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Completed research projects

Here you will find a list of completed research projects at SKOK, including doctoral theses.

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In the overview, you'll find the completed projects sorted under funding source, as well as a chronological overview of defended doctoral theses as SKOK - the newest first. Click on each project to learn more.

Research Council of Norway (NFR)

The below, completed projects were funded by the Research Council of Norway and are listed with the name of the project manager (of the project or at SKOK) the short name of the project and the NFR funding programme.

The NFR works to promote research and innovation of high quality and relevance and to generate knowledge in priority areas to enable Norway to deal with key challenges to society and the business sector.

Christine M. Jacobsen | WAIT | Researcher project SAMKUL (The cultural preconditions of societal development)

Project: WAIT - Waiting for an uncertain future: the temporalities of irregular migration

Project manager: Professor and Head of Centre at SKOK at the time, Christine Jacobsen

Researchers at SKOK: Marry-Anne Karlsen, Kari Anne Drangsland, Randi Gressgård

Researchers at other institutions: Shahram Khosravi (Stockholm University), Karl Harald Søvig (UiB), Jessica Schultz (UIB), Thomas Hylland Eriksen (UiO), Odin Lysaker (UiA)

Project duration: 2016-2020

The WAIT project used theories of temporality and the concept of 'waitinghood' as tools for producing new and critical insights into the cultural conditions and implications of migration. 'Waitinghood' is about the condition of prolonged waiting, uncertainty and temporariness which is characteristic of irregular migration.

WAIT investigated how temporal structures related to irregular migration are shaped by legal regimes, cultural norms and power relationships, and how they shape subjective experiences and life projects. The project focused on four European migration-hubs, notably Oslo (Norway), Stockholm (Sweden), Marseille (France) and Hamburg (Germany).

Christine M. Jacobsen | DENAT | Institutionally based strategic project - ISPSAM-ISP (Social sciences)

Project: Denaturalizing difference: Challenging the production of global social inequality

Researcher at SKOK: Professor og SKOK's Head of Centre at the time Christine M. Jacobsen

Project duration: 2013-2018

This project sought to develop new theoretical approaches for understanding the production of inequality under the rapidly evolving global social, economic and political circumstances of the present times. Through its work to reconseptualize social inequality, this strategic discipline-building project aimed to influence the ways in which anthropology and anthropologists engage with the world.

Christine M. Jacobsen worked on this project when she became Head of Centre at SKOK in 2014.

Christine M. Jacobsen | PROVIR | Researcher project – VAM (Welfare, work and migration)

Project: Provision of welfare to 'irregular migrants'

Project manager: Professor and SKOK's Head of Centre at the time Christine M. Jacobsen

Project duration: 2011-2017

The project investigated the Norwegian welfare system's assessment of irregular migrant's rights and their actual social and health situation from a combined legal and social science approach, examining the complex relationship between law, institutional practice, and migrants' lived experience. Senior researchers and research recruits from law, sociology, social anthropology and political science collaborated in this interdisciplinary project. Methods included law analysis, ethnographic fieldwork and qualitative interviews (Oslo and Bergen). The theoretical framework was defined by traditional and critical legal perspectives and by anthropological theories of law and of the body.

The project became connected to SKOK when Christine M. Jacobsen became Head of Centre in 2014.

Christine M. Jacobsen | REGREL | Researcher project – FRIHUMSAM (Independent basic research project in the humanities and social sciences)

Project: Regulating Religion: Secularism and Religious Freedom in the Global Era

Researcher at SKOK: Professor and SKOK's Head of Centre at the time Christine M. Jacobsen

Project duration: 2011-2015

The aim of this multidisciplinary project was to provide new and critical understandings of the dilemmas involved in both protecting and enforcing "religious freedom." By approaching "religious freedom" as produced and negotiated in encounters between citizens and legal regimes, this project aimed to move beyond familiar pieties about religious liberty as an expression of liberal tolerance. This comparative project on the intersection between law and religion consisted of three case studies, each designed to address different aspects of how "religious freedom"- as idea and practice - operates within a given nation-state: France, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, respectively.

