Kristin Bergtora Sandvik

Research Professor in Humanitarian Studies at PRIO and Associate Professor at the Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law at the University of Oslo

Kristin Bergtora Sandvik was previously the Director for the Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies (2012-2016). She is currently not active with the Centre.

Sandvik holds a Candidata Juris from the University of Oslo (2002) and a doctorate from Harvard Law School (2008). Her doctoral dissertation was entitled “On the Everyday Life of International Law: Humanitarianism and Refugee-Resettlement in Kampala”. She has been a visiting researcher at the Oxford University Refugee Study Centre and at the Refugee Law Project, Makerere University, Uganda.  Sandvik is a Rockefeller Foundation Alumni. She is currently a board member of the International Humanitarian Studies Association (IHSA) and on the editorial board of Security Dialogue. Sandvik is the coordinator for the Humanitarianism research group at PRIO.

Sandvik has led Protection of Civilians: From Principle to Practice and Aid in Crisis? Rights-Based Approaches and Humanitarian Outcomes projects, funded by the Research Council of Norway.

Current work

Sandvik’s work focus on the political sociology of humanitarianism and the law of humanitarian action. This includes research on emergent military and humanitarian technology (cybersecurity, drones, robotics and the ethics of big data); forced displacement (UNHCR, accountability, resettlement, IDP’s in Colombia and transitional justice; refugees in Uganda) and feminist legal perspectives on humanitarian crisis.

Selected publications

(For a full overview, please see PRIO)

Garnier, Adèle ; Liliana Lyra Jubilut ; & Kristin Bergtora Sandvik, eds, (2017) Refugee Resettlement: Power, Politics and Humanitarian Governance. New York: Berghahn.

Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; & Katja Lindskov Jacobsen, eds, (2016) UNHCR and the Struggle for Accountability Technology, law and results-based management. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. Routledge Humanitarian Studies.

Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2016) The humanitarian cyberspace: shrinking space or an expanding frontier?, Third World Quarterly 37(1): 17–32.

Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Kristian Hoelscher (2016) The Reframing of the War on Drugs as a “Humanitarian Crisis”: Costs, Benefits and Attendant Consequences, Latin American Perspectives (Forthcoming).

Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert; John Karlsrud & Mareile Kaufmann (2014) Humanitarian technology: a critical research agenda, International Review of the Red Cross. DOI: 10.1017/S1816383114000344.

Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Kjersti Lohne (2014) The Rise of the Humanitarian Drone: Giving Content to an Emerging Concept, Millennium Journal of International Studies. DOI: 10.1177/03058298145294701–20.

Lemaitre, Julieta & Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (2015) Shifting Frames, Vanishing Resources, and Dangerous Political Opportunities: Legal Mobilization among Displaced Women in Colombia, Law & Society Review 49(1): 5–38.

Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Julieta Lemaitre (2014) Beyond Sexual Violence in Transitional Justice: Political Insecurity as a Gendered Harm, Feminist Legal Studies 22(3).

Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Julieta Lemaitre (2013) Internally Displaced Women as Knowledge Producers and Users in Humanitarian Action: The View from Colombia, Disasters 37(1): 36–50.

Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2012) Negotiating the Humanitarian Past: History, Memory, and Unstable Cityscapes in Kampala, Uganda, Refugee Survey Quarterly 31(1): 108–122.

Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2011) Blurring Boundaries: Refugee Resettlement in Kampala—between the Formal, the Informal, and the Illegal, Polar: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 34(1): 11–32.

Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2010) Unpacking World Refugee Day: Humanitarian Governance and Human Rights Practice? , Journal of Human Rights Practice 2(2): 287–298.

Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2010) A Legal History: the Emergence of the African Resettlement Candidate in International Refugee Management , International Journal of Refugee Law 22(1): 20–47.

Web site: