Peace Scholars Seminar:

Introduction to the Study of Peace and Human Rights in Norway

Course Plan and Syllabus 2016

Course code: ISSSV 1810

Credits: 5 ECTS credits

Time: Wednesday afternoons 4:00 – 6:00pm, plus excursions*[1]


Course leader:

Jeff Lugowe


Course Objectives

This course provides a general introduction to the interdisciplinary field of peace and conflict studies and the study of human rights. The content varies from year to year according to background and expertise of the course leader, and combines theoretical and empirical approaches. The course treats topics related to the causes of conflict, peacebuilding, nonviolence, and human rights. Case studies are drawn primarily from Norway, whose role as a force for good and broker of peace is critically assessed against the backdrop of recent academic and public debates over the underlying aims of Norwegian foreign policy, and the reception of refugees, asylum seekers and other immigrants to Norway.

Course Structure

The course is six weeks in duration and comprises six seminars and an extensive program of excursions.

Requirements and Grading

The success of the course depends on the active participation of the entire group. Students’ grades will be calculated according to their performance in the following areas:

  • Written take-home exam (75%): Students will submit a ten-page, double-spaced paper in which they draw on assigned readings as answer questions stemming from themes taken up in the course. Due date: Thursday, August 4th at 5:00 pm, submitted by e-mail to the instructor together with a signed affidavit.


  1. Project proposal and presentation (25%): The instructor will conduct individual meetings with students to help them select a topic and develop a plan for conducting research during Week 2. Students will then submit a draft project proposal by email by Sunday, July 10th at 8pm. In it, they will present their chosen topic and briefly outline their plans for conducting research. They will also raise any questions or concerns they have connected with their research. On the basis of instructor feedback, summer research and PS seminar readings and excursions, students will hold presentations on their chosen topics during our last class sessions August 1st and 2nd in which they summarize the work they have done on their topic, the ways in which their interests and focus have evolved over the course of the summer, and reflect on any challenges they have faced. Presentations will be assessed on the basis of students’ preparation, the structure and quality of their presentations, and depth of reflection they demonstrate surrounding the experience of conducting summer research.

Grading Scale

A – Excellent performance                                           D – Fair (below average)

B – Very Good                                                                   E – Sufficient (meets minimum criteria)

C – Good (average performance)                                 F – Fail (does not meet minimum criteria)



Students are expected to fully participate in the course sessions through dialogue and interaction in class. Students are expected to show up to class on time and on a consistent basis, be well prepared by having read the readings before each seminar, and to actively ask questions, take notes and contribute to class discussion.

Participation is an essential element of this course. Please note that attendance at all PS seminars and excursions are mandatory and must take precedence over other course and personal commitments. If you are unable to attend a seminar or excursion session due to illness or an emergency, you are expected to notify the appropriate course coordinator before your absence. If you do not do so, your grade will be lowered as a result.

Cheating and plagiarism is absolutely not tolerated. Any student found cheating on any of the exams (group paper, written exam) will automatically fail the course. No exceptions will be granted to this rule.



Date Time Activity

Week 1 – Introduction to Norway and the Study of Peace and Human Rights in Norway


June 27
June 28


June 29 4pm – 6pm Reading Seminar 1
June 30
July 1



Week 2 – From Warmongers to Peace Brokers: Tracing Norway’s Emergence as a Humanitarian Superpower


July 4 1:30 – 3:00pm Field visit to Nobel Peace Center
July 5 4pm – 6:30pm One-on-One Research Topic Meetings
July 6 4pm – 6pm Reading Seminar 2
July 7 1:30 – 3:00pm


4pm – 6:30pm

Field visit to PRIO, Henrik Syse



One-on-One Research Topic Meetings

July 8 5:00 – 6:00pm Meet the MA Peace Studies Students at Blindern dormitory



Week 3 – Norway’s Footprint on the World Today: Doing Good and the Pursuit of Self-Interest


July 11 1:30 – 3:00pm Field visit to the Norwegian Peace Council, Tuva Grimsgaard, information officer
July 12 2:30 – 3:30pm


4:00 – 6:00pm

Applying for a Fulbright Research Grant, Rena Levin, program officer



Meeting with Steinar Bryn

July 13 Reading Seminar 3
July 14 No Classes – Long Weekend
July 15 No Classes – Long Weekend



Week 4 – Fortress Europe and the Global Refugee Crisis


July 18 2:00 – 3:30pm Field visit to the Karibu Foundation, Tyler Hauger, advisor
July 19
July 20 4:00 – 6:00pm Reading Seminar 4
July 21
July 22

Week 5 – Refugees’ Welcome to Norway: An Evaluation


July 25
July 26 1:30 – 3:00pm Field visit to the Norwegian Association for Asylum Seekers (NOAS), Florentina Grama, advisor
July 27 1:30 – 3:00pm


4:00 – 6:00pm

Field visit to Torshov Asylum Center, Iris Hadziosmanovic, Camp Director


Reading Seminar 5

July 28
July 29

Week 6 – Final presentations


Aug 1 3:30 – 5:30pm Final Presentations, Session 1


Aug 2 3:30 – 5:30pm Final Presentations, Session 2
Aug 3
Aug 4 5:00pm Take-home exam due
Aug 5


Reading List


  1. Introduction to Norway and the Study of Peace and Human Rights in NorwayHylland Eriksen, Thomas. “Being Norwegian in a shrinking world: Reflections on Norwegian identity” in Anne Cohen Kiel, ed., Continuity and Change: Aspects of Modern Norway, Scandinavian University Press, Oslo, 1993

    Støre, Jonas Gahr. “Norway – a peace nation. Myth or fact?” Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 24 April 2006.