Christine M. Jacobsen worked on this project when she became Head of Centre at SKOK in 2014.

Ellen Mortensen | Thought as Action | Researcher project - P-KVINN (Programme for Women's and Gender Research)

Project: Thought as Action: Gender, democracy, freedom

Project manager: Professor og SKOK's Head of Centre at the time Ellen Mortensen

Project duration: 2009-2013

The project's main problematic was focused on the question: Which theories and mode(s) of thought will allow for a thorough rethinking of the questions of gender, democracy and freedom in our global and techno logical era? Within the parameters of the overall project, the individual researchers explored three different research areas: i) citizenship ii) bodies and sexualities and iii) new technologies.

In addition to Professor Ellen Mortensen, Randi Gressgård at SKOK worked a postdoctoral fellow on this project, and Synnøve Økland Jahnsen was a PhD candidate.

Other projects

Below you'll find an overview of completed projects at SKOK with other funding sources: STINT (The Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education), EU's framework programme Horizon 2020, locally financed postdoctoral fellowships and book projects that came out of conferences financed by the Bergen University Fund.

New Tools for Transnational Analysis in Postgraduate Intersectional Gender Research | STINT | Institutional Grants

Project: New Tools for Transnational Analysis in Postgraduate Intersectional Gender Research

Project coordinator: Linköping University - SKOK was one of the institutional partners.

Project duration: 2018-2019

This international project, in which SKOK was a partner, aimed to strengthen the employability of doctoral candidates doing gender research.

Claus Halberg | FEMSAG - Feminist Theory after Sex and Gender | Horizon 2020 - Excellent Science - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships (IF-GF)

Project: Feminist theory after sex and gender: The nature-nurture complex in contemporary feminism reconsidered in light of the Developmental Systems Theory approach to the philosophy of biology

Project manager: Postdoctoral fellow Claus Halberg

Project duration: 2017-2021

This project sought to develop conceptual tools with which to address nature-nurture issues pivotal to the current philosophy, science and politics of sex and gender.

Donna McCormack | Book: Queer Postcolonial Narratives and the Ethics of Witnessing | SKOK postdoctoral fellowship 2011-2014

Donna McCormack published the book Queer Postcolonial Narratives and the Ethics of Witnessing when she was a postdoctoral fellow at SKOK.

Kari Jegerstedt | Book: Exploring the Black Venus Figure in Aesthetic Practices | Bergen University Fund

Kari Jegerstedt was one of the editors of the book Exploring the Black Venus Figure in Aesthetic Practices. The book was a result of the conference Black Venus: Body, Desire, Figuration and Narrative, which was financed with funding from the Bergen University Fund.

Kari Jegerstedt | Book: Gendered Citizenship and the Politics of Representation | Bergen University Fund

Kari Jegerstedt was one of the editors of the book Gendered Citizenship and the Politics of Representation. The book was a result of The Ida Blom Conference: Gendered citizenship: History, Politics and Democracy in 2013, which was financed with funding from the Bergen University Fund.

Completed PhD projects at SKOK

Below you'll find a chronological overview of defended PhD theses at SKOK - the newest first. Click on the project to read more.

"'Taking part in society the way I am.' An exploration of active citizenship norms in Denmark and Norway" | Noor Jdid | 2021|

Researcher: Noor Jdid

Defense: 2021

The term active citizenship is often associated with positive values like relations between neighbours, volunteering and political participation. We know the term from political rhetoric, where it contains an expectation that citizens are supposed to participate in society, for instance as members of organizations or in activities of more a formal character.

