Boris Nemtsov Still Marches with the Russian Opposition

PRIO Director Henrik Urdal included Russian NGOs standing against the rise of autocracy, and personally Alexei Navalny, in his short-list of candidates for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. Last week, Russian opposition remembered Boris Nemtsov, murdered five years ago, by a march in downtown Moscow, which gathered some 25.000 people. This article reflects on the shifts in Russian society.

Boris Nemtsov at a protest march in 2014.

The Kremlin did not utter even one word to mark the fifth anniversary of the high-profile murder that happened right under the walls of the seat of power in Russia. Boris Nemtsov, a joyful and charismatic leader of the democratic opposition, was shot as he walked along a bridge connected to Red Square.Read More

Governing Global Health Emergencies: the Role of Criminalization

The point of departure for this blog is the apparent frequency of criminalization strategies in early government responses to the Corona virus. While much attention has been given to the securitization of global health responses – also in the case of Corona – less systematic focus has been given to the partial criminalization of infectious diseases as a strategy of global health governance.

As the scope of the Corona outbreak is broadening, the number of countries deploying criminalization measures is also rapidly increasing.

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

China has introduced harsh regulations to deal with the Corona virus, including ‘medical-related crimes’ involving harassment and violence against medical personnel, refusal to submit to quarantine and obstructing dead body management. Singapore and Hong Kong have criminalized the breach of travel restrictions and misleading authorities or spreading false rumours. Taiwan plans sentencing the violation of quarantines. Iran will flog or jail people who spread false rumours. A Russian prankster is facing jail-time for Corona ‘hooliganism’. In the US, prospective quarantine violators from the infamous cruise ship Diamond Princess were facing fines or jail time.

Beyond governments’ need to be seen doing something in the face of public panic across the Global East and the Global North, how should we think about this propensity to reach for penal measures?Read More

Teaching transitional justice after conflict and terror: Cases of Kosovo and Norway

Kristin Bergtora Sandvik and Kjersti Lohne ask: How can education help to realize the multiple goals and visions of transitional justice, and how can transnational justice be adapted to new educational objectives?

This is the first post in an occasional series on the legal, bureaucratic and political aftermaths of the July 22 terror attack and research done under the auspices of the LAW22JULY:RIPPLES project  (SAMRISK) and other PRIO projects.

Claudio Poli via Wikimedia Commons

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Olav Bjerkholt (1942–2020)

Olav Bjerkholt, professor emeritus of economics at Oslo University, passed away on 16 February. A mathematician who converted himself to an economist, he worked in the Research Department at Statistics Norway (Statistisk sentralbyrå, SSB) for 30 years. He then moved to the University of Oslo as professor of energy and oil economics.

In his emeritus years, he devoted his energy mainly to the history of the economics profession and published several articles about the two Norwegian Nobel laureates in economics, Ragnar Frisch and Trygve Haavelmo as well as other pioneers of the discipline.

Olav Bjerkholt made important contributions to PRIO’s research during two separate periods. Read More

Why We Need Research on Migrant Transnationalism Today

A post from board members of the ‘Migrant transnationalism’ Standing Committee, IMISCOE-network.

Milada Vigerova via Unsplash

The amount of remittances sent by migrants to countries of origin continues to increase and equals more than three times the annual volumes of global development assistance (ODA). Migrants’ cross-border ties include visits, political engagement, business investments, and more. With more than 272 million international migrants – one in every thirty people in the world – cross-border ties merit systematic scholarly attention.

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SDGs and the Rule of Law: the need to globalize the ethics of legal tech

In the context of the rapid adoption and integration of legal technology at a global level, this blog post will problematize the consequences of the bias of current discussions on the ethics of legal tech in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs strongly emphasize the importance of the rule of law as a basis for development.  While there is a fast-growing literature on the ethics of legal tech, this literature, and the problems identified and discussed, are problems characteristic of the U.S legal system. No attention is given to issues specifically relevant for the SDGs.  This blog post maps out an initial set of issues for critical discussion.

Photo: NASA CC BY

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“Drone technology has democratized”: An Interview with Bruno Oliveira Martins and Andrea Silkoset

On February 12 PRIO will host a launch event for the report: Counter-Drone Systems: Implications for Norway in an EU and NATO context. The report aims to comprehensively address opportunities and potential risks, associated with the implementation of counter-drone technology (C-UAS). Together with Arthur Holland Michel, PRIO researchers Bruno Oliveira Martins and Andrea Silkoset co-authored this report. We asked them to share their expertise on the evolving field of drones and C-UAS technology.

Photo: John via Flickr

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