Background and activities

I obtained my PhD at NTNU in 2007. My doctoral dissertation, on political risk for multinational companies, earned me the 2008 Prize for Young Excellent Researchers in the Humanities and Social Sciences from the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters. While I'm certainly not young anymore, I have, since then, conducted research and teaching on a broad range of issues related to International Relations and international political economy.

My current research focuses in particular on international security, geopolitics, and geopolitical risks for international business. One of my recent articles (co-authored with Tor G. Jakobsen) – “Tripwires and Free-Riders” – was awarded the Bernard Brodie Prize for best article published in Contemporary Security Policy in 2019. My very recent book - The Geopolitics of U.S. Overseas Troops and Withdrawal, published by Palgrave Macmillan - offers an explanation of the reluctance of great powers to retrench their overseas military power, focusing especially on why U.S. military bases and troops are still largely where they have been for generations. The arguments are put to the empirical test through an analysis of U.S. overseas troop deployments, withdrawal attempts, and retrenchment resistance from 2017 through 2021. 

I am currently working on the GISI Project, which studies the Geostrategic Importance of Small Islands, including specs on the map that are devoid of pristine beaches. 

I'm a proud member of SPECTRE: Studies on Political Economy: Currencies, Trade, Risk & Energy 



Jo Jakobsen (2022). The Geopolitics of U.S. Overseas Troops and Withdrawal. Palgrave Macmillan.

Marko Valenta and Jo Jakobsen (2021). "Conceptualising Syrian War Migrations: Displacements, Migrants' Rights and the Major Reception Regimes." International Journal on Minority and Group Rights 28(1): 143-146.

Marko Valenta, Jo Jakobsen, Drago Zuparic-Iljic and Hariz Halilovic (2020). "Syrian Refugee Migration, Transitions in Migrant Statuses and Future Scenarios of Syrian Mobility. Refugee Survey Quarterly 39(2): 153-176.

Jo Jakobsen and Tor G. Jakobsen (2019). “Tripwires and Free-Riders: Do Forward-Deployed U.S. Troops Reduce the Willingness of Host-Country Citizens to Fight for their Country?” Contemporary Security Policy 40(2): 135-164. [Winner of the Bernard Brodie Prize for best article in 2019.]

Jo Jakobsen and Thomas Halvorsen (2019). "Geographical and Temporal Patterns of Interstate Security Competition: Global and Regional Evidence." International Area Studies Review 22(3): 226-246. 

Marko Valenta, Moa Nyamwathi Lønning, Jo Jakobsen and Drago Zuparic-Ilic (2019). "European Asylum Policies and the Stranded Asylum Seekers in Southeastern Europe."Journal of Refugee Studies 32(1): 162-171.

Marko Valenta, Kaley Elizabeth Knowlton, Jo Jakobsen, Mouawiya Al Awad and Zan Strabac (2019). “Temporary Labour-Migration System and Long-term Residence Strategies in the United Arab Emirates.” International Migration 58(1): 182-197.

Jo Jakobsen (2018). "Is European NATO Really Free-Riding? Patterns of Material and Non-Material Burden-Sharing after the Cold War." European Security 27(4): 490-514.

Jo Jakobsen and Thomas Halvorsen (2018). “The Durability of the Security Dilemma: An Empirical Investigation of Action-Reaction Dynamics in States’ Military Spending, 1988–2014.” Chinese Journal of International Politics 11(2): 153–192.

Marko Valenta and Jo Jakobsen (2018). “Nexus of Armed Conflicts and Migrations to the Gulf: Migrations to the GCC from War-torn Source Countries in Asia, Africa and the Arab Neighbourhood.” Middle Eastern Studies 54(1): 22–47.

Marko Valenta and Jo Jakobsen (2017). “Mixed Migrations to the Gulf: An Empirical Analysis of Migrations from Unstable and Refugee-producing Countries to the GCC, 1960–2015.” Refugee Survey Quarterly 36(2): 33–56.

Marko Valenta, Zan Strabac, Jo Jakobsen, Jeffrey Reitz and Mouawiya Al Awad (2017). “Labour Migrations to Resource-rich Countries: Comparative Perspectives on Migrants’ Rights in Canada, Norway and the United Arab Emirates.” International Journal on Minority and Group Rights 24(2): 150–173.

Marko Valenta and Jo Jakobsen (2016). “Moving to the Gulf: An Empirical Analysis of the Patterns and Drivers of Migration to the GCC Countries, 1960–2013.” Labor History 57(5): 627–648.

Jo Jakobsen, Tor G. Jakobsen and Eirin Rande Ekevold (2016). “Democratic Peace and the Norms of the Public: A Multilevel Analysis of the Relationship between Regime Type and Citizens' Bellicosity, 1981–2008.” Review of International Studies 42(5): 968–991.

Hilde A. Bakkan, Tor G. Jakobsen and Jo Jakobsen (2016). “Unpacking Ethnicity: Exploring the Underlying Mechanisms Linking Ethnic Fractionalization and Civil Conflict.” Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology 22(4): 413–416.