In her thesis,  Jdid explores Norwegian and Danish citizens’ understandings of active citizenship and their motivations for civic engagement. Jdid has talked to 123 people in five neighbourhoods in Oslo and Copenhagen. These people are not recruited on the basis of certain categories of identity or a certain understanding of who is “active” or not. Thus, Jdid captures diverse understandings of active citizenship and how these understandings are formed through both place attachments, life experiences and power relations in the Danish and Norwegian societies.

Working to "Wait Well." Exploring the temporalities of irregular migration in Germany | Kari Anne Klovholt Drangsland | 2021

Researcher: Kari Anne Klovholt Drangsland

Defense: 2021

Drangsland’s thesis is a study of German migration control after 2015. Germany took a leading role in EU’s response to the so-called “refugee crisis” in 2015 and 2016. During these years, Germany processed more than 1.2 million asylum applications, and Merkel’s words “wir schaffen dass” (“we can manage this”) in October 2015 gained an almost iconic status. At the same time, the German government carried through changes in migration policy and regulations that increased the use of temporary residence permits and protection statuses and resulted in longer waits for migrants. This development is the point of departure for Drangsland’s study, which aims at exploring the role of waiting, temporariness, and future imaginaries in migration control and in migrants’ lives. The thesis was part of the NFR-funded project WAIT.

Problematizing the transgender phenomenon: sexual geopolitics and Europeanization in contemporary Ukraine | Nadzeya Husakouskaya | 2019

Researcher: Nadzeya Husakouskaya

Defense: 2019

This dissertation explores the emergence of the transgender phenomenon within professionalized transgender and LGB activism in contemporary Ukraine. Husakouskaya explores how the transgender phenomenon has been formed within professionalized transgender activism as a particular object for thought and problematized. She investigates the production of transgender; as a problematized phenomenon at the intersection of three intertwined frameworks: (1) local legal and medical regulations, (2) local professionalized transgender and LGB activism with its external conditionality imposed by donor agencies and Western discourses, and (3) an ongoing geopolitical process of Europeanization which involves negotiations over belonging to Europe.

The analysis has borrowed from governmentality studies, notably the concept of problematization, and scholarly literature on Europeanization, paying particular attention to the instrumentalization of sexual diversity and the transfer of ideas (both seen as indispensable parts of Europeanization

Tarrying with Sexual Matters; Thinking Change from Lacan to Badiou | Magnus Bøe Mikkelsen | 2018

Researcher: Magnus Bøe Mikkelsen

Defense: 2018

The thesis examines new possibilities to develop thinking on gender and inequality. The starting point of the project is the assumption that it is possible to conceive concrete gender and difference, and not only imaginary and symbolic gender and difference. Rather than thinking of difference as that which is made difference - man and woman - a real thinking of difference will draw on the space between these, in the difference itself.

If one wishes to go beyond the antagonism between male and female discourses and seek a thinking about gender that aims to be universal, thinking cannot be grounded in one gender or the other. Instead, it must be founded on the lowest common denominator that exists between man and woman - namely that they are both separated from each other. Only then it is possible to think about gender difference in itself.

The project will show hoe Alain Badiou's argument for a mathematical ontology lays the grounds for such a way of thinking, by mapping out the role that the thinking on gender of Jacques Lacan. With this starting point, Mikkelsen examines the hypothesis that there is a blind spot in Badiou, which prevents him from seeing the effects of gender outside the individual, and thereby actualize the potential of his thinking on gender to a larger degree. This way, he wants to show how it is possible to tie a real thinking on gender to politics or the collective field, where this problematic is pressing.

Politicization of grievable lives on the Iranian Facebook pages | Gilda Seddighi | 2017

Researcher: Gilda Seddighi

Defense: 2017

The thesis examines texts on political prisoners and activists who died during the political conflict surrounding the presidential elections in Iran in 2009 - better known as the green movement - on Iranian facebook-pages between 2011-2013. Seddighi focuses on how the political position "apolitical" is created through emotional expressions on three different Facebook pages: «We are all Haleh Sahabi», «Nasrin Sotoudeh» and «Supporters of Mourning Mothers Harstad».

