Bergen School of Global Studies (BSGS)


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bergen school of Global Studies


Addressing complex global challenges—climate change, health, migration and inequality—is fundamentally about governance. It is about establishing norms and institutions that regulate the actions of individuals, companies and states in more sustainable and just ways.

Rocinha Favela, Rio da Janeiro
Ronald Woan / Flickr


Bergen School of Global Studies offers a master’s programme in governance, as well as a range of PhD and MA courses that provide multidisciplinary insights into the governance of the different global challenges:

  • What are the current global and local governance architectures (treaties, laws, regulations and regulatory bodies) for health, climate and migration?
  • How and by whom are these norms and structures established?
  • (How) are they implemented and monitored and how are transgressions sanctioned?  

The courses also provide the basis for critically addressing the biases and shortcomings in the current governance frameworks: who benefits, who bears the costs? what the institutional structures perpetuating and driving inequality and unsustainable behaviour?

LawTransform (the CMI-UiB Centre on Law & Social Transformation) is the hub of the BSGS-governance pillar. Based at Bergen Global, it is a global centre with affiliated researchers from across all continents and a broad range of disciplines sharing an interest in understanding how rights, law and legal institutions are used as tools for social change – and to what effect.

At the core of LawTransform is a range of international research projects. A dedicated group of researchers, PhDs, interns, students, and volunteers take the LawTransform agenda forward in research, workshops, seminars, webinars, podcasts and on social media. The annual Bergen Exchanges on Law & Social Transformation is open to all and offers a week of dialogue with central scholars in the field on central questions related to the governance of global challenges, with an integrated PhD course on Effects of Lawfare.

Courses and subjects taught in English

GOV326 Political Organisation and Multilevel governance (Zuzana Murdoch)
GOV327 Knowledge, Politics and Organisation (Martina Vukasovic)
GOV328 Leadership in Organisational and Cultural Context (Ishtiaq Jamil)
FIL336 Environmental Ethics (Trygve Lavik
FIL349 Political Philosophy (Jesse Tomalty)
GEO316 Practical Skills in Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis (Benjamin Robson
GEO324 Geographies of the Green Economy (Mahir Yazar)
GEO337 Discourses, Politics and People: Critical Perspectives on Environmental Governance (Connor Cavanagh)
GEO-SD321 Model-based Socioeconomic Planning (Matteo Pedercini
GEO-SD325 Client-based Modeling Project (Birgit Kopainsky)
GEO-SD330 Natural Resource Management (Erling Moxnes)
GLODE311 Development Practice (Helga Bjørnøy Urke)
INTH310A Introduction to Occupational Health (Bente Moen)
INTH314 Applied Economic Evaluation in Health Care (Bjarne Robberstad
INTH360 Global Nutrition (Ingunn Marie Engebretsen)
INTH328B Global tuberculosis - Epidemiology and Intervention (Sven Gudmund Hinderaker and Tehmina Mustafa)
JUS250-2-C Health and Human Rights in the Welfare State (Henriette Sinding Aasen)  
JUS2307 Introduction to European Human Rights (Bjørnar Borvik)
JUS2308 Constitutions, Courts and Politics (Eirik Holmøyvik)
JUS3523 International Criminal Law (Terje Einarsen)
JUS2320 Comparing Legal Cultures in Europe (Sören Koch)
JUS3502 EU and EEA State Aid Law (Malgorzata Cyndecka)
JUS3510 Energy Law: Hydrocarbons, Renewables and Energy Markets (Ignacio Herrera Anchustegui)
JUS3511 International Climate Law (Ignacio Herrera Anchustegui)
JUS3512 Legal Philosophy (Synne Sæther Mæhle)
RELMIN646 Freedom of Religion (Michael Stausberg)
RELV360 Jews and Antisemitism in Modern Europe, 1789-1945 (Alexander van der Haven)

FIL328 Moral Philosophy (Espen Gamlund)
GEO330 Theories of Sustainable Land Use (Ole Reidar Vetaas and Connor Cavanagh)
GEO-SD302 Fundamentals of Dynamic Social Systems (Erling Moxnes
GEO-SD303 Model-based Analysis and Political Design (Pål Davidsen)
GEO-SD304 System Dynamics Modeling Process (Birgit Kopainsky)
GEO-SD330 Natural Resource Management (Erling Moxnes)
GLODE308 Gender Analysis in Global Development - Core perspectives and issues (Haldis Haukanes)
GLODE309 Foundations of Health Promotion (Helga Bjørnøy Urke)
GOH301 Global Oral Health (Anne-Kristine Åstrøm and Anne Christine Johannessen)
HEFR342 Resource Approaches to Health and Wellbeing (Ellen Haug)
JUS276-2-C Human Rights and Welfare Policies (Henriette Sinding Aasen)
JUS292-2-A Introduction to Chinese Law (Bjørnar Borvik)
JUS3518 Law of Armed Conflict, with Emphasis on Maritime Operations (Knut Einar Skodvin)
JUS3516 Law of the Sea and its Uses (Ignacio Herrera Anchustegui
PSY303 Global Psychology (David Sam)
SDG303 Global Health - challenges and responses (Thorkild Tylleskär)

Taught irregularly 
ECON324 Public Economies (Rita Ginja
GOV325 Discretion and Paternalism (Marit Skivenes)
RELMIN639 Latter Day Saints and Society in the West, c. 1830-1950 (Frode Ulvund)
RELMIN641 Buddhism in Contemporary India (Knut Jacobsen)
RELMIN643 Religious Minorities in Israel (Alexander van der Haven)
RELV337 Religion and the City (István Keul
RELV340 Christians under Islamic Rule (Christian Mauder)


SDG214 UN Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water (Gabriella Ljungström
SDG215 UN Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life on Land (Inger Elisabeth Måren)

PED200 Education in a Changing Society (Gry Heggli)
SDG213 Causes and Consequences of Climate Change (Kerim Hestnes Nisancioglu and Asgeir Sorteberg)

Master's degree programmes taught in English

Politics and Governance of Global Challenges
The political science programme explores the complex governance of global, and often wicked, problems such as inequality, climate change, migration, or pandemics. This programme integrates theories of politics and governance, and advanced social science methods, in project-based learning on real world global challenges. The MA programme includes a mobility semester for studying abroad, opportunities for internships, or for self-organised interdisciplinary learning at UiB.
Contact: Liser Rakner

Global Development Theory and Practice
How can human rights and social justice be integrated in development processes? How do we appraise the consequences of global governance and the politics of aid? How does climate change impact on sustainable development? This programme gives you a thorough understanding of global development processes through critical evaluation of relevant theories and the contexts of sustainable human development.
Contact: Siri Lange 

Public Administration
Public Administration is the study of administration, organization and politics. The programme develops analytical skills through the use of relevant theories of organization and institutions. You will also learn how to design suitable research methods to study current complex governance and policy issues and their implications.  
Contact: Ishtiaq Jamil 

System Dynamics
In a complex and developing world, we need theories, methods and tools to help us understand, manage, and communicate effectively. System dynamics studies how and why things change over time.
Contact: Birgit Kopainsky  

This programme gives students expertise in interdisciplinary approaches to dealing with global challenges. Using systems thinking and modelling approaches, the programme provides the students with the knowledge, skills and competencies required for understanding, analysing and shaping solutions to wicked problems in ways that are societally, ecologically and economically sustainable. 
Contact: Kjetil Rommetveit