Bergen Exchanges

What are the Bergen Exchanges?

The Bergen Exchanges are an annual event taking place in Bergen in August each year. It is a meeting place for scholars and practitioners from across the globe who seek to understand how law serves as an instrument of change – and how it shapes and is shaped by power relations. During a week of public discussions, we examine strategic uses of rights and law and how legal institutions function as arenas for political contestation (lawfare).

The multi-disciplinary and international nature of the Bergen Exchanges makes it a unique space for improving research strategies and methods to grasp the effects of law and lawfare. This includes the use of legal instruments by governments to shape societies – whether through constitutional change, international treaties, statutes or regulations – as well as by social actors who go to court or otherwise engage rights and law to advance their goals. Effects take different forms. How legal strategies alter political dynamics, ideas and discourses can be as important for long term transformation as more immediate changes in laws, policies, or the distribution of resources. We also seek to better understand the functioning of legal and administrative institutions as they adjudicate, interpret and implement legal norms.

In connection with the Bergen Exchanges, we have an annual, interdisciplinary PhD course on Effects of Lawfare. The PhD course is free of charge and open to applicants from Norwegian and international institutions on a first-come first serve basis (but out-of-town applicants have to cover their own travel and accommodation costs, as there are no scholarships available). Full programme and dates to be confirmed. 

How can I get involved?

The 2020 Bergen Exchanges will take place from 17-21 August 2020. The main focus will be Inequality and Law.

The PhD course Effects of Lawfare will start on the 12 August and run until 21 August. Call for applications will be released in January 2020.

More information to follow.

To express interest in attending, please contact Director Siri Gloppen (

If you are interested in volunteering at the Bergen Exchanges and will be in Bergen during August 2020, contact the Volunteer Coordinator for the Exchanges, Marit Tjelmeland (

A cooperation between