik & Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert (2016) How Can Innovation Deliver Humanitarian Outcomes?, PRIO Policy Brief, 12. Oslo: PRIO.
Hauge, Wenche Iren (2016) Haiti’s Food Security Challenges, PRIO Policy Brief, 28. Oslo: PRIO.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Kristian Hoelscher (2016) Is the War on Drugs a “Humanitarian Crisis”?, PRIO Policy Brief, 2. Oslo: PRIO.
Horst, Cindy & Tove Heggli Sagmo (2015) Humanitarianism and Return: Compromising Protection?, PRIO Policy Brief, 3. Oslo: PRIO.
Marsh, Nicholas (2014) Defining the Scope of Autonomy, PRIO Policy Brief, 2. Oslo: PRIO.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2012) International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in the Global Legal Order, PRIO Policy Brief, 1. Oslo: PRIO.
Gaas, Mohamed Husein & Cindy Horst (2009) Diaspora Organizations from the Horn of Africa in Norway: Contributions to Peacebuilding?, PRIO Policy Brief, 2. Oslo: PRIO.

PRIO Paper

Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2019) Technologizing the Fight against Sexual Violence: A Critical Scoping, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.
Erdal, Marta Bivand & Cindy Horst (2010) Engaging Diasporas in Development. A Review of Pilot Project Pakistan, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.

Report - Other

Boy, Nina; Elida K. U. Jacobsen; & Kristoffer Lidén (2016) Societal Ethics and Biometric Technologies, SOURCE Societal Security Network. Oslo: SOURCE.
Pérouse de Montclos, Marc-Antoine (2014) Nigeria’s Interminable Insurgency? Addressing the Boko Haram Crisis, Chatham House Research Paper. London: Chatham House.
Lemaitre, Julieta; Eva Sol López; Juan Pablo Mosquera; Kristin Bergtora Sandvik; & Juliana Vargas Gómez (2014) De desplazados a víctimas. Los cambios legales y la participación de la Mesa de Víctimas de Mocoa, Putumayo. [Displaced Victims. Legal Changes and Involvement of the Bureau of Victims of Mocoa, Putumayo.]8. Colombia: Universidad de los Andes (Justica Global).
Lemaitre, Julieta; Kristin Bergtora Sandvik; Luz Estella Romero Villalba; Ana Manuela Ochoa Arias; Valentina González Villegas; & Sandra Vargas Mahecha (2014) Defensoras de derechos humanos Tres estudios de casos de ONG y su respuesta al desplazamiento forzado [Human Rights Defenders, Three Studies of NGO's and Response to Forced Displacement]9. Colombia: Universidad de los Andes (Justica Global).

Report - External Series

Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2013) Drone Pilots, Humanitarians and the Videogame Analogy: Unpacking the Conversation, UAV – bare ny teknologi eller en ny strategisk virkelighet? Luftkrigsskolens skriftserie volum 29 , 29. Trondheim: Luftkrigsskolen.

Blog Posts

Humanitarian governance and localization: What kind of world is being imagined and produced?

Posted by Kristin B. Sandvik & Dennis Dijkzeul on Tuesday, 19 November 2019

While localization is high on the agenda for humanitarian actors, at present, humanitarian governance does not support the localization agenda. To understand better why, we explore three issues underpinning humanitarian governance: the problem construction, consolidation and growth of the sector, and the sorting of civilians. We conclude that the localization ... Read more »

New Directions in Humanitarian Governance: Technology, Juridification and Criminalization

Posted by Kristin B. Sandvik & Dennis Dijkzeul on Tuesday, 5 November 2019

According to an influential conception, humanitarian governance entails ‘the increasingly organized and internationalized attempt to save the lives, enhance the welfare, and reduce the suffering of the world’s most vulnerable populations.’ The actors involved in humanitarian governance include affected populations, civil society, host governments, the military, the private sector, international organisations ... Read more »

Preventing the Work of Rescue Vessels in the Mediterranean Will Not Save More Migrants

Posted by Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert on Thursday, 3 October 2019

