Freezing time, preparing for the future: The stockpile as a temporal matter of security

My paper on stockpiling, published in Security Dialogue, began with party conversations. When I told people that I work on catastrophe preparedness, the conversation inevitably shifted towards stockpiling. Concerned friends would ask how much food, water, and candles you have to store to be safe during an emergency. The gentrification critic would remark that we… 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 ethical terms?

In the classroom. All photos: Marta Bivand Erdal

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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 the latest example of vehicle-induced migrant mass fatalities.

Photo: Seb Creativo via Unsplash

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

Asbjørn Eide and Nils Petter Gleditsch in 2019, admiring the younger versions of themselves as the ‘Directors Wall’ was unveiled during PRIO’s 60th Anniversary. Photo: Agnete Schjønsby / PRIO

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 Bulken, the Germans were temporarily halted. They retaliated by firebombing Vossevangen. Within a few days, the Eide family found the situation so precarious that they left for Eksingedalen, somewhat west of Voss. After two days of walking through deep snow, they reached the family farm. In retrospect, Asbjørn Eide muses that his interest in the causes of conflict and how they may be prevented can probably be traced back to that harrowing experience of April 1940.

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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 of this governance is associated with the intended as well as the unintended consequences of humanitarian action.

Photo: Jørgen Carling/PRIO

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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.

The ‘Erbil Declaration’ on Inclusive Citizenship in Iraq. Photo: Kristian Berg Harpviken / PRIO

At the launch of the new PRIO Middle East Centre, which I will have the privilege of leading, it is worth reflecting on the possibilities and constraints of science diplomacy, one of the key areas of engagement for the new centre.Read More

What Does Gender Equality Have to Do with Poverty and War? Everything.

This year’s telethon in Norway, an annual event, raised over 225 million Norwegian kroner for CARE’s work in strengthening women’s rights. Gender equality and women’s empowerment aren’t just goals in themselves: achieving those goals will reduce poverty and lower the risk of armed conflict.

Women walking in Rwanda, 2010. Photo: Revolution_Ferg CC BY via Flickr.

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Who are the Civilians in South Sudan?

Why are local communities so often targeted in South Sudan’s civil wars? How do their attackers justify violence against people defined as civilians in international law? In our article in the current issue of Security Dialogue, we answer these questions by placing recent brutalities within a longer history of conflict logics and practices in South… Read more »