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PSYOPS - The Psychology of Political Struggle

Psychology Students Without Borders Oslo (PUG Oslo), Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and the Institute of Psychology, University of Oslo, organize a series of seminars on political psychology. We are proud to work with PRIO and the Institute of Psychology on this exciting opportunity to promote topics in the borderland between psychology and politics.

Students and other interested parties may enjoy free snacks and coffee, while listening to experts talk about topical and interesting themes. We hope to see you at our upcoming seminars. If you have any questions, please contact us by e-mail or on Facebook.

Upcoming seminar

To be announced!


Previous seminars

This seminar will discuss how to understand extremism, how it occurs, and why a person would join an extremist group.

What makes an individual become an extremist?

What is extremism?

Why would people eradicate themselves and submit to an authoritarian collective?

Main speakers: Professor Alan Fiske, University of California, and Research Professor Henrik Syse, PRIO.

Time: Monday, 09 April 2018 16:15-18:00 Place: PRIO, Hausmanns gate 3, Oslo


September 22nd: Making Sense of Sexual War Violence: A Political-Psychological Framework and Narratives of Etiology

This seminar will look at how sexual violence in war can be studied from a political-psychological perspective, and what perpetrators present as the causal factors for their crimes.

Why is sexual violence in war such a common problem? Why do perpetrators take advantage of vounerable women and children? How is rape weaponized for instance in ethic conflicts?

To shed light on a topic that sadly never seems to lose relevance, we have invited two brilliant researchers; Inger Sjelsbæk and Anette Bringedal Houge.

Main speakers: Psychologist and peace researcher; Inger Skjelsbæk, UiO and PRIO, and Research fellow at the Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law (UiO); Anette Bringedal Houge



May 9th: Trauma, Peace and Development: The Importance of Psychological Insight

This seminar will focus on how psychological insight, especially knowledge about trauma can be used in promoting health, peace and development - with a special focus on Afghanistan.

About fourty years of war has made Afghanistan to one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world. The conflict today is primarily between a westerly supported regime in the capital Kabul and rebel groups with the islamist group Taliban. The conflict started when the US invaded Afghanistan after the 9/11 terror attacks conducted by the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda.

Main speakers: Director at PRIO Kristian Berg Harpviken, Psychologist and Associate Professor Ragnhild Dybdahl, HiOA, Psychologist Kenneth Sandin, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières.


How did Donald Trump manage to become the 45th president of the United States, despite what may be described as racism, misogyny and a tendency to break political decorum? This seminar looked at how social identity has become an important part of the leadership role, exemplified by Donald Trump and his ability to present himself and his policies in a way that speaks to his voters' perception of the world.

Main speakers: Professor Stephen Reicher, University of St. Andrews and comments by Professor Scott Gates, University of Oslo and PRIO.

Introduction: Research Professor Inger Skjelsbæk, University of Oslo and PRIO, and Øyunn Sofie Fencl, PUG Oslo.


This seminar looked at research and work with migration issues and refugees. How can we look at migration issues in a larger context? How do we treat refugees who have been subjected to torture? These are some of the questions adressed in this highly topical seminar.

Main Speakers: Research Professor Jørgen Carling, PRIO, and Associate Professor Nora Sveaass, UiO.

Introduction: Øyunn Sofie Fencl and Lisa Sophie Myhren, PUG Oslo


This seminar will present the current situation in South Sudan, the social identities in Sudan and why the country has been separated in accordance with identites. In addition to this, a psychologist from Doctors Without Borders will talk about psychological fieldwork and psychological consequences of the conflict in South Sudan.

Main speakers: Associate Professor Sigrun Marie Moss, University of Oslo, Research Assistant Fanny Nicolaisen, PRIO, and Psychologist Kay Oxholm, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières.

Place: Forsamlingssalen, Harald Schjelderups hus, Forskningsveien 3A

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