Month: November 2019

Afghanistan at a Crossroads

Can the conflict in Afghanistan be resolved politically, or must the war continue until one of the parties has won? The conflict in Afghanistan is now the world’s deadliest. The United States and the Taliban negotiated a peace agreement that never got signed. The recent exchange of prisoners may signal a restart of talks. Afghanistan… Read more »

Meet the ‘Good Citizen’

The question of what constitutes the “good citizen” has received renewed interest in Western Europe in connection with increasing pressure on the welfare state, concerns over migration-related diversity, and growing anxiety about a crisis of democracy. In a recently published article, ‘The “good citizen”: asserting and contesting norms of participation and belonging in Oslo’, we… Read more »

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

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 agenda is important, but for… Read more »

A Social Security Scandal with Deep Roots

The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Service, NAV, has been simultaneously complying with and breaking EEA rules. During 2015 and 2016, I gained detailed insight into how individual bureaucrats were handling exports of sickness benefits. I also heard stories about rules being applied inconsistently. A major social security scandal is currently unfolding in Norway. It is… Read more »

Accountable to Whom? Reflecting on the ethics of doing migration research

Who are we accountable to when doing research on migration and mobility? Many scholars, ourselves included, do research with – rather than about – refugees and other migrants, or indeed communities and individuals in origin or destination country. But to whom are we accountable? And what can and should accountability entail in practice, in research… Read more »

The Weaponization of Killer Trucks: Vehicular Terror and Vehicular Crypts

On October 23, 2019, 39 bodies were found inside a refrigerator lorry on an industrial estate in Essex. The vehicle was registered in Varna, Bulgaria, had entered the UK four days before and was driven by a man from Northern-Ireland. The victims – 38 adults and a teenager – were identified as Vietnamese. This incident is just… Read more »

Peace with a Human Rights Perspective: Asbjørn Eide Interviewed by Helge Øystein Pharo

Asbjørn Eide, interviewed by Helge Øystein Pharo Former PRIO Director Asbjørn Eide was only seven years old when he experienced war at first hand. In a surprise attack on the morning of 9 April 1940, the Germans began to invade Norway. As a result, Norwegian forces in the Bergen area retreated eastwards towards Voss. At… Read more »

New Directions in Humanitarian Governance: Technology, Juridification and Criminalization

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 and NGOs, and donors. Much… Read more »

Science Diplomacy in the Middle East

Research-based dialogue can make substantial contributions to addressing challenges in the Middle East. By mobilizing diverse knowledge milieus, drawing attention to new insights, and emphasizing the normative commitment to truth, we can lay the foundations for dialogue between various states and actors who otherwise find it difficult to interact. At the launch of the new… Read more »