The Norwegian-registered vessel Ocean Viking, operated by Médecins Sans Frontières, has recently been at the centre of a debate that has become dominated by one assumption: that search-and-rescue (SAR) operations are encouraging people to attempt to cross the Mediterranean. The logic is problematic for several reasons, and I will try ... Read more »

Beyond False Dichotomies in Debates on Migration

Posted by Marta Bivand Erdal, Kristian Berg Harpviken, Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert & Cathrine Talleraas on Thursday, 4 July 2019

Is there really an inherent conflict between pursuing national interests and acting in globally responsible ways on migration? We call for a debate that moves beyond an artificial dichotomy between the “headless heart” and the “heartless head”. A good start would be to acknowledge the salience and value of binding ... Read more »

New Report on the Societal Ethics of Biometric Technologies

Posted by Elida Kristine Undrum Jacobsen on Friday, 15 March 2019

Biometric technologies are rapidly becoming integral to the governance of populations world-wide. Contemporary societies are networked by advanced biometric technologies of identity management that were inconceivable just a couple of decades ago. A report by Nina Boy, Elida K.U. Jacobsen and Kristoffer Lidén addresses the widespread ethical issues raised by ... Read more »

The EU-Turkey Refugee Deal Cost Refugees the Most

Posted by Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert & Pinar Tank on Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Note: On 18 March 2016, the EU and Turkey agreed on a deal to stop refugees from crossing the Mediterranean. At that time, Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert and Pinar Tank warned that the agreement was advantageous for Europe and Turkey but not for the refugees whose rights to protection were severely ... Read more »

The Needs, Challenges and Power Dynamics of Refugee Resettlement

Posted by Kristin B. Sandvik, Liliana Lyra Jubilut & Adèle Garnier on Monday, 29 October 2018

This fall, the 73rd General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) was held in New York. The 193 UN member states gather annually to discuss, and sometimes act upon, global issues. Refugees were on the agenda in 2018, not only because numbers are historically high (25.4 million at the end ... Read more »

The mass killing of women activists in Latin America: making political violence visible

Posted by Kristin B. Sandvik on Friday, 28 September 2018

In 2017, Latin America was described by the UN as the world’s most violent continent for women. The assassinations of women activists and community leaders have continued across the region in 2018. While the killing of Marielle Franco, a favela community leader, and the unraveling of government-private enterprise collusion in ... Read more »

Eid, Islamic finance and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

Posted by Kaja Borchgrevink & Marta Bivand Erdal on Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Muslims all over the world are celebrating Eid-ul-Adha, the ‘festival of sacrifice’ or the Greater Eid. The other Eid, Eid-ul-Fitr is the festival which marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. This is when many Muslims pay their annual zakat – a religious tax equivalent to 2.5 percent ... Read more »

Dead Male Bodies: A Challenge for Feminist Legal Thought

Posted by Kristin B. Sandvik on Friday, 17 August 2018

The scholarship on law, conflict and suffering has for the past two decades been dominated by a moral and analytical concern with “women and children” and sexual violence. However, when we look up and do the body count out in the physical and political world – in the city and ... Read more »

Record deaths at sea: will ‘regional disembarkation’ help save lives?

Posted by Jørgen Carling & Jessica Hagen-Zanker on Monday, 16 July 2018

Never has it been more dangerous for people in search of protection to make the crossing to Europe. The estimated death rate on boat migration journeys across the Mediterranean has risen from 4 per 1000 in 2015 to 24 per 1000 in the first four months of 2018, according to ... Read more »

Aid Agencies Can’t Police Themselves. It’s Time for a Change

Posted by Dorthea Hilhorst on Friday, 23 February 2018

The spreading “Oxfam scandal” will affect the entire humanitarian sector painfully. It brings into plain sight what observers of the internal workings of NGOs have known for a long time: NGOs have an organisational reflex of banning outsiders from their kitchen, and keeping their potentially dangerous secrets hidden. Abuses of ... Read more »

