Bergen sommer-forskerskole


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There will be five parallel PhD courses in 2014



Four of the courses this summer will provide students the opportunity to critically analyse the dynamics and impact of global governance mechanisms.

The course on Uncertainty and Quality in Sciences for Policy will provide students with methodological skills for treatment of quantitative information.

The courses will be tied together by joint lectures by high-profile keynote speakers. In addition to the doctoral courses, a set of plenary sessions and public meetings will reach out to the wider community.

Participants having fulfilled the course will receive 3 ECTS credits. Students that decide to submit a final paper will receive 10 ECTS if the paper is accepted.

For the details about each course, please click on the title menu below.


Global Governance from Above and Below

Global Governance from Above and Below: Multilateral organizations, collective action and the politics of development in the Global South

Course Leaders: Alf Gunvald Nilsen and Tor Halvorsen

This course contributes to critical debates about the role of global governance. More specifically, the course aims to investigate global governance from two interrelated vantage points:

  1. from ”above”, with reference to how multilateral organizations shape and practice global governance and influence governance at the level of national-policy fields related to development;
  2. from “below”, with reference to how communities in the global South respond to the strategies and discourses of global governance through various forms of collective action and assertion – ranging from everyday practices of resistance to large-scale social movements. 

The ambition of the course is thus to provide doctoral students from across the social sciences with a space to critically discuss various ways of approaching the study of global governance with reference to wider debates on how the complex dialectics of power of resistance shape the politics of development in the global South.

Full course description (pdf)

Climate Change Governance

Climate Change Governance: Governance structures addressing mitigation, adaptation and restitution in the face of a changing climate

Course Leader: Øyvind Gjerstad

Climate change is well understood as a natural phenomenon, but its human, social and political dimensions are more elusive. It represents a major governance challenge which requires not only a departure from fossil fuel based economic growth, but also an equitable allocation of costs and benefits through consolidated efforts at local, national and international levels. A central aim is to counter the differential effects of mitigation and adaptation measures, as well as the unequal exposure to risk between different geographical areas, socio-economic groups and generations.

Integrating perspectives from disciplines such as political science, philosophy, media studies, climate science, law and linguistics, the course will examine the extent to which our current political regimes and international institutions are equipped for this task, and what emerging civil society movements can offer. 

Full course description (pdf)

Differentiated Citizenship Beyond Territorial Borders

Differentiated Citizenship: Governing populations beyond territorial state borders

Course Leader:  Randi Gressgård

This interdisciplinary course will explore how economic, political and cultural processes of globalisation have blurred national boundaries in ways that challenge state sovereignty and universal citizenship models. It will give students insight into the ways states  respond to globalisation through migration policies, border control and policies of securitisation, while at the same time safeguarding the circulation of people, goods and services in a global market.

Students will be introduced to both theoretical and methodological challenges from juridical, anthropological, cultural and sociological perspectives, using various feminist, gender and post-colonial theories.  

Full course description (pdf)

Global Governance for Health

Global Governance for Health 

Course Leader: Karen Marie Moland and Astrid Blystad

Social, economic and political aspects of globalization are turning national public health challenges into global ones. One of the main lessons learnt by the attempts to reach global health targets the past decades is that challenges like climate change, pandemic flu, HIV/AIDS, the rise of non-communicable diseases cannot be addressed effectively without addressing the social, economic and political forces that shape the conditions for disease.

Locating the Millennium Development Goals at the core, we will in this course explore the current global governance for health system and the dynamics between global and national policies.

Full course description (pdf)


Uncertainty and Quality in Sciences for Policy

Uncertainty and Quality in Sciences for Policy

Course Leader: Roger Strand

In their seminal book Uncertainty and Quality in Science for Policy (Kluwer, 1990), Silvio Funtowicz and Jerome Ravetz analysed the strengths, limitations and problems of applying quantitative information in public decision-making, in particular in decisions on environmental and technological risk. By this effort they paved the way for what later has been known as the field of post-normal science. This is more than a philosophical theory on the relationship between science and public decision-making. It is also a field that has produced a number of concepts, methods and approaches to the characterisation and management of uncertainty and quality in evidence.

This course will provide a theoretical and practical introduction to a selection of these theoretical and methodological developments.

Funtowicz and Ravetz distinguished between technical, methodological and epistemic uncertainty. While the discipline of statistics provides concepts and methods for assessing and quantifying uncertainty at the technical level, other approaches are useful when dealing with methodological and epistemic uncertainty; the latter also known as ignorance.

This course will introduce various typologies for uncertainty, the so-called NUSAP approach and similar methods for the characterisation of uncertainty, the concept of sensitivity analysis and recent discussions on “extended peer review” and participatory approaches to knowledge production. In order to be able to apply such methods wisely, however, profound understanding of the philosophical and historical foundations of concepts of knowledge, evidence, probability, risk and uncertainty is needed. The course literature as well as some of the classes will accordingly go in depth on such theoretical issues.

Full course description (pdf)