Inger Skjelsbæk

Research Professor

Inger Skjelsbæk
Additional position(s):
Professor, Centre for Gender Research, University of Oslo

Mobile phone: (+47) 938 02 492
Twitter: @IngerSkjelsbaek

Research Interests

Research project titled Why Rape? Perpetrator, Punishment and Social Narratives, funded by the Research Council of Norway (personal post-doc)
Research project titled Gender, Conflict and Peacebuilding, funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Research project titled Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict (SVAC), pilot study funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Book publication, 15 September, 2011:  The Political Psychology of War Rape: Studies from Bosnia and Herzegovina (London: Routledge)
An extensive interview with Inger Skjelsbæk by Cindy Horst was published as part of the 60th Anniversary series PRIO Stories in August 2019.


Languages spoken:

English, French and German

Working experience:

2009-2015 : Deputy Director at PRIO

Aug 2013 - Feb 2014: Research Director, Dimensions of Security Department, PRIO

2011/2012 (summers): Visiting scholar at the Human Rights Center, University of California Berkeley

2008-2009: Programme Leader of the Ethics, Norms and Identities programme at PRIO

2002-2003: Guest Researcher and Fulbright Scholar at the Institute of Slavic, Eurasian and Eastern European Studies (ISEEES) at the University of California, Berkeley, USA

1996- : Researcher at PRIO

Associate editor of International Feminist Journal of Politics since July 2011



2007 Dr. Polit. Degree at the Institute for Psychology, University of Trondheim (NTNU). The title of the Ph.D. dissertation is "Sexual Violence In Time of War: Sexuality, Ethnicity and Gender Diversity in the War in Bosnia-Herzegovina".

1996, Cand. Polit. Degree from the University of Trondheim (NTNU) with a Master’s degree in psychology. The title of the Master’s dissertation was "Women and War: A Qualitative Study of the Construction of Femininity in the Wars in the Former Yugoslavia, El Salvador and Vietnam".

1993, Cand. Mag. Degree from the University of Oslo with the following subjects: English language and literature, French language and literature, Psychology and Social science statistics.

Research Groups

Full member:

PRIO Departments


PRIO Projects



PRIO started tracking events online in 2007. This listing is not complete. Past events may be mentioned in our news archive.

Recent Publications

Bæk, Sindre & Inger Skjelsbæk (2023) The Women, Peace, and Security Norms as seen by Norwegian Male Officers, Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies. DOI:

All Publications

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Bæk, Sindre & Inger Skjelsbæk (2023) The Women, Peace, and Security Norms as seen by Norwegian Male Officers, Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies. DOI:
Skjelsbæk, Inger & Torunn L. Tryggestad (2020) Pro-gender Norms in Norwegian Peace Engagement: Balancing Experiences, Values, and Interests, Foreign Policy Analysis. DOI: 10.1093/fpa/orz028.
Skjelsbæk, Inger; Julie Marie Hansen & Jenny Lorentzen (2020) Hopes and misguided expectations: How policy documents frame gender in efforts at preventing terrorism and violent extremism, Politics, Religion & Ideology 21(4): 469–486.
Fangen, Katrine & Inger Skjelsbæk (2020) Editorial: special issue on gender and the far right, Politics, Religion & Ideology 21(4): 411–415.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2019) Å ruste ned seksuelle overgrep i krig [To disarm conflict-related sexual violence], Nytt Norsk Tidsskrift 1(2019): 53–63.
Skjelsbæk, Inger & Torunn L. Tryggestad (2019) Likestilling og Norges fredsengasjement - en balansekunst, Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning 43(4).
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2018) Silence Breakers in War and Peace: Research on Gender and Violence with an Ethics of Engagement, Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society 25(4): 496–520.
Doeland, Elin Martine & Inger Skjelsbæk (2017) Narratives of Support and Resistance: A Political Psychological Analysis of the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Political Psychology. DOI: 10.1111/pops.12466.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2016) Interpreting the interpreter: Navigating translation, interpretation, and mediation, Culture and Psychology 22(4): 502–519.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2012) Responsibility to Protect or Prevent? Victims and Perpetrators of Sexual Violence Crimes in Armed Conflicts, Global Responsibility to Protect 4(2): 154–171.
Harpviken, Kristian Berg & Inger Skjelsbæk (2010) Tilslørt fredspolitikk [Blurred Peace Policy], Nytt Norsk Tidsskrift 27(4): 379–388.
Skjelsbæk, Inger & Torunn L. Tryggestad (2009) Women in the Norwegian Armed Forces. Gender Equality or Operational Imperative?, Minerva Journal of Women and War 3(2): 34–51.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2009) Traditions and Transitions: Perceptions of 'Good Womanhood' Among Twenty Bosnian Focus Group Participants, International Feminist Journal of Politics 11(3): 392–411.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2006) Therapeutic Work With Victims of Sexual Violence in War and Postwar: A Discourse Analysis of Bosnian Experiences, Peace & Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology 12(2): 93–118.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2001) Sexual Violence and War: Mapping out a Complex Relationship, European Journal of International Relations 7(2): 211–237.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (1998) Kjønnsidentitet: Er feminitet iboende fredelig?, Internasjonal Politikk 56(1): 55–74.

