This week, we’ve been discussing the concept of R2P (Responsibility to Protect) a lot in our coursework.  R2P, as was adopted unanimously at the 2005 UN World Summit, states that all sovereign nations have the responsibility to protect their populations from “genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity” (§138) and that UN member nations have the responsibility to step in if the Security Council deems it necessary (§139).  I wish I knew more about the circumstances that gave rise to this document, as it seems uniquely applicable to the current Syrian Civil War and refugee crisis.  Besides this, our seminar now has us writing our research project proposals.  I personally hope to conduct a number of ethnographic interviews with leading members of Oslo’s Islamic community, in order to ascertain the challenges faced by Muslim immigrants to Norway.  This topic seems especially pertinent given the rise of right-wing movements across Europe, along with the refugee crisis generated by the Syrian Civil War.  Along with this, I’m curious to investigate the conception of “Norwegian-ness” and whether it extents to Islamic immigrants in Norway.  Anthropologist Marianne Gullestad, in her article “Invisible Fences: Egalitarianism, Nationalism and Racism”, argues that many Norwegians still do not regard Islamic immigrants as not “true” Norwegians.  This topic interests me for two primary reasons: the potential parallels to be drawn with contemporary Islamophobic rhetoric in the United States, and how Norwegian society reacted to the present influx of Muslim immigrants, as well as how integrating into Norwegian society has changed those immigrants’ day-to-day lives.  My line of inquiry still needs refinement, but I’m hopeful for what will come of it.  In the meantime, I look forward to continuing to study Norway through the lens of Peace Studies.

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