University Leadership
Response Conference

Global order and democratic values in a time of power shifts and great power rivalry

The University of Bergen and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs invite you to a one-day conference on Norway's foreign policy.

Logo for responskonferansen
The Response Conference will be held in Bergen February 13.

Main content

The global balance of power is transforming. Previous hopes for the ideological triumph of liberal democracy have not been fulfilled. Instead, we observe authoritarian states gaining significant global influence, serving as inspiration for others. Countries long considered consolidated democracies are experiencing democratic setbacks, and an increasing number of citizens seem to lose faith in democracy as a form of governance.

Norway, being a small country, is highly dependent on collaboration with others. What does a changed global order and doubt about support for democratic values mean for us? How can foreign policy ensure that we can uphold our values in the future?

The Response Conference in Bergen will attempt to assess the status of democratic values, the rule of law, and human rights in the world today. It will discuss the foreign policy areas and regions where Norwegian foreign policy can make a positive difference in these values.

We have invited prominent experts to shed light on various conflicts and to take stock of democracy.

The University of Bergen and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are the main collaborators behind the conference.

You can read more about the government's Response Conferences here. (Norwegian)


Moderator: Siri Kleiven Strøm

10.00 - 11.30:

Part 1: Democratic Status Update – Global and Local

Many argue that democracy is in decline worldwide, and an increasing number of people are losing faith in democracy as a form of governance. But what does research tell us about the status of democracy?

  • Welcome by the university rector and the Norwegian foreign minister
  • Is it true that democracy as a form of governance is declining, even among Western countries? Kyle Marquardt, Associate Professor, Department of Comparative Politics, UiB
  • Are people still supporting democracy? Jonas Linde, Professor, Department of Comparative Politics, UiB
  • Analysis of the state of Norwegian democracy (TiNDe) Sirianne Dahlum, Professor, Department of Political Science, UiO

11.30 - 12.30: Lunch break

12.30 - 13.45:

Part 2: Panel Discussion: What global trends are putting pressure on democracy and the rule-based global order – and what can we do about it?

Changing geopolitical power balance and a series of crises and shocks create democratic challenges, putting the global order under pressure. Multilateralism has made significant normative progress, but the will and ability to implement it are lacking. What difference can Norway make to counteract democratic and human rights setbacks and the weakening of the international legal foundation we depend on?

  • Rune Jansen-Hagen, Professor, Department of Economics, UiB
  • Marry-Anne Karlsen, Associate Professor, Department of Social Anthropology, UiB
  • Esperanza Diaz, Professor, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, UiB
  • Liliia Oprysk, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, UiB
  • Eirik Holmøyvik, Professor, Faculty of Law, UiB

13.45 - 14.00: Coffe break

14.00 - 15.30:

Part 3: Panel Discussion: The world is big, and Norway is small. Where can we make a difference?

Throughout history, Norway has been active in foreign policy, development policy, and economics in large parts of the world and, compared to many small countries, has a broad global network. Where can Norway achieve the most democratic values and an international legal-based order?

  • Berkay Alica, PhD Candidate, Department of Comparative Politics, UiB
  • Leiv Marsteintredet, Head of Department, Department of Comparative Politics, UiB
  • Carlo Koos, Associate Professor, Department of Politics and Administration, UiB
  • Julia Christine Marinaccio, Project manager, Carinthia University of Applied Sciences
  • Gunnar Grendstad, Professor, Department of Comparative Politics, UiB 
Conclusion and summary by the Norwegian foreign minister