PhD Thesis

Skjelsbæk, Inger (2007) Voicing Silence: A Political-Psychological Analysis of the Aftermath of the Bosnian War-Rapes. PhD thesis, Department of Psychology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim.


Skjelsbæk, Inger (2018) Helga Hernes: The State Feminist. Oslo: PRIO/H. Aschehoug & Co..
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2011) The Political Psychology of War Rape: Studies from Bosnia and Herzegovina. London: Routledge. War, Politics and Experience.

Book Chapter

Skjelsbæk, Inger & Torunn L. Tryggestad (2021) Protecting the brand? The hesitant incorporation of gender equality in the peace nation, in Larsen, Eirinn; Sigrun Marie Moss; & Inger Skjelsbæk, eds, Gender Equality and Nation Branding in the Nordic Region. London: Routledge (113–133).
Skjelsbæk, Inger & Torunn L. Tryggestad (2019) Donor States Delivering on WPS: The Case of Norway, in Davies, Sara; & Jacqui True, eds, The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace, and Security. Oxford: Oxford University Press (516–527).
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2018) Perpetrators of Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict, in Williams, Timothy; & Susanne Buckley-Zistel, eds, Perpetrators and Perpetration of Mass Violence: Action, Motivations and Dynamics (Routledge Studies in Genocide and Crimes against Humanity). London: Routledge (151–168).
Bringedal Houge, Anette & Inger Skjelsbæk (2018) Securitising Sexual Violence: Transitions from War to Peace, in Fitz-Gibbon, Kate; Sandra Walklate; Jude McCulloch; & JaneMaree Maher, eds, Intimate Partner Violence, Risk and Security: Securing Women’s Lives in a Global World. Abingdon: Routledge (19–33).
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2015) Women, War, Violence and Peacemaking – International Developments, in Kjersti Ericsson, ed., Women in War: Examples from Norway and Beyond. London: Ashgate (217–236).
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2013) Responsibility to Protect or Prevent? Victims and Perpetrators of Sexual Violence in Armed Conflicts, in Stamnes, Eli; Sara Davies; Zim Nwokora; & Sarah Teitt, eds, Responsibility to Protect and Women, Peace and Security. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers (81–101).
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2012) Conceptualizing Sexual Violence Perpetrators in War, in Bergsmo, Morten; Alf Butenschøn Skre; & Elisabeth J. Wood, eds, Understanding and Proving International Sex Crimes. Beijing: Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher (495–509).
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2011) Sexual Violence in the Post-Yugoslav Wars, in de Jonge Oudraat, Chantal; Helga Hernes; & Kathleen Kuehnast, eds, Women and War: Power and Protection in the 21st Century. Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace Press (65–84).
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2008) Kjønn og vold i krigssonen [Gender and Violence in the War Zone], in Skjeie, Hege; Inger Skjelsbæk; & Torunn L. Tryggestad, eds, Kjønn, krig og konflikt. Oslo, Norway: PAX (46–59).
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2008) Demokrati og Likestilling [Democracy and Gender Equality], in Midgaard, Knut; & Bjørn Erik Rasch, eds, Demokrati: Vilkår og Virkninger. Bergen: (349–365).
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2001) Is Femininity Inherently Peaceful? The Construction of Femininity in War, in Gender, Peace and Conflict. London: .
Skjelsbæk, Inger (1999) The Use of Sexual Violence in Times of War: A Review of the Scholarly Literature, in Women and Armed Conflicts. Oslo: (37–70).
Skjelsbæk, Inger (1997) Seksualisert vold som våpen i krig, in Kvinner, krise og krig (Women, Crisis and War), NUPI Rapport 225. Oslo: (47–55).

