Short biographical notes on speakers and panellists


Frank Bakke-Jensen

Frank Bakke-Jensen is Minister of EEA and EU Affairs, and will speak at the Plenary Session in the University Aula 21 March.

Haldor Byrkjeflot

Haldor Byrkjeflot is academic director of UiO:Nordic, the organizer of the conference. He will co-chair the Opening Plenary Session 20 March and speak at the Plenary Session in the University Aula 21 March.

Haldor Byrkjeflot is Professor at the Department of Sociology and Human Geography at University of Oslo and academic director of one of the three major strategic priority areas at University of Oslo; UiO:Nordic. Currently he is particularly interested in exploring issues relating to historical-comparative research, organization theory and the making and circulation of ideas across societies. His publications cover a broad specter of social scientific problems such as logics of employment systems, comparative healthcare reforms, public sector reforms as well as the comparative study of management systems, bureaucracy and societies.

Paddy Coulter

Paddy Coulter will co-chair the Opening Plenary Session in the Gamle Festsal on 20 March, and chair  the Plenary Session in the University Aula 21 March.

Paddy Coulter is Communications Director for the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI) of Oxford University’s Department of International Development. He is a trustee of the international press freedom body, ARTICLE 19. He chairs ARTICLE 19’s international board and is a director of its East African affiliate. Paddy Coulter is a former Director of Studies at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford, responsible for the Reuters Journalism Programme from 2001/2007. He is an Associate Fellow of Green Templeton College at the University of Oxford and is head of communications strategy for the college’s Emerging Markets Symposium. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the University of Bournemouth Media School.

Sunniva Engh

Sunniva Engh will be among the Panel Participants at the Opening Plenary Session 20 March.

Sunniva Engh is Associate Professor of History at IAKH, UiO, affiliated with UiO:Nordic. Engh holds a DPhil in Modern History from the University of Oxford (2006). Before joining IAKH, Engh was a Senior Fellow at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies (IFS).

Engh’s research interests lie at the intersection of international and transnational political history, but her work has also extended to social and medical history. Engh has written on Norwegian and Nordic foreign policy and international engagement, the idea of the 'Nordic Model' in international politics, and the international history of aid and development with particular emphasis on population policy and health programmes. Her research covers ideational aspects in development including as transnational policy formulation, as well as the implementation of Nordic aid initiatives.

Thomas Hylland Eriksen

Thomas Hylland Eriksen will be among the Panel Participants at the Plenary Session in the University Aula 21 March.

Thomas Hylland Eriksen (1962) is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo and PI of the ERC Advanced Grant project ‘Overheating’. The author of many books in different genres, his academic research, which began with fieldwork on identity and society in Mauritius in 1986, has largely concerned cultural dynamics and social identities in complex societies, and his books in this field include Ethnicity and Nationalism: Anthropological Perspectives (2010/1993) and Common Denominators: Ethnicity and the Politics of Compromise in Mauritius (1998). He has also published on globalization, e.g. Globalization: The Key Concepts (2014/2007), as well as basic textbooks in anthropology – Small Places, Large Issues (2014/1995) and What is Anthropology? (2017/2004), and a book about public anthropology, Engaging Anthropology (2006). His latest book is an introduction to the anthropology of accelerated change, Overheating (Pluto Press 2016).

Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, President of Iceland

Guðni Th. Jóhannesson is the President of Iceland since 2016. He holds a Ph.D. in history from Queen Mary, University of London. Before taking office as president, Guðni was Professor of history at the University of Iceland. He has taught at the University of Iceland, Reykjavik University, Bifröst University and the University of London. For a few years he also worked part-time for the Icelandic State Broadcasting Company as a reporter. Guðni has written numerous books on modern Icelandic history, including works about the Cod Wars, the Icelandic presidency, the late Prime Minister Gunnar Thoroddsen, a book about secret surveillance in Iceland, a book about former President Kristján Eldjárn, and a book about the 2008 banking collapse.

Malcolm Langford

Malcolm Langford will be among the Panel Participants at the Plenary Session in the University Aula 21 March.

Malcolm Langford is as an Associate Professor, Faculty Law, University of Oslo. He is also the Co-Director of the Centre on Law and Social Transformation, Chr. Michelsen Institute and University of Bergen.

His publications span human rights, international development, international investment and comparative constitutionalism in a range of disciplines and his awards include the University Medal in Economics from the University of NSW and the Young Scholar Prize from the European Society of International Law. Currently, Malcolm Langford co-coordinates two research grants from the Norwegian Research Council on sexual and reproductive rights, serves as an advisor to various UN bodies, governments and NGOs, and co-directs the Global School on Socio-Economic Rights, Judgment Watch and Metrics for Human Rights. Previously, he has been a a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights (NCHR) and Pluricourts Centre of Excellence and a Visiting Fellow at the University of California (Berkeley), Fridtjof Nansen Institute, University of Mannheim, University of Stellenbosch and University of NSW.

Dag Michaelsen

Dag Michaelsen will be among the Panel Participants at the Plenary Session in the University Aula 21 March.

Dag Michaelsen is professor of legal history at the University of Oslo, and currently Dean of the Faculty of Law.

Kalle Moene

Kalle Moene will be among the Panel Participants at the Plenary Session in the University Aula 21 March.

Kalle Moene is professor of Economics at the University of Oslo. He is also leader of the Centre of Equality, Social Organization and Performance (ESOP) at the University of Oslo.

Ove Kaj Pedersen

Ove K. Pedersen will be among the Panel Participants at the Opening Plenary Session 20 March.

