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Researcher projects funded under the GRUNNLOV initiative

Eight researcher projects allocated funding


MANNING THE STATE - The Danish Empire, its Norwegian Civil Servants and the Making of the 1814 Constitution. The main objective of the project is to examine changes in constitutional aspects first of the Dano-Norwegian monarchy, and subsequently of the Norwegian segment of the Swedish-Norwegian union. These changes will be studied at various levels, using a primarily social science-based theoretical approach. The project combines new historical insight into the making of the Constitution with theory development on why and how constitutions are part of the formation and dissolution of empires.
Project manager: Halvard Leira, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI)

Publications in English:

  • Empire, imperialism and conceptual history, Iver B. Neumann, Journal of International Relations and Development 2011
  • European Integration and Postcolonial Sovereignty Games: The EU Overseas Countries and Territories, Iver B. Neumann
  • Our Entire People are Natural Born Friends of Peace': the Norwegian foreign policy of peace, Halvard Leira, Swiss Political Science Review, 2013

1814-grunnloven - historisk virkning og sosial forankring (1814 Project – Historical Impact and Social Foundation). The primary objective of this project is to study how the concepts underlying the Norwegian Constitution were established and incorporated into Norwegian society in the 1800s and the impact of this Constitution on political and cultural developments in the Nordic region. The project builds on the existing 1814 Initiative at the University of Oslo’s Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History, and will provide input for continuing and further developing ongoing projects as well as the integration of new, related perspectives into the initiative. The project has extensive cooperation with scholarly groups in Denmark and Sweden.
Project manager: Odd Arvid Storsveen, University of Oslo

Publications in English:

  • Experiences of War and Nationality in Denmark-Norway,1807–1815. Morten N. Ottosen, Palgrave Macmillan 2014
  • “Like a herd of cattle”. Parliamentary and public debates regarding the cession of Norway, 1813–1814 (Oslo Studies in Legal History, 8: 2014)

Det globale i det lokale og det lokale i det globale - konstitusjon, menneskerettigheter og interessekamp (Global Factors Behind Local Events and Local Factors Behind Global Events – Constitutions, Human Rights and Promotion of Interests). The primary objective of the project is to study how international human rights have been influenced by, and have exerted influence on, the national constitutional framework. This may in turn provide new insight into how the emergence of international organisations has increased the latitude for political action of nationally marginalised groups. The project will focus mainly on conditions in Norway, but will also examine comparative aspects relative to the US.
Project manager: Hanne Hagtvedt Vik, University of Oslo

Grunnloven som symbol (The Constitution as a Symbol). This project aims to generate new knowledge on the significance of the 1814 Constitution for national identity in present-day Norway, focusing on how national identity is formed and reaffirmed as part of the annual 17th of May celebrations. The participation and experiences of ethnic and religious minority and majority groups in the Constitution Day celebrations also comes under study. A comparative perspective of corresponding celebrations in other Scandinavian countries will help to place the Norwegian Constitution Day traditions in a larger context. By providing new insight into the people’s relationship to the Constitution as a symbol, the project hopes to contribute to the planning and further development of the programme for the bicentennial celebration of the Constitution in 2014.
Project manager: Olaf Aagedal, Centre for Church Research
Publications mainly in Norwegian.

Nye perspektiver på grunnlovshistorien (New Perspectives on the History of the Norwegian Constitution). The project is a broad-based research collaboration involving historians and legal experts throughout Norway as well as key international research groups. By uncovering new legal and historical elements of Norwegian constitutional history and incorporating international perspectives, the project is seeking to contribute new insight into the Constitution as an historic document and to give new clarification to the current Constitution.
Project manager: Dag Michalsen, University of Oslo
Publications mainly in Norwegian.

Constitution, Welfare State and Citizenship. The primary objective of the project is to lead to a greater understanding of the interplay between the Constitution and the development of the Norwegian welfare state. The project uses a history-based approach to analyse the “social contract” drawn up with and by the 1814 Constitution in order to shed light on a number of topics of historical significance and present-day relevance. This includes viewing the structure of the Constitution in a comparative perspective and examining how it treats the concepts of citizenship, social welfare and international human rights.
Project manager: Henriette Sinding Aasen, University of Bergen
Publications mainly in Norwegian.

Grunnloven og det regionale: hegemoni, kontinuitet og brudd. (The Constitution and Regional Norway: Hegemony, Continuity and Breaches). This project examines how the various regions of Norway functioned as partially autonomous entities prior to 1814, as well as their role in the years leading up to the events of 1814 and the ramifications for regions outside Eastern Norway of the development of the civil, liberal Constitution and the establishment of Christiania as the capital of an independent Norway.
Project manager: Ida Bull, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
Publications mainly in Norwegian.

The Norwegian Constitution in a Changing European Context. The main objective of this project is to clarify and provide new knowledge about the constitutional and democratic implications of Norway’s relationship with the EU, as well as with other European cooperation bodies. Starting with an examination of the constitutional development of the EU, the project analyses the compound relationship between Norway and the EU and the degree of Norway’s political and legal autonomy within a European context.
Project managers: Erik Oddvar Eriksen and John Erik Fossum, University of Oslo/ARENA Centre for European Studies


Other publications:

Textualizing Democracy: The Norwegian Constitution 1814-2014. Project manager: Karen Gammelgaard, Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages, University of Oslo