Global Challenges

Research on global challenges

The University's strategic focus on global challenges is based on global development and globalisation processes.

Paul S. Amundsen

Main content

UiB works specifically to promote interdisciplinary research on migration, health and inequality, as key themes within its strategic initiative on global challenges. The three themes are closely linked, but can also stand alone. Several faculties have established high quality research within these themes, and the University seeks to further develop this research in an interdisciplinary setting.

The UN's Sustainable Development Goals directly address both inequality and health. Access to healthcare and health risks are among the most significant differentiating factors in the world today. Failing health and health services are often both a result, and a cause, of inequality.

The causes for migration are many and varied, and occurs within individual countries as well as between countries and continents. Migration characterises today's economy, political agenda and culture. 

Overview of selected research projects


PROTECT The Right to International Protection

Project leader: Professor Hakan Sicakkan, Department of Comparative Politics

This EU-funded research project studies the effects of the UN's two frameworks that promote international cooperation and division of responsibilities around the management of global refugee flows. By studying how they are implemented in different countries, and how they interact with existing legal frameworks and governance architectures, we examine the platforms impact on refugees' right to international protection. Read more about the project.


DIMENSIONS, a project on criminal insanity and psychosis

Project leader: Professor Linda Gröning, Faculty of Law

This five-year project (2021-26) is funded by the Research Council of Norway. studies criminal insanity and how this legal doctrine is related to mental illnesses, particularly psychosis. By fusing philosophy, legal research, and mental health research, it seeks to develop the legal understanding of psychosis and how it is related to criminal insanity. With the Norwegian medical model as a legal basis, the project challenges current insanity paradigms. Read more about the project.


Terms of Agreement: Challenges of Muslim Inclusion

Project leader: Professor Elisabeth Ivarsflaten, Department of Administration and Organization Theory

The point of departure for this project is the assumption that indigenous citizens in Norway and elsewhere in Western Europe are more open to inclusion, also of Muslim minorities, than previously thought. The project (2019-23) will contribute new knowledge about the type, scope and limitations of anti-Muslim mobilization, but also openness to the inclusion of Muslim minorities in today's society. Read more about the project.

Young offenders

Project leader: Professor Linda Gröning, Faculty of Law

As a result of poverty, immigration, mental illness and marginalization, more children risk becoming both criminals and victims. The project This project will contribute to developing knowledge to meet these fundamental challenges through an interdisciplinary analysis of assessments concerning children's criminal liability and punishment, within the Norwegian penal system. Read more about the project (Norwegian).

BARN-NEMND - Database for Child Protection Judgements

Project leader: Professor Camilla Bernt, Faculty of Law

Child protection is regulated through the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, where Norway is seen as a pioneer country. This project is linked to the UN's sustainability goals, which focus on vulnerable and marginalized people. The project (2021-23) will build a database with county council decisions in child welfare cases that will provide new knowledge about children at risk. Read more about the project.

The Politics of Inequality. How Representative Democracy (Mal-) Functions in Europe

Project leader: Professor Yvette Peters, Department of Comparative Politics

Political equality is a fundamental condition for the existence of democracy, and representation structures the way democracies function. This project (2017-21) deals with some of the most pressing issues facing democracies today: political inequality and the lack of representation. It investigates the state of representative democracy by studying citizen-state relations. More specifically, the project focuses on representation (do citizens get what they want?) and political equality (do people get what they want equally?). Research conducted within the project will further our understanding of how representative democracy works, will precisely diagnose its problems, and will identify ways of improving it. Read more about the project.