Author: Kristian Berg Harpviken

Kristian Berg Harpviken
Kristian Berg Harpviken is the Director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) since 2009. A long time expert on Afghanistan and the surrounding region, Harpviken holds particular competence on wartime migration, transnational movements and mobilization, regional security and the dynamics of civil war.

The Taliban’s Choice

The Taliban have, for the first time, been presented with a comprehensive peace initiative. This is an invitation they can not turn down. President Ashraf Ghani’s proposal at the conclusion of the recent meeting of the Kabul Process on Peace and Security Cooperation was as bold as it was surprising. The package contains many new… Read more »

Afghanistan – a new chapter in the Great Game?

May the shifting superpower dynamics bring hope for Afghanistan? Both Moscow and Beijing are displaying increasing interest in Afghanistan, after a decade and a half of domination by Washington. This shift is having effects in both Afghanistan and among its neighbours. the international power play surrounding Afghanistan is changing Recent news from Afghanistan has been… Read more »

Oslo: a Global Knowledge Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies

By entering into a new strategic cooperation agreement, the University of Oslo and the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) wish to contribute to solidify Oslo’s role as a global powerhouse for knowledge about the prevention and resolution of armed conflict. Ole Petter Ottersen, Rector, University of Oslo Kristian Berg Harpviken, Director, Peace Research Institute Oslo… Read more »

A Bold Choice for the Nobel Peace Prize

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…. Read more »

France’s Response to Terror

Following the terror attack in Nice, the French President Hollande has responded to mounting criticism by sharpening both his rhetoric and the country’s proposed reactions to terror. But no society can be protected against all risks, and anti-terror efforts do not always have the intended effects. Within a split second, in the afternoon of 14… Read more »

Blair’s Global Vision – and Lacking Knowledge Base

Tony Blair took the decision to take part in the military intervention in Iraq in 2003 more or less on his own, and based it on very scant knowledge. Are there reasons to fear the same happening again? The British Chilcot Commission has released a crushing verdict over former PM Tony Blair’s decision to stand… Read more »

A Muted Voice? Religious Actors and Civil Society in Post-2001 Afghanistan

In general, religious actors are not perceived as possible contributors to civil society. In Afghanistan, where religion permeates society and politics, and where religious leaders and networks bear considerable influence, this is particularly problematic. There is a need for a thorough rethink of what civil society is, and the role of religion within it. While… Read more »

Peace Processes Need Women

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… Read more »

What if the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to Snowden?

Edward Snowden’s nomination for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize has stirred controversy in Norway and internationally. Is Snowden a (US) traitor or a (global) saviour? Will Norway allow him to receive the prize, resisting US demands to arrest and hand him over? Along with previous years’ nominations of Julian Assange and Bradley (Chelsea) Manning, Snowden’s… Read more »