Kristin Bergtora Sandvik

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Postal address Postboks 6706 St. Olavs plass 0130 OSLO

Academic interests

Kristin Bergtora Sandvik’s research agenda focuses on the development of a political and legal sociology of humanitarianism. Her research combines top-down and bottom-up perspectives on the development, role and place of legal norms, legal categories, legal identities and legal claims-making in conflict and humanitarian action. Sandvik is particularly concerned with soft law and with issues related to legality, legitimacy and accountability. While she has mainly used the qualitative methods of socio-legal studies, anthropology of law and international law (structured and semi-structured interviews, participant observation, literature reviews, discourse analysis, doctrinal legal analysis), she has have also directed mixed-methods projects involving household surveys and statistical comparison. Her geographic areas of expertise are Colombia and Uganda. Sandvik is also interested in emergent military and humanitarian technology, specifically focusing on cybersecurity, drones and robotics.

At present, Sandvik is the project leader for two projects funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Research Council of Norway: “Aid in Crisis? Rights-based Approaches and Humanitarian Outcomes” (AIDEFFFECT) og “Protection of Civilians: From Principle to Practice” (HUMPOL). In recent years, Sandvik has maintained a close collaboration with the Faculty of Law at the University of Los Andes, Colombia. 

Sandvik has published in journals such as Law and Society Review, Feminist Legal Studies, PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review, Journal of Human Rights Practice, International Journal of Refugee Law, Third World Quarterly, Journal of Military Ethics, International Review of the Red Cross, Disasters, Millennium-Journal of International Studies, Refugee Survey Quarterly, Nordic Journal of Human Rights, Conjuntura Austral and RIS - La Revue internationale et stratégique. Sandvik is also the co-editor of

  • Worlds of Human Rights. The Ambiguities of Rights Claiming in Africa (Brill, 2013);
  • UNHCR and the Struggle for Accountability: Technology, Law and Results-based Management (Routledge, 2016)
  • The Good Drone (Routledge, 2016) and
  • Refugee Resettlement: Power, Politics and Humanitarian Governance (Berghahn Books, under contract).


Kristin Bergtora Sandvik graduated from the University of Oslo with a Masters in Women’s Law in 2002.  She obtained an LL.M (waived) from Harvard Law School in 2003, and a doctorate in Juridical Sciences (S.J.D) from Harvard Law School in 2008. Her dissertation was called “On the Everyday Life of International Law: Humanitarianism and Refugee- Resettlement in Kampala”. Sandvik has also studied social anthropology at the University of Oslo, and she has been a guest researcher at the Oxford Refugee Studies Centre and the Refugee Law Project (Uganda).

In 2009, Sandvik was hired by the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) as a senior researcher. In 2011, Sandvik co-founded the Norwegian Center for Humanitarian Studies (NCHS), where she was the director from 2012 to 2016. From May 2016, Sandvik has been an associate professor at the Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law, while maintaining a 20% position as a research professor in humanitarian studies at PRIO.


RSOS2951 - Legal Mobilization and Grassroots Organizing for Social Justice

RSOS4802 - Ikke-jurister som rettsanvendere [Norwegian]


