Sven Gunnar Simonsen left PRIO in 2008. The information on this page is kept for historical reasons.

Sven Gunnar Simonsen

Sven Gunnar Simonsen

Interests and experience

For the year 2008 I am dividing my time between three projects:

* A project examining the role of security institutions in relation to national unity in East Timor. Drawing on my earlier research and new fieldwork, I seek to offer a new perspective to the analysis of security sector reform in East Timor: the demobilization of Falintil and the trajectories of the new military and police forces are considered in light of the weakening of societal cohesion since 1999 – a trend that culminated with the 2006 crisis. Funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Articles from this project are forthcoming in Pacific Review; Relaciones Internacionales (Spain); and Udenrigs (Denmark).

* A comparative project examining security sector reform that is part of internationalized statebuilding following military intervention. This project will review several current cases of SSR in light of existing theory on unit cohesion in military forces. The cases offer an opportunity to broaden the applicability of existing theory; the theory may inspire new suggestions as to how unit cohesion may be optimalized in ongoing SSR projects that appear increasingly exigent. Particular focus is on the cases of Iraq and Afghanistan, and data collection in Afghanistan is part of the project. Funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Defense.

* Finally, in April-May, I served as an OSCE long-term election observer for the parliamentary elections in Georgia.


Languages spoken:

Norwegian, English, Russian, German, Spanish, some Serbo-Croat, basic French

Working experience:

1994-2008 Researcher at PRIO.

2008 OSCE long-term observer at parliamentary elections, Georgia (April-May)

2007-2008 Researched the projects ’Internationalized Statebuilding and Theories of Military Unit Cohesion’ (funded by the Norwegian MoD) and ’The Role of East Timor's Security Institutions in National Integration – and Disintegration’ (funded by the MFA).

2006 On leave (language studies).

2002-2005 'Military Intervention and Post-Conflict Nation-Building', post-doctoral project (funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Defense).

2003-2005; 2007 Academic Coordinator, Australian National University (ANU), PRIO, and Bjørknes College joint postgraduate degree program in international relations, specialising in peace and conflict studies.

1997-2001 'Nationalism, National Identity and the Post-Soviet Russian Military', doctoral project financed by a grant from the Norwegian Research Council, with additional project grants from Norwegian Ministry of Defense, Norwegian Foreign Ministry, NATO, and Brown University.

2000-2003 Book review editor of Journal of Peace Research.

1999-2001 Course Leader, six-week graduate course C-154 Peace Research, 'Armed Conflicts – Causes and Responses'. International Summer School (ISS), University of Oslo.

1997-1998 Fulbright Research Associate, Center for Slavic and East European Studies, University of California, Berkeley.

1991-1994 Nordisk Østforum. Editor-in-chief of quarterly Nordic journal on Russian and East European affairs.

--> 1994 Worked as a journalist for several newspapers, including Dagens Næringsliv, Verdens Gang, and Dagbladet.


Dr. Philos. (University of Oslo, 2002)
Cand Polit. (political science; University of Oslo, 1993)
MA (international journalism; City University, London, 1987)

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