Why the Nobel Peace Prize Went to Two People Fighting Sexual Violence in War

As Islamic State forces swept through northern Iraq in 2014, they captured the city of Mosul and then attacked the nearby Yazidi people. Thousands of Yazidis were executed — and some 3,000 girls and women were kidnapped. Most were sexually enslaved. One of the two recipients of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize is a survivor… Read more »

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

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 the 2016 killing of Berta… Read more »

The Norwegian Libya Commission: An Important Report, But We’re Still Missing Answers

The Norwegian government must have known that the 2011 bombing campaign in Libya could lead to the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, argues PRIO researcher Kristian Berg Harpviken. In light of the recent release of the commission’s official report on Norway’s participation in the military operation in Libya, Harpviken was asked to comment in an interview… Read more »

An Impossible Peace

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,… Read more »

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

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… Read more »

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

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… Read more »

White Helmets in the Dark Night

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, for example, the Colombian nominees… Read more »

Suicide Bombing ≠ Religious Fervor

  Is it just religious fanatics who blow themselves up as suicide bombers? Bernt Hagtvet, Professor of Political Science at the University of Oslo, has been active in the Norwegian media lately, stating that only religion (he focuses mostly on Islam) brings the fervor to commit suicide attacks as part of a political struggle –… Read more »

Attacks on Humanitarian Aid Workers: Five New Findings

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… Read more »