From Principle to Practice: Humanitarian Innovation and Experimentation

Posted by Sean Martin McDonald, Kristin B. Sandvik & Katja Lindskov Jacobsen on Monday, 12 February 2018

Without methods to gauge success and failure, and without appropriate ethical frameworks, humanitarian tech may do more harm than good. Humanitarian organizations have an almost impossible task: They must balance the imperative to save lives with the commitment to do no harm. They perform this balancing act amidst chaos, with ... Read more »

Humanitarian Experimentation

Posted by Katja Lindskov Jacobsen, Kristin B. Sandvik & Sean Martin McDonald on Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Humanitarian actors, faced with ongoing conflict, epidemics, famine and a range of natural disasters, are increasingly being asked to do more with less. The international community’s commitment of resources has not kept pace with their expectations or the growing crises around the world. Some humanitarian organizations are trying to bridge ... Read more »

Why Isn’t Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Treated the Same as Gender-Based Violence in Humanitarian Contexts?

Posted by Alicia Luedke & Jasmine-Kim Westendorf on Monday, 20 November 2017

The recent #MeToo hashtag and associated social media storm highlighted the extensiveness of sexual abuse and harassment and the exploitation of women and girls (and in some cases men and boys) by those in positions of power. It showed that the problem does not come down to a few “bad ... Read more »

Europe’s Quiet Offensive Against People Helping Refugees

Posted by Ben Hayes & Frank Barat on Thursday, 9 November 2017

A look back on three years since the end of Operation Mare Nostrum. Three years ago today, pressure by the European Union on Italy forced the end of one of the EU’s most successful humanitarian missions, Mare Nostrum, a search-and-rescue operation that in just one year brought 130,000 refugees safely ... Read more »

Building a Sociology of Law for the Humanitarian Field

Posted by Kjersti Lohne & Kristin B. Sandvik on Thursday, 31 August 2017

Legal sociology has paid significant attention to human rights, but in contrast to legal anthropology, little focus has been given to humanitarianism. In this contribution, we ask, what does a legal sociological research agenda for the humanitarian field look like? Humanitarianism is many things to many people. As described by ... Read more »

The Myth of ICT’s Protective Effect in Mass Atrocity Response

Posted by Kristin B. Sandvik & Nathaniel A. Raymond on Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) are now being employed as a standard part of mass atrocity response, evidence collection, and research by non-governmental organizations, governments, and the private sector. Deployment of these tools and techniques occur for a variety of stated reasons, most notably the ostensible goal of “protecting” vulnerable populations. ... Read more »

A Double Message about Safety and Security for Field Research: “Protection Is Crucial” and “Don’t Overdo It”

Posted by Dorthea Hilhorst on Wednesday, 10 May 2017

In January 2016, Giulio Regeni, PhD candidate of Cambridge University studying labour movement in Egypt went missing in Cairo where he did his fieldwork. His body was found a week later in a ditch near the city showing signs of torture and a slow death. His killers have not been ... Read more »

An Incomplete Picture of the Humanitarian Crisis in the Lake Chad Region

Posted by Marc-Antoine Pérouse de Montclos on Friday, 31 March 2017

The broader context of the humanitarian crisis in the Lake Chad region, particularly in Borno State in the northeast of Nigeria, remains largely unknown to a Western audience, and in the media coverage it is mostly the stories about Boko Haram’s atrocities that are being told. Everybody condemned the jihadist ... Read more »

No-Man’s Land

Posted by Marte Heian-Engdal on Friday, 20 January 2017

In the north-eastern corner of Jordan, thousands of Syrians are left stranded. In the north-eastern corner of Jordan, where the country borders both Iraq and Syria, a barrier resembling a mound of earth extends across the desert. Running parallel to this barrier is a second mound of earth, this time ... Read more »

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 ... Read more »

White Helmets in the Dark Night

Posted by Marte Heian-Engdal on Tuesday, 4 October 2016

In the long dark night that is the Syrian nightmare, the White Helmets have become the only ray of light. “In an earlier PRIO blog post, Erica Chenoweth observed that “there are really two types of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates – elites (or elite-led institutions) and ordinary people.” This year, ... Read more »

The End Of Migrants As We Know Them?

