Researcher at PRIO
Kristoffer Liden is a Senior Researcher at The Peace Research Institute Oslo
Kristoffer Liden's research at PRIO is a direct continuation of his education from the MA in Peace and Conflict Studies
How did you get your current job?
When I was writing my MA thesis in Peace and Conflict Studies on the international politics of peacebuilding, I received an MA scholarship at PRIO. This gave me a desk and an extra supervisor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO).
After I completed my MA, I got involved in a European research network through PRIO, and worked in Germany and Holland for a year.
I was also involved in developing and starting up a semester course in Peace and Conflict Studies in India, through Kulturstudier. In this period, I developed a project proposal for the Norwegian Research Council on the ethics of liberal peacebuilding together with my MA supervisor from PRIO, J. Peter Burgess. The proposal was accepted, and included funding for a three year research project at PRIO as part of an international team of 10 researchers. Since then, I have been working as a researcher and research school coordinator at PRIO, and as a PhD candidate associated with the University of Oslo.
What are your main responsibilities?
In addition to analysis and writing in the areas of philosophy, ethics and international relations, my job as a researcher includes development of new project proposals, coordination of projects, attending and organising workshops, reporting, and participating in internal organisational processes at the institute.
In 2011, PRIO started a multidisciplinary research school on peace and conflict in collaboration with UiO and NTNU. Since then, I have been coordinating the school. The school offers research courses, internal seminars and skills training for PhD candidates working on issues of peace and conflict. It allows former PECOS students to keep their academic profile at PhD level.
The research school does not offer PhD scholarships, but provides an academic environment for PhD candidates who have received a fellowship elsewhere.
What kind of project are you working on right now?
At present, I work on a major EU funded project on ‘cultures of governance and conflict resolution in Europe and India’ (CORE). The project is led by PRIO, and involves several European and Indian research environments.
My responsibility is partly to do political theoretical analyses of findings from a range of cases studies undertaken by area experts, and partly to contribute to the coordination of the project.
I also participate in a new project on local practices and effects of ‘the protection of civilians’ by international humanitarian organisations in conflict ridden countries. This project is part of the newly established Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies.
Furthermore, I am involved in projects on the ethics of European security politics, focusing on counter-terrorism and surveillance for the protection of ‘societal security’ (samfunnssikkerhet) .
How do you use your education from PECOS in your job?
My current research is a direct continuation of my education from the MA in Peace and Conflict Studies, where I combined the fields of political philosophy and international relations. My previous studies in Sociology, Social Anthropology and the History of Philosophy also serve as backdrop for my approach to contemporary politics.
In my capacity as research school coordinator, I draw upon experiences and discussions from PECOS concerning peace and conflict studies as an academic subject and an international field of research. As a PhD candidate in Philosophy at UiO, I was a member of the research school of the Ethics Programme, and this was an important source of inspiration both for my research and my work as research school coordinator.
What are your best tips for students who want to be attractive on the labour market?
Pursue your interests. If you want to work as a researcher, get an overview of people and research projects in your field of interest, and offer your assistance to ongoing projects or with developing new ones. Publishing output from your MA thesis will give you an advantage.
If you also follow the debates in selected research journals, attend conferences and establish contacts with international experts, you will be in a good position for developing a successful PhD project and eventually making a difference to your field of research.