    Gullestad, Marianne. “Invisible fences: egalitarianism, nationalism and racism.” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol. 8 (1), 2002: 45 – 63. (19 pages)

    II. From Warmongers to Peace Brokers: Tracing Norway’s Emergence as a Humanitarian Superpower

    Witoszek, Nina. “The Architecture of Utopia” in The Origins of the Regime of Goodness: Remapping the Cultural History of Norway. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 2011

    Gullestad, Marianne. 2007. “Chapter 2: Establishing a Goodness Regime” in Picturing Pity: Pitfalls and Pleasures in Cross Cultural Communication – Image and Word in a North Cameroon Mission, 2007 (35-73, can be shortened)

    Navigating Colonial Orders Norwegian Entrepreneurship in Africa and Oceania. Edited by Kirsten Alsaker Kjerland and Bjørn Enge Bertelsen Introduction: Norwegians Navigating Colonial Orders in Africa and Oceania: an Introduction. Bjørn Enge Bertelsen

    Thune, Henrik, and Ståle Ulriksen. “Norway as an Allied Activist – Prestige and Penance Through Peace.” Norwegian Institute of International Affairs Paper 637 (2002) : 3-30.

    Skånland, Øystein Haga. “‘Norway is a peace nation’: A discourse analytic reading of the Norwegian peace engagement.” Cooperation and Conflict 45, no. 1 (2010): 34-54

    III.        Norway’s Footprint on the World Today: Doing Good and the Pursuit of Self-Interest

    Ingebritsen, Christine. “Chapter 4: Norway’s niche in world politics” in Scandinavia in World Politics. Lanham, M.D. : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2006

    Bangstad, Sindre and Bjørn Enge Bertelsen. “Heart of darkness reinvented? A tale of ex-soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.” Anthropology Today 26, no. 1 (February 2010) : 8-12

    Adam Grydehøj (2014) Informal diplomacy in Norway’s Svalbard policy: the
    intersection of local community development and Arctic international relations, Global Change,
    Peace & Security, 26:1, 41-54,

    Soft power through Responsibility to Protect: a small state’s foreign policy strategy
    – A study of Norwegian foreign policy and R2P in the context of the civil wars in Libya and Syria.
    Master`s Thesis. Msc in Globalization – Global Politics and Culture. NTNU – Department of Sociology and Political Science. Anne Margrete Slaaen Omtveit. Spring 2015

    Tvedt, Terje. 2007. “International Development Aid and Its Impact on a Donor Country: A Case Study of Norway.”

    IV.        Fortress Europe and the Global Refugee Crisis

    Convention and Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees. 1951 (1967) (excerpts) (E)

    Eleni Karageorgiou (2016) Solidarity and sharing in the Common European
    Asylum System: the case of Syrian refugees, European Politics and Society, 17:2, 196-214

    Ruben Andersson (2016) Europe’s failed ‘fight’ against irregular migration:
    ethnographic notes on a counterproductive industry, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies,
    42:7, 1055-1075

    From commitment to compliance? Norway’s international human rights obligations and practice towards asylum seekers. Hermansen, Tonje Falstad (MA thesis). (excerpts)

    Migrant crisis: Migration to Europe explained in seven charts.

    Bawke (‘Father’) (2006, Norway)

    “Europe’s Migration Crossing Points Captured in Six Short Films” – Open Society Foundation, 2015: (each 6 mins)

    V.         Refugees’ Welcome to Norway: An Evaluation

    “The act on an introduction program and Norwegian language training for newly arrived immigrants.”

    Younge, Gary. “The enemy within” in Who We Are – and Should it Matter in the Twenty­First Century? New York : Nation Books, 2011 (C, 32 pages)

    Gullestad, Marianne. “Normalising racial boundaries: the Norwegian dispute about the term neger.” Social Anthropology 13, no. 1

    Eriksen, Thomas Hylland. “A darker shade of pale: Cultural intimacy in an age of terrorism Anthropology Today 27, no. 5 (2011): 1-2.

    Bangstad, Sindre. “The Rise of the Populist Right in Norway” (June 2015) (ca. 3 pages)

    VI.        Closing

    May, Todd. “Is American nonviolence possible?” The New York Times. 21 April 2013.


* Seminar meeting times vary somewhat from week to week; please see the complete course schedule for a full overview of class meetings and academic excursions