Cyprus Course on Peace and Conflict (For Research School members and their supervisors)

Please note: This page refers to a course that has already taken place.

14 - 20 Oct 2018

Kyrenia and Nicosia, Cyprus

Gregory M. Reichberg (UiO/PRIO)

5 ECTS with course essay

Marte Nilsen

​Elin Bjarnegård (Associate Professor, Dept. of Government, Uppsala University)

Annika Björkdahl (Professor, Department of Political Science, Lund University)

Mete Hatay (Senior Research Consultant, PRIO Cyprus Center)

Cindy Horst (Research Professor in Migration and Refugee Studies, PRIO)

Marte Nilsen (Senior Researcher, PRIO, and Coordinator, Research School)

Lynn Nygaard (Special Advisor on Project Development and Publications, PRIO)

Gregory M. Reichberg (Research Professor, PRIO and University of Oslo, Political Science; Director, Research School on Peace and Conflict)

Kristin Ringdal (Professor, Politiocal Science, NTNU)

Henrik Syse (Research Professor, PRIO)

Francesco Strazzari (Associate Professor, International Relations, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies)

Zenonas Tziarras (Senior Research Consultant, PRIO Cyprus Center)

Torunn Tryggestad (Senior Researcher and Director of PRIO Centre on Gender, Peace, and Security)

Henrik Urdal (Research Professor and Institute Director, PRIO)

The objective of this course is twofold: On the one hand, it will examine the theory of peace and conflict research (its nature and scope) and on the other, it will consider a diverse sampling of its representative topics, including: conflict trends today; the role of religion in armed conflict; coercive diplomacy and the use of threats in the international sphere; the Nobel Peace Prize, gendered dimensions of violence, diasporas and peacebuilding;  land ownership and indigenous rights, memory politics and transitional justice; and failed peace mediations. The course will also include a session on the Cyprus conflict, as well as site visits. 

The course is organised in collaboration between UiO, NTNU and PRIO, and is hosted by the PRIO Cyprus Centre. Only members of the Research School (and their supervisors) are eligible to enroll in this course.

Course Description:

​The idea that peace and conflict constitute a special domain of research emerged about half a century ago, and has since become a major multi-disciplinary field of inquiry. The field is often associated with the Nordic countries where specialized institutes on peace research have existed since the late 1950's. The very nature of peace and conflict research has been the subject of some disagreement. On some accounts peace and conflict research is best construed as a unified discipline, while on other accounts it is alternatively described as a field of study that can be approached from within a variety of different disciplines. The very aim or purpose of this research has also been a matter of some contention, with some viewing it first and foremost as a mode of scientific inquiry where knowledge is sought for its own sake, while for others it has a normative thrust – under the supposition that giving impetus to a more peaceful state-of-affairs in the world is of its very essence.

The course is held in Cyprus where PRIO maintains an office, the PRIO Cyprus Centre.  We will meet in Kyrenia during the first few days, and afterwards in the divided capital Nicosia, where the course will continue at The Home for Cooperation, in the UN Buffer Zone. Taking advantage of these settings we will explore how the theoretical issues of peace and conflict research play out in one distinctive local context. This will be done both thematically – with lectures on e.g. the inter-communal strife from 1963-1974 and the status of current efforts to overcome the island's division – and with a guided field trip to conflict-related sites in Nicosia.

Basic costs (food, board and a contribution to the travel costs) associated with the Cyprus course will be covered by the Research School.


​The course equals 5 ECTS according to the standards of the University of Oslo, provided that participants:

  • actively prepare for the course
  • actively participate in the course sessions
  • submit a course essay of about 5000 words, and that the essay is approved.

    The topic of the essay is quite open for this course, as the course topic is intendedly broad. An essay proposal should be submitted to Marte Nilsen (marnil@PRIO.NO) within two weeks after the course. The proposal should include (1) name, working title and research question, (2) a tentative abstract of max 200 words, and (3) an indication of which lectures and readings that the essay relates to.  

Course Literature:

Henrik Urdal, What is peace research?

  • Gleditsch NP; E Melander & H Urdal (2016). 'Introduction – Patterns of Armed Conflict since 1945'. Chapter 1 in D Mason & S McLaughlin Mitchell, eds., What Do We Know About Civil War? Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, pp. 15-32.

