Peace Scholars Seminar

Introduction to the Study of Peace and Human Rights in Norway

Course Plan and Syllabus 2017
Course Code: ISSSV1810

Credits: 5 ECTS credits

Time: Seminars held 14:00 – 16:00 on irregular days. See schedule for excursions (times/dates subject to change).

Classroom: GM 203

Course Leaders:

Alexander Bielicki –

Dragana Kovačević Bielicki –

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 the 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 includes weekly seminars as well as an extensive program of excursions. All times subject to change. You will be notified of any changes as far in advance as possible.

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:

  1. Written take-home exam (75%): Students will submit a ten-page, double-spaced paper in which they draw on assigned readings and answer questions stemming from themes taken up in the course. DUE DATE: Thursday, August 3, 2017 at 5pm, submitted by email to the instructors, together with a signed affidavit.


  1. Project proposal and presentation (25%): The instructors will conduct indivudal 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 9 at 5pm. 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 potential research. On the basis of instructor feedback, summer research, class readings, and excursions, students will construct presentations on their chosen topics to be delivered during the final class sessions on Monday, July 31, Tuesday, August 1 and Wednesday, August 2. In these presentations, they will 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 the presentation, and the 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 assigned material before each seminar, and to actively ask questions, take notes, and contribute to the class discussion.

Participation is an essential element of this course. Please note that attendance at all Peace Scholar seminars and excursions is mandatory and must take precedence over other course and personal commitments. If you are unable to attend a seminar or excursion due to illness or an emergency, you are expected to notify the 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 evaluated assignments (exam or paper) will automatically fail the course. No exceptions will be granted to this rule.

Date Time Topic/ Readings/ Lecturer Room

Week 1 – Reflections on Norwegian Identity and its Connections to Peace

June 26      
68June 27  

14:00 – 16:00


Seminar GM 203
June 28      
June 29      
June 30  

14:15 – 16:00


Guided tour of the Nobel Peace Center Meet GM lobby @ 13:30

Week 2 – “Establishing a Goodness Regime”

July 03  

14:00 – 16:00


Seminar GM 203
July 04 14:00 – 16:00


16:00 – 18:00


Field excursion – The Norwegian Refugee Council (Stian Abrahamsen, Advisor; Pål Nesse, Senior Advisor; guest expert on the situation in Yemen)


Meeting with Steinar Bryn, Blindern Studenterhjem


Meet GM lobby @ 13:20


GM 203

July 05  

14:00 – 17:00

Individual meetings regarding research projects GM 203
July 06  

14:00 – 17:00


19:00 – 21:00


Individual meetings regarding research projects


Evening meeting with the Peace Research students at Blindern Studenterhjem

GM 203




July 07  

14:00 – 16:30

Individual meetings regarding research projects GM 203

Week 3 – Fortress Europe and the Global Displacement Crisis

July 10 14:30 – 16:30  

Field excursion – Fredshuset (The Peace House), Norwegian Peace Council (Tuva Grimsgaard, Information Advisor)


Meet GM lobby @ 13:50
July 11  

14:00 – 16:00


Seminar GM 203
July 12      
July 13   Long weekend  
July 14    

Week 4 – (Are) Refugees Welcome to Norway?

July 17      
July 18  

14:30 – 16:30


Field excursion – NOAS, the Norwegian Organization for Asylum Seekers (Florentina Grama, Advisor)


Meet GM lobby @ 13:45
July 19  

14:00 – 16:00


Seminar GM 203
July 20      
July 21      

Week 5 – Building Bridges in a Divided World

July 24 14:30 – 16:00  

Field excursion – The Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights (former PM Kjell Magne Bondevik, Founder and President)


Meet GM lobby @ 13:45
July 25  

14:00 – 16:00


16:00 – 18:00





Meeting with Steinar Bryn, Blindern Studenterhjem


GM 203



Blindern Studenterhjem

July 26  

14:30 – 16:00


Meeting with Rena Levin at Fulbright Foundation Meet GM lobby @ 14:00
July 27      
July 28      

Week 6 – Student Presentations

July 31  

14:00 – 17:30


Student Presentations GM 113
August 1  

14:00 – 17:30



Student Presentations


GM 113
August 2  

14:00 – 17:30


Student Presentations GM 113
August 3      
August 4