Project Workshops

Alongside the events of the Bergen Exchanges, there are also project workshops for our active and developing projects. The workshops bring together researchers working on the projects for two days of discussions and presentations.

The projects will host public sessions to present the ongoing project findings during the Bergen Exchanges.


This year’s project workshops are to be confirmed – in the meantime, here is what happened last year:

Elevating Water Rights to Human Rights: Has it strengthened marginalized peoples’ claims to water?
Project leader: Bruce Wilson

Water scarcity remains a huge problem in many countries, especially where a growing population compete with demands for water from industry and agriculture. In 2010, a United Nations General Assembly resolution recognised the right to safe and clean drinking water as a human right. However, the actual impact of this relatively new human right to water remains unknown. The project will analyse the effects of the 2010 UN resolution and establish how it has affected social movements and legal approaches to the right to water.

INTPART – LawTransform: Effects and Rights of Law
Project leader: Lara Cortes (

The project aims to consolidate the Centre on Law & Social Transformation as a leading hub for scholarship on the use of law as an instrument of social change, and to advance high-quality research-based education in this field, in Norway and abroad. We aim to bring together an interdisciplinary team of scholars based in research and higher education institutions in Norway, Brazil, India, South Africa and the United States, who work in areas such as gender, health and natural resources (land, water).

Sexual and Reproductive Rights Lawfare: Global Battles
Project leader: Siri Gloppen (

Sexual and Reproductive Rights (SRR) are controversial in most societies. Political polarization has been particularly pronounced on to abortion rights and rights of sexual minorities (LGBTIQ – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer – persons), but is also evident in issues such as the regulation of contraception, sterilization and adultery, divorce, sexual education and stem cell research. What is particularly pertinent is the growing judicialization of sexual and reproductive rights around the world. At the domestic and international level, courts have emerged as central arenas in these political-moral battles; and not only further rights but also limit them. The project aims to understand the nature, causes and, particularly, the consequences of such lawfare, which we define as diverse and intentional strategies adopted by civil society actors that seek to engage legal institutions in order to further or halt policy reform and social change.

Amazoning Climate Governance
Project leader: Siri Gloppen ( and Lara Cortes (

This is a project under development. The aim of this workshop is to bring relevant researchers from Bergen and beyond together to work on a project proposal idea.

Breaking BAD: Understanding the backlash against democracy in Africa
Project leader: Lise Rakner (

Most African countries today have multiparty elections. They have clear divisions between the electoral, legislative, executive and legal institutions. Power is not concentrated in the hands of one single actor. However, multiparty elections and legislation are often used as tools by the ruling elites in a backlash against democracy. Breaking BAD studies this trend across Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe. The project uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to develop robust theories and analysis based on both within- and between-country comparisons.

Women on the Bench: The role of female judges in fragile states
Project leader: Elin Skaar (

Since the 1970s, women have increasingly made it to the bench. Surprisingly, the proportion of women judges is generally higher in post-conflict countries than in well-established western democracies. Why is this so? This project investigates this puzzle by hypothesising that political rupture can provide women with opportunity structures that favour their access to judicial power. A small but growing literature on the role of women in the legal profession has paid virtually no attention to women judges in post-conflict and fragile states.