Posted by Jørgen Carling on Monday, 19 September 2016

The UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants holds the promise of progress. But ahead of the summit, communications staff were pushing a warped view of migrant diversity. Even the International Organization of Migration (IOM) is straying from its mission to uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants. When migration issues ... Read more »

Refugee Resettlement as Humanitarian Governance: The Need for a Critical Research Agenda

Posted by Adèle Garnier, Kristin B. Sandvik & Liliana Lyra Jubilut on Wednesday, 14 September 2016

This blog post suggests understanding refugee resettlement as an instrument of humanitarian governance from the selection of refugees to their long-term integration. It presents a five-point research agenda aiming to investigate resettlement’s power dynamics in multiscalar perspective, with a focus on: political economy; the UNHCR’s competing goals; and the role ... Read more »

Against the Merger of Humanitarianism with Development and Security

Posted by Kristoffer Lidén on Wednesday, 8 June 2016

In the recent World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul 23-24 May, the interconnections between humanitarianism, development and security were highlighted. Recognising that humanitarian assistance alone cannot address ‘the needs of over 130 million of the world’s most vulnerable people’, the conference chair’s summary report states: ‘A new and coherent approach is ... Read more »

African Drone Proliferation: The Meaning of Leapfrogging

Posted by Kristin B. Sandvik on Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The ongoing drone proliferation throughout Africa has received little critical attention. However, African drone proliferation has become a vehicle for the production and distribution of forms of legitimacy and of resources that have implications for drone proliferation both within and outside Africa.  More specifically, the percep­tion of Africa as being ... Read more »

The Humanitarian Quest for Accountability: Examining the role of UNHCR

Posted by Kristin B. Sandvik & Katja Lindskov Jacobsen on Monday, 23 May 2016

The European refugee crisis has been a difficult experience for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). On the one hand, UNHCR has been criticized by civil society and the humanitarian community for not being present on Greek islands. On the other hand, the organization has experienced difficulties in ... Read more »

Brought Up to Be a War Criminal

Posted by Kjersti Lohne & Anette Bringedal Houge on Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Dominic Ongwen has been charged with committing the same crimes that were committed against him as a child soldier in the Lord’s Resistance Army. To what extent is Ongwen responsible for his actions as an adult, given that he himself was abducted as a 10-year-old child? The International Criminal Court ... Read more »

Insecurity in the Humanitarian Cyberspace: A Call for Innovation

Posted by Kristin B. Sandvik on Monday, 9 May 2016

Humanitarian practitioners and scholars are currently struggling with how to analyse the opportunities and challenges of technological innovation. This includes not only what technological innovation can do for humanitarianism but also what it does to humanitarian action. Over the last two decades, innovations have fueled the creation of a humanitarian ... Read more »

Why the Veto Powers All Support Protection of Civilians (And Why They Often Fail to Agree on It)

Posted by Simon Reid-Henry & Kristoffer Lidén on Wednesday, 4 May 2016

The Protection of Civilians (PoC) expands the responsibility of the UN Security Council (UNSC) for international peace and security to the internal affairs of conflict-ridden countries. As such, it bolsters the authority of the five permanent members (the P5) in world politics and presents them with a flexible tool for ... Read more »

The EU-Turkey Refugee Deal is Costly – Especially for the Refugees

Posted by Pinar Tank & Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert on Thursday, 7 April 2016

The agreement reflects the EU’s self-interest just as much as Turkey’s, but takes little account of the interests and rights of the refugees. On Friday 18 March, Turkey and the EU concluded a deal designed to put an end to refugees’ use of the sea route to travel from Turkey ... Read more »

Is The War on Drugs a Humanitarian Crisis?