  • Garnier, Adele; Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Jubilut, Liliana Lyra (2018). Introduction: Refugee Resettlement as Humanitarian Governance: Power Dynamics, In Adele Garnier; Liliana Lyra Jubilut & Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (ed.),  Refugee Resettlement: Power, Politics and Humanitarian Governance.  Berghahn Books.  ISBN 978-1-78533-969-1.  Introduction.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2018). A Legal History: The Emergence of the African Resettlement Candidate in International Refugee Management, In Adele Garnier; Liliana Lyra Jubilut & Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (ed.),  Refugee Resettlement: Power, Politics and Humanitarian Governance.  Berghahn Books.  ISBN 978-1-78533-969-1.  Chapter 2.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; de Walle, Bartel & Comes, Tina (2018). Cold chains, interrupted: The use of technology and information for decisions that keep humanitarian vaccines cool. Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management.  ISSN 2042-6747.  8(1), s 49- 69
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Jacobsen, Katja Lindskov (2018). UNHCR and the pursuit of international protection: accountability through technology?. Third World Quarterly.  ISSN 0143-6597.
  • Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen & Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2017). What Does It Take to Be Good?, In  The Good Drone.  Routledge.  ISBN 9781472451118.  Introduction.
  • Liden, Kristoffer & Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2017). Poison Pill or Cure-All: Drones and the Protection of Civilians, In  The Good Drone.  Routledge.  ISBN 9781472451118.  3.  s 65 - 88
  • Lohne, Kjersti & Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2017). Bringing Law into the Political Sociology of Humanitarianism. Oslo Law Review.  ISSN 2387-3299.  4(1), s 4- 27
  • Raymond, Nathaniel A. & Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2017). Beyond the Protective Effect: Towards a Theory of Harm for Information Communication Technologies in Mass Atrocity Response. Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal (GSP).  ISSN 1911-0359. . doi: 10.5038/1911-9933.11.1.1454
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2017). Now is the time to deliver: looking for humanitarian innovation’s theory of change. Journal of International Humanitarian Action.  ISSN 2364-3404. . doi: 10.1186/s41018-017-0023-2
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2017). The Public Order Drone: Promises, Proliferation and Disorder in Civil Airspace, In  The Good Drone.  Routledge.  ISBN 9781472451118.  5.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Hoelscher, Kristian (2017). The Reframing of the War on Drugs as a "Humanitarian Crisis": Costs, Benefits, and Consequences. Latin American perspectives.  ISSN 0094-582X.  44(4), s 168- 182 . doi: 10.1177/0094582X16683375
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Jacobsen, Katja Lindskov & McDonald, Sean Martin (2017). Do no harm: A taxonomy of the challenges of humanitarian experimentation. International Review of the Red Cross.  ISSN 1816-3831.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Lemaitre, Julieta (2017). Finding the Roads to Justice? Examining Trajectories of Transition for Internally Displaced Women in Colombia. Stability: International Journal of Security and Development.  ISSN 2165-2627. . doi: 10.5334/sta.493
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2016). Law in the militarization of cyber space: framing a critical research agenda, In Karsten Friis & Jens Ringsmose (ed.),  Conflict in Cyber Space: Theoretical, strategic and legal perspectives.  Routledge.  ISBN 978-1-138-94778-8.  11.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2016). Stronger, Faster, Better: Three Logics of Humanitarian Futureproofing, In Kai Koddenbrock; Christine Unrau & Volker Heins (ed.),  Humanitarianism and Challenges of Cooperation.  Routledge.  ISBN 978-1138963375.  6.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2016). How accountability technologies shape international protection: results-based management and rights-based approaches revisited, In Kristin Bergtora Sandvik & Katja Lindskov Jakobsen (ed.),  UNHCR and the Struggle for Accountability: Technology, law and results-based management.  Routledge.  ISBN 978-1-138-91152-9.  8.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2016). The Political and Moral Economies of Dual Technology Transfers: Arming Police Drones, In Ales Zavrsnik (ed.),  Drones and Unmanned Aerial Systems, Legal and Social Implications for Security and Surveillance.  Springer Publishing Company.  ISBN 978-3-319-23760-2.  3.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Jacobsen, Katja Lindskov (2016). Introduction: The Quest for an Accountability Cure, In Kristin Bergtora Sandvik & Katja Lindskov Jakobsen (ed.),  UNHCR and the Struggle for Accountability: Technology, law and results-based management.  Routledge.  ISBN 978-1-138-91152-9.  Introduction.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen & Cezne, Eric (2016). Drones como Veículos para a Ação Humanitária: Perspectivas, Oportunidades e Desafios. Conjuntura Austral.  ISSN 2178-8839.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen & Lohne, Kjersti (2016). Drones for Good: Conceptualizing the Role of Drones in Global Governance, In Zhuo Li (ed.),  China International Strategy Review.  Long River Press.  8.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Lemaitre, Julieta (2016). Structural Remedies and the One-million Pesos: on the Limits of Court-ordered Social Change for Internally Displaced Women in Colombia, In Kim Rubenstein & Katharine Young (ed.),  The Public Law of Gender: From the Local to the Global.  Cambridge University Press.  ISBN 978-1107138575.  3.
  • Lemaitre, Julieta & Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2015). Shifting Frames, Vanishing Resources, and Dangerous Political Opportunities: Legal Mobilization among Displaced Women in Colombia. Law & society review.  ISSN 0023-9216.  49(1), s 5- 38 . doi: 10.1111/lasr.12119
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2015). African Drone Stories. BEHEMOTH - A Journal on Civilisation.  ISSN 1866-2447.  8(2), s 73- 96
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2015). The humanitarian cyberspace: shrinking space or an expanding frontier?. Third World Quarterly.  ISSN 0143-6597. . doi: 10.1080/01436597.2015.1043992
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen (2015). Les drones humanitaires. La Revue internationale et stratégique.  ISSN 1287-1672.  98(2), s 139- 146 . doi: 10.3917/ris.098.0139
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Lemaitre, Julieta (2015). From IDPs to Victims in Colombia: A Bottom-Up Reading of Law in Post- Conflict Transitions, In James Sweeney & Matthew William Saul (ed.),  International Law and Post-Conflict Reconstruction Policy.  Routledge.  ISBN 1138780111.  12.  s 251 - 271
  • Lemaitre, Julieta & Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2014). Beyond Sexual Violence in Transitional Justice: Political Insecurity as a Gendered Harm. Feminist Legal Studies.  ISSN 0966-3622. . doi: 10.1007/s10691-014-9274-0
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2014). Humanitarian Innovation, Humanitarian Renewal. Forced Migration Review.  ISSN 1460-9819.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2014). Regulating War in the Shadow of Law: Toward a Re-Articulation of ROE. Journal of Military Ethics.  ISSN 1502-7570.  13(2), s 118- 136 . doi: 10.1080/15027570.2014.949476 Show summary
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2014). Teknologi og det humanitære fornyelsesprosjektet. Internasjonal Politikk.  ISSN 0020-577X.  72(2), s 272- 281
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen & Karlsrud, John (2014). Ny humanitær teknologi - En kritisk forskningsagenda. Internasjonal Politikk.  ISSN 0020-577X.  72(2), s 224- 233
  • Karlsrud, John; Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen & Kaufmann, Mareile (2014). Humanitarian technology: a critical research agenda. International Review of the Red Cross.  ISSN 1816-3831.  Firstview . doi: 10.1017/S1816383114000344
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Lohne, Kjersti (2014). The Rise of the Humanitarian Drone: Giving Content to an Emerging Concept. Millennium: Journal of International Studies.  ISSN 0305-8298.  43(1), s 145- 164 . doi: 10.1177/0305829814529470

