Viking Peace? June 9, 2011Posted by Elyse Leonard in Individual Fellowship, Norway, Undergraduate.
Tags: conflict resolution, Norway, Peace Research Institute of Oslo, PRIO
To the untrained eye, Norway might not seem like the best destination choice for a student like me – someone interested in studying civil wars and post-conflict reconciliation. Since the Vikings, how much conflict has Norway seen? Yet a closer look reveals that Norway stands as a world leader in international conflict resolution research, theory, and policy. From Sudan to Sri Lanka, Norwegians have influenced peace talks and post-conflict transition strategies worldwide.
This summer I have the opportunity to learn about Norway’s approach to conflict resolution. As an intern with the Peace Research Institute of Oslo (PRIO), I will engage with the Norwegian conflict experts on a daily basis. My main project focuses on the expansion of a data set in the Environmental Factors of Civil War department. The study aims to determine the relationship between urban population increases and urban violence. Specifically, I will look into Latin American urban violence incidents since 1960 and the recent Arab Spring. Beyond archival research and data-coding for this Urban Social Disturbances study, I also will contribute research towards a new policy forum on sexual violence in mineral resource conflicts. This topic has received little scholarly attention. I feel excited to contribute the project’s early design.
Since my internship started recently, I have no solid conclusions about the Norwegian approach to conflict studies. I have learned that the PRIO work environment is highly collaborative and encouraging. I look forward to growing more as a researcher and peace advocate in my coming months at PRIO and will write again soon — hopefully with more insights about Norwegians, their culture, and their perspective on conflict resolution!