Posted by Kristin B. Sandvik & Kristian Hoelscher on Friday, 18 March 2016

Humanitarian actors increasingly look to frame the failure of the War on Drugs as an imperative for renewed engagement in Latin America. When leaders meet at UNGASS 2016 in April, legalization will be central in discussions, but issues of humanitarian encroachment should also be on the table. In Latin America, ... Read more »

Futureproofing Humanitarianism for Permanent Emergencies: Unpacking the Promise of Cooperation

Posted by Kristin B. Sandvik on Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Despite the strong growth of the humanitarian sector, there is an increasing operational and financial deficit in the capacity of governments and humanitarian organizations to respond. This has led to calls for changes in the way such crises are understood and managed. As humanitarians grapple with what is increasingly imagined ... Read more »

New Developments in Drone Proliferation: How Africa was Deployed to Rescue Drones

Posted by Kristin B. Sandvik on Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Debates on global drone proliferation tend to assume that adoption and adaptation of drones follow a universal logic and that the drone industry is a singular thing, geographically concentrated in the Global North. In this blog post I argue that these assumptions make it difficult to critically assess the growth ... Read more »

Brazil: an Emerging Southern Drone Actor

Posted by Eric Cezne on Tuesday, 9 February 2016

This blog post uses the case of Brazil to reflect on how actors in the Global South now engage with drone technology. This technology has been employed across a series of areas where Brazilian stakeholders are involved or seek to become more involved, both at the domestic and international levels: ... Read more »

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 ... Read more »

What’s Wrong with the Idea that ‘Robots don’t Rape’?

Posted by Kristin B. Sandvik & Kjersti Lohne on Wednesday, 2 December 2015

The politics of rape denunciation is fast becoming the politics of lobbyists, vendors and military manufacturers seeking access to new customers and markets. The recognition of wartime rape as a fundamental violation of international law has been a hard-fought victory. Ending rape and other forms of sexual violence in war ... Read more »

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 ... Read more »

The Brazilian Aid Paradox

Posted by Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert & Torkjell Leira on Tuesday, 1 December 2015

While the Norwegian overseas aid budget has been debated intensely here at home, Crown Prince Haakon was recently on an official visit in Brazil, from 16-19 November. Brazil is unquestionably the largest recipient of Norwegian aid, while simultaneously donating aid itself to poorer countries. This paradoxical situation tells us much ... Read more »

Merkel Should Win the Nobel Peace Prize

Posted by Leonid Bershidsky on Thursday, 8 October 2015

Odds on who’s going to win the Nobel Peace Prize, to be awarded on Friday, are so hard to make that one could easily arbitrage various bookmakers. I’m not a betting man, but I hope the prize goes to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She’s the favorite now, with average odds of about ... Read more »

Practical Compassion in the Age of Crisis

Posted by Erica Chenoweth on Saturday, 12 September 2015

The news from last week was bleak. Fleeing violence and chaos in the Middle East, horrific accounts detailed the tragic fates of countless people seeking refuge in Europe. Thousands have perished along the way, and many survivors have found themselves in dangerous conditions upon arrival in Europe. Some state reactions ... Read more »

Refugees are Also Migrants. And All Migrants Matter

Posted by Jørgen Carling on Monday, 7 September 2015

The recent debate over word choice has taken turns that undermine humanitarian principles and cloud the view of how migration is unfolding. The Washington Post, the New York Times, the Guardian, the BBC, and others have examined the usage of ‘refugees’ versus ‘migrants’ over the past week. The general impression ... Read more »

Lethal Autonomous Weapons: Killing the ‘Robots-don’t-Rape’ Argument

Posted by Kristin B. Sandvik & Kjersti Lohne on Thursday, 13 August 2015

Earlier this spring, we debated a law professor who insisted that lethal autonomous weapons (LAWS) could clean up war. The professor posited that a war fought with autonomous weapons would be a war without rape. Taking humans out of the loop would, the argument goes, lead to more humane war. ... Read more »

From IDPs to Victims in Colombia: Transition from Humanitarian Crisis through Law Reform?