Ove K. Pedersen is professor of Comparative Political Economy and the funding father of Department of Business and Politics, Copenhagen Business School. He has been professor of Comparative Politics at Copenhagen University and professor of Public Administration at Aalborg University. He is honorary professor at Aalborg University and Aarhus University in Denmark and has been a visiting scholar at Harvard, Stanford, Stockholm and Peking Universities and Dartmouth College. His work in English includes The National Origins of Policy Ideas: Knowledge Regimes in America, France, Germany and Denmark (Princeton University Press, 2014); Building the Nation. N.F.S. Grundtvig and Danish National Identity (McGill University Press, 2015); National Identity and Varieties of Capitalism: The State of Denmark, (McGill University Press, 2006), The Oxford Handbook on Comparative Institutional Analysis (Oxford University Press 2010); Europeanization and Transnational States. Comparing Nordic Governments, (Routledge, 2004); The Rise of Neoliberalism and Institutional Analysis (Princeton University Press, 2001). In 2011 he commenced the publication of a three volume study on the state: The Competition State (Konkurrencestaten). Copenhagen: Hans Reitzels Forlag; the second volume The Market State (Markedsstaten) was published 2014; the third volume The State (Staten) will be published 2017. In total he has published or coedited more than 40 books and published more than 300 articles in journals in several languages.

Richard Sennett

Richard Sennett is keynote speaker at the Plenary Session in the University Aula 21 March.

Richars Sennett is University Professor of the Humanities, New York University and Professor of Sociology, the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is also Chair of Theatrum Mundi and Distinguished Visiting Scholar, University of Cambridge.

Richard Sennett has explored how individuals and groups make social and cultural sense of material facts -- about the cities in which they live and about the labour they do. He focuses on how people can become competent interpreters of their own experience, despite the obstacles society may put in their way. His research entails ethnography, history, and social theory.  As a social analyst, Mr. Sennett continues the pragmatist tradition begun by William James and John Dewey.

His first book, The Uses of Disorder, [1970] looked at how personal identity takes form in the modern city. He then studied how working-class identities are shaped in modern society, in The Hidden Injuries of Class, written with Jonathan Cobb. [1972] A study of the public realm of cities, The Fall of Public Man, appeared in 1977; at the end of this decade of writing, Mr. Sennett sought to account the philosophic implications of this work in Authority [1980].

At this point he took a break from sociology, composing three novels: The Frog who Dared to Croak [1982], An Evening of Brahms [1984] and Palais Royal [1987]. He then returned to urban studies with two books, The Conscience of the Eye, [1990], a work focusing on urban design, and Flesh and Stone [1992], a general historical study of how bodily experience has been shaped by the evolution of cities.

In the mid 1990s, as the work-world of modern capitalism began to alter quickly and radically, Mr. Sennett began a project charting its personal consequences for workers, a project which has carried him up to the present day. The first of these studies, The Corrosion of Character, [1998] is an ethnographic account of how middle-level employees make sense of the “new economy.” The second in the series, Respect in a World of Inequality, [2002} charts the effects of new ways of working on the welfare state; a third, The Culture of the New Capitalism, [2006] provides an over-view of change. Most recently, Mr. Sennett has explored more positive aspects of labor in The Craftsman [2008], and in Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation [2012]. The third volume in this trilogy, The Open City, will appear in 2016.
Among other awards, Richard Sennett has received the Hegel and Spinoza Prizes and an honorary degree from the University of Cambridge.

Johan Strang

Johan Strang will be among the Panel Participants at the Opening Plenary Session 20 March.

Johan Strang, University Lecturer at the Centre for Nordic Studies, He is interested in Scandinavian politics and 20th century intellectual history. His publications include studies on Nordic cooperation (Nordic cooperation: A European Region in Transition, 2016), Nordic democracy and Scandinavian Legal Realism. Trained as a philosopher, he has also studied the history of analytic philosophy in the Nordic countries (most recently in an edited volume on Georg Henrik von Wright, 2016). Together with Stefan Nygård he has contributed to the discussion on transnational intellectual history with a small state perspective (e.g. Journal of the History of Ideas, 2016:1).

Nina Witoszek

Nina Witoszek will be among the Panel Participants at the Plenary Session in the University Aula 21 March.

Nina Witoszek is head of research at the Center for Development and the Environment at the University of Oslo and the Director of the Arne Naess Chair in Global Justice and the Environment. Before joining the University Oslo, she lectured at the National University of Ireland in Galway and at the European University in Florence. Her latest books include The Origins of the Regime of Goodness: Remapping the Norwegian Cultural History (2011), Civil Society in the Age of Monitory Democracy (2013), Sustainable Modernity: the Nordic Model and Beyond and The Origins of Anti-Authoritarianism (both forthcoming in 2017/2018.) For more information see:

Trygve Wyller

Trygve Wyller will be among the Panel Participants at the Plenary Session in the University Aula 21 March.

Professor (Christian Social practice and Systematic Theology) Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo. Recent book (with Hans-Joachim Sander and Kaspar Villadsen) The Spaces of Others - Heterotopic Spaces. Researching and Theorizing Hospitality and Cpunter-Conduct beyond the Religion/ Secular Border. Göttingen 2016.Publications within the fields of phenomenological approaches to Christian Social Practice, Spatial theory, Theology and the Secular, Migration and Ecclesiology, Hermeneutics. Honorary Professor School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, University of Kwazalu-Natal, South Africa.Dean Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo 2007-2014. Editor Diaconia. Journal for the Study of Christian Social Practice. President (from April 2017) International Academy of Practical Theology



Published Mar. 8, 2017 1:20 PM - Last modified July 5, 2018 11:10 AM