Edited Volume

Skjelsbæk, Inger; Hege Skjeie; & Torunn L. Tryggestad, eds, (2008) Kjønn, Krig og Konflikt [Gender, War, Conflict]. Oslo, Norway: PAX.
Smith, Dan; Inger Skjelsbæk; Dan Smith; & Inger Skjelsbæk, eds, (2001) Gender, Peace and Conflict. London: Sage Publications.

Non-refereed Journal Article

Skjelsbæk, Inger (2013) Seksualisert vold i krig [Sexual violence in war], Speilvendt(2): 2–7.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2013) "It's not small talk material" - om krig, fred, vold og forskning, Samtiden. Tidsskrift for politikk, litteratur og samfunnsspørsmål 3: 36–48.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2006) En Fredsforskers syn på dyd, Minerva 82(1): 29–31.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2003) The Role of Gender in South Asian Conflict Zones, Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology 9(4): 387–389.

Popular Article

Skjelsbæk, Inger (2017) Norsk unnfallenhet, Morgenbladet, 4 July.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2013) Soldaten som overgriper [The soldier as perpetrator], Forsvarets Forum, 1 December.
Harpviken, Kristian Berg & Inger Skjelsbæk (2012) Kvinner skaper endring [Women create change], Flyktningregnskapet 2012, 20 June.
Skjelsbæk, Inger & Kristian Berg Harpviken (2011) Gledelig Fredspris [A Peace Prize to Celebrate], Dagbladet, 7 October.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2011) Norwegians Must Build a Climate of Hope, Not Fear, San Francisco Chronicle, 10 August.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2011) Barnas usikre verden [Children's Insecure World], Dagsavisen, 5 August.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2011) Kvinners kropp som slagmark [Women's Bodies as Battlefields], UNICEF Magasinet, 1 June.
Harpviken, Kristian Berg & Inger Skjelsbæk (2010) Skjerp fredspolitikken! [Sharpen the Peace Policy!], Aftenposten, 29 November.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2009) Bare Beskyttelse? [Only Protection?], Dagbladet, 6 October.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2007) Kvinner i Kamp [Women in Battle], Morgenbladet, 24 August.
Hernes, Helga; Inger Skjelsbæk & Torunn L. Tryggestad (2006) Fred og fattigdom [Peace and Poverty], Dagbladet, 10 December.
Tryggestad, Torunn L. & Inger Skjelsbæk (2005) Det kvinnelige sikkerhetsbegrep [The Female Concept of Security], Morgenbladet, 2 December.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (2003) Flere kvinner i forsvaret [More women in the military], Dagbladet, 22 December.

PRIO Report

Skjelsbæk, Inger (1999) Sexual Violence in Times of War. An Annotated Bibliography, PRIO Report, 4. Oslo: PRIO.
Skjelsbæk, Inger (1997) Gendered Battlefields. A Gender Analysis of Peace and Conflict, PRIO Report, 6. Oslo: PRIO.

PRIO Policy Brief

Mochmann, Ingvill C. & Inger Skjelsbæk (2018) Children Born of War (CBOW): Between Stigmatization, Integration and Empowerment, GPS Policy Brief, 3. Oslo: PRIO.
Skjelsbæk, Inger; Nora Sveaass & Rikke Marie Gjerde Kvaale (2015) Therapeutic Prosecutions?, PRIO Policy Brief, 4. Oslo: PRIO.
Chun, Suk & Inger Skjelsbæk (2010) Sexual Violence in Armed Conflicts, PRIO Policy Brief, 1. Oslo: PRIO.

Report - Other

Skjelsbæk, Inger (2010) The Elephant in the Room: An Overview of How Sexual Violence came to be Seen as a Weapon of War, Report to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Oslo: PRIO.
Olsson, Louise; Karen Hostens; Inger Skjelsbæk; & Elise Fredrikke Barth (2004) Gender Aspects of Conflict Interventions: Intended and Unintended Consequences, Report to Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Oslo.

Book Review

Skjelsbæk, Inger (2007) Review of Innocent Women and Children: Gender Norms and the Protection of Civilians, in Gender and Development 15(2): 345–347.