Posted by Kristin B. Sandvik & Julieta Lemaitre on Wednesday, 1 July 2015

What are the challenges of responding to displacement as a problem of transitional justice? In the Colombian context, pervasive violent conflict coexists with constitutional democracy. In recent years, the legal framework for dealing with internal displacement has been altered by the 2011 Victims’ Law. Based on newly published work on ... Read more »

A Close Look at Border Security in the Mediterranean

Posted by Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert on Monday, 1 June 2015

The EU’s response to the increased flow of refugees crossing the Mediterranean has been to boost border security by means of Operation Triton, which is the responsibility of Frontex, the EU border agency. There is little one can do, however, to impose effective border controls at sea. Operation Triton does ... Read more »

What Would Have Been New about Bombing Migrant Boats?

Posted by Jørgen Carling on Wednesday, 13 May 2015

The European Union has made it clear that bombs were not part of the plan for war against people smuggling after all. “No one is thinking of bombing,” said Federica Mogherini, EU foreign policy chief, yesterday. The alleged plans for bombing had already caused widespread alarm and protest. But what would ... Read more »

Humanitarianism and Return

Posted by Cindy Horst & Tove Heggli Sagmo on Monday, 4 May 2015

Humanitarianism and Return: Compromising Protection In many contexts around the world, states use funding for humanitarian programming as an active part of their attempts to manage populations displaced by conflict. Humanitarian aid to refugees and internally displaced is commonly understood as a temporary activity that ends when people will return ... Read more »

Earthquake in Nepal and we are Safe

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 ... Read more »

Beyond Sexual Violence: Gendered Political Insecurity as a Threat to Peace

Posted by Kristin B. Sandvik & Julieta Lemaitre on Monday, 13 April 2015

Based on extensive field research in Colombia, our new article “Beyond Sexual Violence in Transitional Justice: Political Insecurity as a Gendered Harm” examines political insecurity as a specifically gendered harm that must be addressed in the ongoing Colombian transitional justice process. In a previous blogpost we described the tragic plight ... Read more »

Emergency Exit for the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict

Posted by Kristoffer Lidén on Friday, 10 April 2015

The tragedy in Syria bears witness to the deep crisis afflicting the international commitment to the “protection of civilians”. But there is a way out. Against the background of a politically divided Security Council, there is a need for a new international strategy to protect civilians caught up in armed ... Read more »

Evaluating Ebola: the Politics of the Military Response Narrative

Posted by Kristin B. Sandvik on Wednesday, 18 March 2015

While the humanitarian community is still struggling to help end the Ebola epidemic, talk about lessons learned and the need for critical evaluations have been on the way for some time already. Here, I suggest that humanitarians must pay keen attention to the post-Ebola narrative of military victory that is ... Read more »

Conundrums in the Embrace of the Private Sector

Posted by Kristin B. Sandvik on Thursday, 19 February 2015

The humanitarian sector faces an unprecedented number of crises globally. The growing operational and financial deficit in the capacity of governments and humanitarian organizations to respond has led to calls for changes in the way such crises are understood and managed. This involves a strong focus on cooperation and partnerships ... Read more »

Fighting the War with the Ebola Drone

Posted by Kristin B. Sandvik on Friday, 12 December 2014

A particularly interesting and puzzling corner of the War on Ebola imaginary is inhabited by the triad consisting of Ebola, humanitarian governance, and unmanned technology, drones more precisely. Out of this triad has emerged what will here be called ´the Ebola Drone`. The Ebola Drone has materialized from a confluence ... Read more »

Do they Really Care? Protection of Civilians and the Veto Powers

Posted by Kristoffer Lidén on Monday, 8 December 2014

It was not until the advances of IS in Syria and Iraq turned into an international security threat that a military intervention was launched in September 2014. A horrendous civil war had then killed tens of thousands Syrian civilians and displaced millions without provoking any similar reaction. In this blog ... Read more »

Humanitarian Innovation, Humanitarian Renewal?