Eirin Rande Ekevold, Jo Jakobsen and Tor Georg Jakobsen (2014). “Demokratisk fred og (betinget) demokratisk pasifisme: Et teoretisk og empirisk blikk på normativ demokratisk fredsteori” [Democratic Peace and (Conditional) Democratic Pacifism: A Theoretical and Empirical Look at Democratic Peace Theory].  Internasjonal Politikk 72(4): 471–497.

Thomas Halvorsen and Jo Jakobsen (2013). “Democrats, Republicans – or Both? An Empirical Analysis of the Effects of the Composition of State Governments on FDI, 1977–2004.” International Interactions 39(2): 167–191.

Tor G. Jakobsen, Indra de Soysa and Jo Jakobsen (2013). “Why Do Poor Countries Suffer Costly Conflict? Unpacking Per Capital Income and the Onset of Civil War.” Conflict Management and Peace Science 30(2): 140–160.

Jo Jakobsen, Harry Arne Solberg, Thomas Halvorsen and Tor Georg Jakobsen (2013). “Fool’s Gold: Major Sport Events and Foreign Direct Investment.” International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics 5(3): 363–380. 

Jo Jakobsen (2013). “Norske bedrifter i en usikker verden: Vurdering og håndtering av politisk risiko” [“Norwegian Firms in an Insecure World: Assessing and Managing Political Risk”]. In Lin O. Elvegård, Espen Gressetvold and Inger Johanne Pettersen (eds.) Bedriftsledelse: Ulike perspektiver og tilnærminger [Business Management: Different Perspectives and Approaches]. Trondheim: Akademika Publishing.

Jo Jakobsen (2012). Political Risk and the Multinational Company: Concepts, Theories and Evidence. Trondheim: Tapir Academic Press.

Jo Jakobsen (2012). “The Primacy of Politics? Bargaining, Politics, and Government Intervention Risk in the International Bauxite and Aluminum Industry, 1950s–1980s.” Journal of Risk and Governance 3(3): 153–176.

Jo Jakobsen (2012). “Hands Off My Investment! A Time-Series Cross-Section Analysis of the Relationship between a New Measure of Political Risk and Foreign Direct Investment”. In Torre De Sare and Daniele Caprioglio (eds.) Foreign Investment: Types, Methods and Impacts. New York: Nova Science.

Jo Jakobsen and Tor G. Jakobsen (2011). “Economic Nationalism and FDI: The Impact of Public Opinion on Foreign Direct Investment in Emerging Markets, 1990–2005.” Society and Business Review 6(1): 61–76.

Jo Jakobsen (2011). “Bosnia and the Remittances–Institutions–Development Nexus.” In Marko Valenta and Sabrina P. Ramet (eds.) The Bosnian Diaspora: Integration in Transnational Communities. Farnham: Ashgate.

Jo Jakobsen (2011). “Adding Fuel to the Flames? Multinational Companies Operating in Zones of Conflict.” In Tor G. Jakobsen (ed.) War: An Introduction to Theories and Research on Collective Violence. New York: Nova Science.

Tor G. Jakobsen and Jo Jakobsen (2011). “Paneldataanalyse og sammenslåing av datasett” [“Panel Data Analysis and Merging of Datasets»]. In Terje Andreas Eikemo and Tommy Høyvarde Clausen (eds.) Kvantitativ analyse med SPSS: En praktisk innføring i kvantitative analyseteknikker (2. ed.) [Quantitative Analysis Using SPSS: A Practical Introduction to Quantitative Analysis Techniques]. Trondheim: Akademika Publishing.

Jo Jakobsen (2010). “Old Problems Remain, New Ones Crop Up: Political Risk in the 21st Century.” Business Horizons 53(5): 481–490.

Tor G. Jakobsen and Jo Jakobsen (2010). “Birds of a Feather Flock Apart? Testing the Critique of the Clash of Civilizations Thesis.” Journal of Peace, Conflict and Development 15(March): 1–20.

Tor G. Jakobsen and Jo Jakobsen (2009). “The Game: A Rational Actor Approach to the U.S.-led Invasion of Iraq, 2003.” Strategic Analysis 33(5): 664–674.

Indra de Soysa and Jo Jakobsen (2009). “Rewards of Freedom: Democratic Preferences and Foreign Direct Investment Inflow, 1984–2002.” In Peter Graeff and Guido Mehlkop (eds.) Capitalism, Democracy and the Prevention of War and Poverty: Perspectives on Economic and Political Freedom. New York: Routledge. 

Jo Jakobsen (2007). Political Risk for Multinational Companies: Sources and Effects. Trondheim: NTNU, Faculty of Social Sciences and Technology Management, Department of Sociology and Political Science.

Jo Jakobsen (2007). “Roaring Mice and a Frightened Elephant: Why a Missile Defense Might Save the United States from the Evils of Rogue States.” World Affairs 170(Winter): 99–109.

Jo Jakobsen (2006). “Does Democracy Moderate the Obsolescing Bargain Mechanism? – an Empirical Analysis, 1983–2001.” Transnational Corporations 15(3): 65–104.

Jo Jakobsen and Indra de Soysa (2006). “Do Foreign Investors Punish Democracy? Theory and Empirics, 1984–2001.” Kyklos 59(3): 383–410.