Blog Posts

Don’t Forget the Children Born of War in Ukraine

Posted by Inger Skjelsbæk, Johanne Rokke Elvebakken, Lina Stotz & Ingvill C. Ødegaard on Thursday, 23 February 2023

Over nine months have passed since Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Several of the first Ukrainian women who became pregnant as a result of wartime sexual violence have now given birth to children who were conceived as a result of this violence. More will be born in the coming months. And ... Read more »

Women’s War

Posted by Inger Skjelsbæk on Friday, 1 April 2022

Soldiers, refugees, victims, mothers: we must listen to stories about the women’s war in Ukraine. Five weeks have passed since the start of the war in Ukraine. Shocking images dominate television news broadcasts. Europe is experiencing its largest refugee crisis since World War II. Men aged between 18 and 60 ... Read more »

Children Born of War Should be More Than an Afterthought

Posted by Lina Stotz, Johanne Rokke Elvebakken, Ingvill Constanze Mochmann, Inger Skjelsbæk, Sunniva Árja Tobiasen & Torunn L. Tryggestad on Sunday, 6 March 2022

A recent UN report published by the Secretary General in late January is one of the first to focus exclusively on women and girls who become pregnant as a result of sexual violence in conflict and on children born of war. The term ‘children born of war’ refers to children born ... Read more »

Bosnia and Herzegovina – a Failed State 25 Years After the Peace Accords

Posted by Inger Skjelsbæk on Wednesday, 30 December 2020

The people of Bosnia and Herzegovina are governed by three presidents, 14 prime ministers, 180 ministers, and 700 members of parliament (who sit in 14 different parliaments). A ping on my phone last fall told me that she was now a widow. The message was from my Bosnian friend in ... Read more »

Gender and Preventing Violent Extremism

Posted by Pinar Tank & Inger Skjelsbæk on Thursday, 12 March 2020

“We cannot allow the invisibility of women in the area of peace and security to continue,” stated Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide in her opening of the session on “Gender and Preventing Violent Extremism” in Amman, Jordan. Women are often “invisible” in analyses of violent extremism, whether ... Read more »

Children Born of War Are Not the Enemy. How Can They Be Integrated into Society?

Posted by Inger Skjelsbæk, Torunn L. Tryggestad & Ingvill C. Mochmann on Monday, 17 December 2018

This year, the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded jointly to the Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege and the Iraqi human rights activist, and witness and survivor of human-trafficking, Nadia Murad. These two voices are an extremely important contribution to ongoing efforts to combat war-related sexual violence. We are among the ... Read more »

Nobel Peace Prize to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad

Posted by Inger Skjelsbæk on Friday, 5 October 2018

The choice to award the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad is both timely and wise. The two Nobel laureates embody different dimensions of conflict-related sexual violence. Further, the prize comes at a time when we mark the one-year anniversary of the #metoo movement, when trust ... Read more »

Bosnia 20 Years On

Posted by Inger Skjelsbæk on Monday, 21 December 2015

The Dayton agreement ended the war. But with children from different ethnic groups unable to attend school together in many places, its intentions concerning reconciliation have unfortunately not been realized. “Of course I don’t need good grades in Bosnian when I’ve got good grades in English,” says a 13-year-old to ... Read more »

The Genocide in Srebrenica

Posted by Inger Skjelsbæk on Friday, 10 July 2015

On 11 July this year, a number of heads of state and foreign ministers, including Bill Clinton, will meet on a plain seven kilometres outside Srebrenica. They will be there to commemorate the fact that it is twenty years since over 8000 men and boys were killed while the women were ... Read more »

Therapeutic Prosecutions?

Posted by Inger Skjelsbæk, Nora Sveaass & Rikke Marie Gjerde Kvale on Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Assessing the therapeutic potential of criminal prosecution of international crimes at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Over the past twenty years, the global community has shown a renewed commitment to the pursuit of international criminal justice. A hallmark development in this regard is the establishment of the permanent International Criminal ... Read more »

Tainted by Stigma

Posted by Inger Skjelsbæk on Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Imagine being at a dinner party with friends. Some you know from before and some are new to you. You are served a welcome drink, smile, and begin to greet the other guests. The conversation starts amicably with exchanges about the weather, where you are from, recent events and perhaps ... Read more »

The British are Impatient to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

Posted by Inger Skjelsbæk on Wednesday, 11 June 2014

A Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict is taking place in London on 10-13 June. World leaders are meeting to discuss ways of combating the use of sexual violence in conflict and of improving efforts to bring perpetrators to justice. This is a historic event. Never before have so ... Read more »

Norwegians Must Build Climate of Hope, not Fear

Posted by Inger Skjelsbæk on Sunday, 14 August 2011

“Why do some people want to attack both my countries?” asks my 11-year old son with tears in his eyes. He is Norwegian and American, and this summer we are in California with his American family. He has just heard about what happened in Norway on 7/22. Our eyes are ... Read more »

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