Norway – The Colonial Power

Imagine this. Close to a small lake, there is a little building. It has stood there for 120 years – ever since your ancestors, who lived off fishing and foraging, built it. Your grandmother brings you to this place to pass your people’s traditions on to you. You go there in order to preserve knowledge,… Read more »

The Important Debate We’re Not Having

Foreign and security policy impacts everyone, and is therefore too important a topic to be silenced or restricted to the backrooms of government ministries. In general Norwegians have a high level of knowledge on international affairs, not least reflected in a substantial societal interest in the subject. The world is changing rapidly, and Norway along… Read more »

Will the “October Children” from Afghanistan Get Fair Treatment?

Is Norway’s asylum policy simply strict – or is it also fair and humane? In the coming weeks, approximately 200 young Afghans – the so-called “October children” – will have their cases re-assessed. Originally these children were granted temporary residence permits until they turned 18. Thereafter they were to be returned to life as internally… Read more »

Peace Diplomacy: Finding Entry Points for Female Mediators

The Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström has invested in a network of female mediators to strengthen women’s roles in peace and reconstruction processes. However, it is not just the supply of female mediators that is the problem, but the demand as well. Where can opportunities be found for women to make contributions to these processes?… Read more »

Rhetoric as Required

From “the pre-emptive defence of Norway”, to “conflict resolution and peace”, even in the event of “war-like actions”, Norwegian politicians have adapted their rhetoric on Afghanistan as required by circumstances and public opinion. From day one, the Norwegian government has been enthusiastic in its support of intervention in Afghanistan. But over the years many different… Read more »

A Sense of Community in Times of Terrorism

In contrast to the impression one may derive from “the debate about the debate” in Norway, “we” – the overwhelming majority – can agree on many points, including the fact that we stand united in the struggle against extremism. We succeeded in doing so in the “rose marches” five years ago, and we can continue… Read more »

Syria Travellers and Security Threats

Foreign fighters returning from Syria have emerged as a looming security threat in many European countries, so also in Norway. As well as preventive measures against radicalization and mobilization by the Islamic State, there have been calls for the withdrawal of citizenship and deportation of returned foreign fighters. This raises a number of questions: Are Norwegians more secure if we send potential terrorists… Read more »