The dissertation draws on previous research on constitutive practices of grief and ritual in Shia-Iranian political culture, to look at how these practices are reproduced in digital media. Particular attention is paid to norms of gender and sexuality in grief processes, and how these authorize who can become a subject of grief, and who cannot; how norms on gender and sexuality contribute to the production of a discourse on the "grievable life" on Iranian Facebook-pages, and how emotional expressions on these pages contribute to a political positioning as "apolitical". 

The project relies on the theoretical framework of Pierre Bourdieu and Judith Butler, particularly on their conceptualization of "politization". Similarities and differences between these theoretical perspectives on politization are discussed to signal how digital media can simultaneously be used for political positioning and recognition of political prisoners and victims of the political conflict, and for the exclusion of those forms of life who are not recognized as grievable in accordance with gendered norms.

Innestengt eller utestengt? Norsk prostitusjonspolitikk og kampen mot menneskehandel | Synnøve Økland Jahnsen | 2014

Researcher: Synnøve Økland Jahnsen

Defense: 2014

This doctoral thesis investigates the intersection of Norwegian criminal law and international anti-trafficking policies by examining the institutional activities it generates in two Norwegian police districts, Hordaland and Oslo.

The project interrogates why and how law matters in the regulation of prostitution and looks at this through ethnographic approach rooted at multiple sites. Drawing on fieldwork observations, interviews and analysis of policy-documents and media reports the thesis documents how Norway’s anti-prostitution and international anti-trafficking efforts intersect and are implemented at a local level.

The thesis was part of the NFR-funded project Thought as Action.

The Labour of the Feminine in Merleau-Ponty’s Philosophy of Nature | Claus Halberg | 2013

Researcher: Claus Halberg

Defense: 2013

In this thesis, Halberg looks at the relation between two salient aspects of the work of the French 20th century philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty: on the one hand, the philosophical concern with and approach to the problem of nature running through both his early and late texts; on the other hand, his tendency to sexualize and particularly feminize the terms with which he approaches this problem.

The hypothesis he defends is that the relation between these two aspects of Merleau-Ponty’s work is not an external relation consisting in an accidental covariation but is rather an internal relation. He considers the relation internal in the sense that the role played by sexual and feminine motifs on the non-thematic level of his texts dealing with the problem of nature is a genuinely philosophical role, hence that the operation of these motifs cannot be altogether abstracted from the specific outlook of Merleau-Ponty’s philosophical approach to this problem or nexus of problems. The guiding clue for his exposition, in the first part of the thesis, of the problem of nature as defined by Merleau-Ponty is the triangular nexus of issues consisting of the alterity, immemoriality and generativity of nature respectively.

Debating family law in contemporary Iran:  Continuity and Change in Women’s Rights Activits’ Conceptions of Shari’a and Women’s Rights | Marianne Bøe | 2012

Researcher: Marianne Bøe

Defense: 2012

The thesis looks at Iranian women’s rights activists’ perceptions of shari‘a and women’s rights as they as they are expressed in their discussions of family law.

The dissertation is based on interviews and conversations with several Iranian women's rights activists in Iran and some based in Europe, as well as studies of legal texts, films, and Internet sites where marriage arrangements and family law are discussed. The dissertation shows that Iranian women's rights activists have very different views and approaches to family law.

Rebuilding Lives after Genocide: Life Histories of Rwandan Refugees in Zimbabwe and Norway |  Gaudencia Mutema | 2005

Researcher: Gaudencia Mutema

Defense: 2005

The thesis looks at how Rwandan refugees who experienced the genocide in Rwanda are rebuilding their lives in Zimbabwe and Norway. The refugees have experienced great hardship and many traumas associated with the genocide and often recall the difficult memories in their new surroundings. 

The dissertation shows that despite this, they adapt to their new life situation in a meaningful way; by using various intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and cultural sources, they manage to deal with difficult emotional situations.