Kristoffer Lidén, When a mediated peace fails: on the distribution of responsibility for resumed warfare in (South) Sudan

Torun Tryggestad, International Peace Mediation and Negotiations: What's women got to do with it?

  • Bell, C. and C. O'Rourke (2010), 'Peace Agreements or 'Pieces of Paper'?: The Impact of UNSC Resolution 1325 on Peace Processes and their Agreements', International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Vol 59, pp 941-80.
  • Krause, J., W. Krause and P. Bränfors (2018). 'Women's Participation in Peace Negotiations and the Durability of Peace', International Interactions, 44:6.

  • Salvesen, H. and D. Nylander (2017). 'Towards an inclusive peace: women and the gender approach in the Colombian peace process', NOREF Report. Oslo: Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution.


  • Paffenholz, T., N. Ross, S. Dixon, A.-L. Schluchter og J. True: Making Women Count - Not Just Counting Women: Assessing Women's Inclusion and Influence on Peace Negotiations. 

Cindy Horst, Diasporas and peacebuilding

  • Tellander and Cindy Horst (2017). "A Foreign Policy Actor of Importance? The Role of the Somali Diaspora in Shaping Norwegian Policy towards Somalia." Foreign Policy Analysis.
  • Lyons, Terrence (2007), "Conflict-generated diasporas and transnational politics in Ethiopia." Conflict, Security & Development 7.4: 529-549.

Anne Julie Semb, States, indigenous peoples and land rights: The case of Norway and the ILO Convention


  • Vik, Hanne Hagtvedt and Anne Julie Semb (2013). "Who Owns the Land? Norway, the Sami and the ILO Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention." International Journal on Minority and Group Rights 4: 517-550

Henrik Syse, Peace through the prism of the Nobel Peace Prize

  • Abrams, Irwin (2012). The Nobel Peace Prize and the Laureates: An Illustrated Biographical History. Saginaw Beach: Science History Publications, pp. 1-32.

Greg Reichberg, "All Options are on the Table": Threats and Coercive Diplomacy in Foreign Affairs

  • Reichberg, Gregory and Henrik Syse (2018), Threats and Coercive Diplomacy: An Ethical Analysis. Ethics & International Affairs 32.2: 179-202.

Annika Björkdahl, Impact of memory politics on the quality of peace in societies transitioning from conflict

  • Annika Björkdahl, et al. (2017). Memory Politics, Cultural Heritage and Peace

          Introducing an Analytical Framework to Study Mnemonic Formations. Working paper, Research Cluster on Peace,            memory, and Cultural Heritage.

  • Kris Brown (2013). "High Resolution' Indicators in Peacebuilding: The Utility of Political Memory." Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 7.4: 492_ 513,

Marte Nilsen, Religion and violent conflict 

  • Cavanaugh, William T. (2009) The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict. 'Introduction' p3-14. Oxford University Press.

  • Nilsen, Marte and Shintaro Hara (2017). "Religious Motivation in Political Struggles: The Case of Thailand's Patani Conflict." Journal of Religion and Violence 5.3: 291-311.

Francesco Strazzari, Organized crime and state (un)making in the Sahara-Sahel region

  • Lacher, W. and A. al-Idrissi (2018). "Capital of Militias. Tripoli's Armed Groups Capture the Libyan State." Briefing Paper, Small Arms Survey. Geneva.

Elin Bjarnegård, Gender, Masculinity, and Violence

  • Bjarnegård, Elin, Karen Brounéus and Erik Melander. 2017. "Honor and Political Violence. Micro-level findings from a Survey in Thailand".  Journal of Peace Research 54(6)
  • Bjarnegård, Elin and Erik Melander. 2017. "Pacific Men: How Attitudes to Gender Equality Explain Hostility". Pacific Review 30(4): 478-493.

Mete Hatay and Zenonas Tziarras, The Cyprus Conflict and the Process toward a Negotiated Settlement

  • Gürel, Ayle, Hatay, Mete, and Yakinthou, Ayla (2012)"An Overview of Events and Perceptions", in Displacement in Cyprus: Consequences of Civil and Military Strife Report no. 5, PRIO Cyprus Centre.
  • Hatay, Mete, and Tzimitras, Harry (2016). "A Time for Realism: Solving the Cyprus issue through linkage politics" Brookings Institute Paper (forthcoming: will be distributed a week before the course). 

Course Files