Posted by Kristin B. Sandvik on Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The continued evolution of the humanitarian innovation concept needs a critical engagement with how this agenda interacts with previous and contemporary attempts to improve humanitarian action. Accountability and transparency have been central to discussions of humanitarian action over the past two decades. Yet these issues appear generally to be given ... Read more »

Ebola: A Humanitarian Crisis or a Crisis of Humanitarian Governance?

Posted by Kristin B. Sandvik on Wednesday, 15 October 2014

With more than 8,000 confirmed, suspected and probable cases of Ebola and nearly 4,000 deaths, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the impact of this Ebola outbreak far surpasses all previous outbreaks registered since the disease was identified in 1976. But what type of crisis is this? Is this just another humanitarian crisis in ... Read more »

Refugees are a Shared Responsibility

Posted by Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert on Tuesday, 23 September 2014

A record number of refugees have arrived by boat in southern Europe this summer. Norway should voice its support for a common European solution to the issue of boat migrants crossing the Mediterranean. Last year this would have been front-page news, but now each new arrival – or each refugee ... Read more »

Is it Acceptable to Lie for a Good Cause?

Posted by Henrik Urdal on Friday, 5 September 2014

Humanitarian organizations may easily succumb to the temptation to misuse numbers and statistics in order to promote their own causes. Does the end justify the means? Disasters are most dangerous for moms reported Save the Children’s Carolyn S Miles in Huffington Post when presenting the organization’s State of the World’s ... Read more »

New Technology – Better Disaster Relief?

Posted by Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert, John Karlsrud & Kristin B. Sandvik on Sunday, 17 August 2014

New technology has become central to relief efforts in humanitarian crises. This may make relief efforts more effective, but we can’t assume that the technology will have only a beneficial impact on the recipients of emergency aid. Today, mobile phones, social media, crisis mapping, online volunteering, and pre-paid cards are ... Read more »

A Humanitarian Technology Policy Agenda for 2016

Posted by Kristin B. Sandvik on Thursday, 10 July 2014

The World Humanitarian Summit in 2016 will feature transformation through innovation as a key theme. Leading up to the summit, OCHA has voiced the need to “identify and implement….positions that address operational challenges and opportunities” (OCHA 2013) relating to the use of information technology, big data and innovations in humanitarian ... Read more »

Invisible Aid

Posted by Marta Bivand Erdal & Kaja Borchgrevink on Friday, 4 July 2014

Muslims pay 15 times more “religious tax” than the rest of the world gives in humanitarian aid. Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, has just started. A time of fasting for devout Muslims, this is also the time of year when most Muslims pay their annual zakat. Zakat ... Read more »

Turkey’s Ambitions in Africa

Posted by Pinar Tank on Thursday, 5 June 2014

In August 2011 Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan took his family, his foreign minister, and an entourage of cabinet members to visit Somalia as part of a humanitarian mission to highlight the plight of 12 million Somali victims of drought. The visit was symbolically important, as Erdoğan travelled to Mogadishu, the ... Read more »

Lethal Autonomous Weapons: Issues for the International Community

Posted by Nic Marsh & Kristin B. Sandvik on Monday, 12 May 2014

On May 13-16 a United Nations (UN) expert meeting will discuss ‘questions relating to emerging technologies’ in lethal autonomous weapon systems. Such systems are distinguished by being mobile and selecting targets autonomously without direct human supervision. This type of expert meeting represents the lowest rung of the UN ladder. The Chair of ... Read more »

Issues for the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots

Posted by Nic Marsh on Friday, 4 April 2014

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots was launched in April 2013 with the objective of achieving a ban on the development, production and deployment of lethal autonomous weapons. In May 2014, the issue will be discussed by a UN expert meeting under the auspices of the Convention on Conventional Weapons ... 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 »

The Promise and Perils of ‘Disaster Drones’

Posted by Kristin B. Sandvik & Kjersti Lohne on Monday, 2 December 2013

The dire humanitarian consequences of the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or drones) in conflict have become all too familiar. In contrast, there has been much less public discussion about the potential humanitarian uses of drones. So-called ‘disaster drones’ offer humanitarian agencies a range of possibilities in relation to ... Read more »