Research – Department of Historical Studies

European Studies

Europe seen from space at night.

The European Studies research cluster investigates processes of European integration and cooperation, the functioning of the European Union and relations between European countries and peoples from 1945 to the present day. We analyse the establishment and development of policies and institutions over time, the societal patterns of collaboration and conflict that generated them as well as the new forms of cooperation and conflict that arise as a result. Norway’s relationship with the rest of Europe and the EU is a strong research focus, too. Various disciplines, most notably History and Political Science, are represented in the European Studies cluster.

Our research relates closely to and informs our teaching in the BA in European Studies and Foreign Languages and the MA in European Studies.


Research Projects

These are projects and researchers in the discipline:


Adopting and legalizing norms on arms export control:
Ethical foreign policy or business boosting?

This project undertakes a critical evaluation of the adoption, evolution and legalization of common EU norms in conventional arms export control. Upon assessing the level of compliance with adopted norms over time, the project questions the impact of norm hardening and legalization on compliance, and offers a new explanation as to why compliance pulls are absent. - ongoing, Susanne Therese Hansen


Constructing Global Norms: International Organizations, Holocaust Remembrance and Genocide Education

The ongoing project entitled “Constructing Global Norms: International Organizations, Holocaust Remembrance and Genocide Education” investigates the agenda-setting phase of actors and networks working to establish particular frames for Holocaust remembrance and genocide education. The aim is to explore to what extent, how and why Holocaust remembrance has been enshrined as a code for global norms for human rights and democracy. - ongoing, Anette Homlong Storeide


Democratization by Exclusion? Scandinavian Social Democracy and the Iberian Transition to Democracy 1974-1986  

This PhD project examines how the Scandinavian social democrats handled the issue of incorporating the young, unstable democracies on the Iberian Peninsula into the Western community of democracies. It explores the role of the transnational social democratic network and diverging views on how best to further democratization. - PhD Project 2016 - 2020, Stine Bonsaksen


European Integration and the Quest for Access to External Natural Resources, 1945-2015

This project investigates the EU’s efforts to secure its supply of raw materials from external sources. It will examine how this influenced the integration process from 1945 until the present, and how the EU has sought to shape its external environment in order to facilitate access to natural resources.
- NRC Young Research Talent
2016 - 2020, Mats Ingulstad, Hans Otto Frøland


Farmers in Brussels. Farm Interest Groups and the Common Agricultural Policy, 1967-1992

The project explores the lack of reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) by analysing the role and influence of organized farm interests. In exploring how and why farmers were able to prevent CAP reforms, it traces the institutional and ideational Europeanisation of farm interests; explores the effects of these changes on farmers’ strategies for collective action, and assesses their impact on the CAP. - 2008 - Carine Germond


Into the EEA: Norway, EFTA and the EU from the Second World War to today

Poster from the anti-EEC movement in NorwayThis book project investigates Norwegian European policy across time, from wartime plans for Nordic union to today’s ‘democracy lost’. The book offers fresh perspectives on topics that include Norway’s ‘active European policy’, populist political discourse, Nordic cooperation and the relationship between economic and political integration. - 2017 - Lise Rye


Parliamentary Salience of EU Affairs

Debate illustration This project investigates salience of European Union (EU) affairs in plenary debates in member state parliaments and its implications for the accountability of EU governance. We use automated content analysis following the web scraping of the historical, digitalized archives of lower Houses of the UK, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, the Czech Republic and Finland from the early 1990s until 2015. - ongoing, Pieter de Wilde


Post-9/11 civil-military relations. A comparison of Nordic countries 2001-2016

The PhD project examines whether expeditionary warfare has strengthened the military in Nordic countries. While we can expect the shock of 9/11 to change the balance of civil-military relations, the specific conditions and outcomes are unclear. Has the military expert become more influential, or is the political authority tightening its control of the armed forces? The project employs a qualitative comparative study. 2014 - 2018, Jannicke Fiskvik


Post-War Transnational European Social Democracy

Logo for social democracyThe project analyses the evolution of European social democracy in transnational arenas. Social democracy has been a formative force in post-war Europe, and the project explores the role of networks, political parties and policies in (common) policy-formation. It examines the interplay between national social democratic parties and the evolving transnational cooperation at European level. - ongoing, Kristian Steinnes


The Eastern Metal Case and the EC Commission’s competition policy

This project takes Soviet export of cheap aluminium to Western Europe from 1957 as point of departure. It elaborates why the EC Commission in the 1970s chose to investigate European aluminium industry for restrictive practices when purchasing the metal instead of using anti-dumping measures towards the Soviet Union. It contributes to the history of the emergence of EC competition policy. - ongoing, Hans Otto Frøland

The Political Sociology of Cosmopolitanism and Communitarianism

Immigrant rights march Los Angeles, May Day, 2006 Foto: Jonathan McIntosh CC-BY-2.5This project investigates whether globalization generates a cleavage pitting those in favour of open borders and socio-political integration against those favouring closure and demarcation. We analyse conflict patterns surrounding the issues of climate change, human rights, migration, regional integration and trade in Germany, Poland, Turkey, the US and Mexico, as well as within the European Union and the United Nations. - WZB, 2011-2017, Pieter de Wilde


Transnational Agriculture. Experts and Agricultural Policy in International Organizations in the 20th Century

Logo FAO FIAT PANISThis project investigates the historical role and involvement of experts in debating agricultural policy for Europe in European and global international organizations (IOs). It explores the work, activities and transnational networks of experts, their contribution to diffusing and transferring policy ideas within, across and beyond IOs, and their ability to convert expertise into political and societal influence throughout the 20th century.
 -2014-, Carine Germond