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  • Garnier, Adele; Jubilut, Liliana Lyra & Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (ed.) (2018). Refugee Resettlement: Power, Politics and Humanitarian Governance. Berghahn Books.  ISBN 978-1-78533-969-1.  234 s.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Lindskov Jakobsen, Katja (ed.) (2016). UNHCR and the Struggle for Accountability: Technology, law and results-based management. Routledge.  ISBN 978-1-138-91152-9.  180 s.

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  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2017). Artificial intelligence for law enforcement: opportunities and challenges, moderation.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2017). Conference: Global Challenges - Nordic Experiences.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2017). From human resources to legal liability: The evolving duty of care towards humanitarian staff.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2017). Governing resettlement: due process, uncertain duties and undue rights.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2017). Humanitarianism as Socology of Law: An Inventory.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2017). Information ethics and security. Pointers for diagnosing state of play.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2017). Responding to changes from outside the sector: information technology and social media.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2017). The Significance of Political Organization and International Law for Displaced Women in Colombia: A Socio-legal study of Liga De Mujeres.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Jacobsen, Katja Lindskov & McDonald, Sean Martin (2017). From Principle to Practice: Humanitarian Innovation and Experimentation. Stanford Social Innovations Reveiw Blog.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen (2017). Humanitarian Studies Colloquium: Media Studies and Humanitarian crisis – state of scholarship. Show summary
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Kolås, Åshild; Horst, Cindy; Derman, Bill; McNeish, John-Andrew & Liden, Kristoffer (2017). Humanitarian Studies Colloquium: The anthropology of emergencies, rescue and good intentions. Show summary
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Liden, Kristoffer (2017). Humanitarian Studies Colloquium: The Ethics of Humanitarian Action – rationale and critique of a do-gooder regime. Show summary
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Lohne, Kjersti (2017). Building a Sociology of Law for the Humanitarian Field. Sociological Review.  ISSN 0038-0261.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Lohne, Kjersti (2017). Humanitarian Studies Colloquium: Building a legal sociology of the humanitarian field. Show summary
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Raymond, Nathaniel A. (2017). The Myth of ICT’s Protective effect in mass atrocity response.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Raymond, Nathaniel A. (2017). Unpacking the Myth of ICT’s Protective Effect in Mass Atrocity Response. ATHA.SE.
  • Lohne, Kjersti & Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2016). Bringing Law into the Political Sociology of Humanitarianism.
  • Lohne, Kjersti & Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2016). Terrorbekjempelse i gråsonen: Fra Guantanamo til væpnede droner.
  • Nielsen, Brita Fladvad; Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen (2016). How Can Innovation Deliver Humanitarian Outcomes? Challenges and Approaches for Humanitarian Innovation Policy. PRIO Policy Brief. 12.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2016). ‘Now Is the Time to Deliver’: Understanding Humanitarian Innovation as Buzzword.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2016). The Refugee Crisis as a Global Humanitarian Challenge. European Council of Foreign Relations.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2016). Futureproofing humanitarianism for permanent emergencies: unpacking the promise of cooperation. A Quest For Humanitarian Effectiveness.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2016). New Developments in Drone Proliferation: How Africa was Deployed to Rescue Drones.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2016). The refugee crisis: a common challenge?.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Garnier, Adele & Jubilut, Liliana Lyra (2016). Refugee resettlement as humanitarian governance: The need for a critical research agenda. IntLawGrrls Blog.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Hoelscher, Kristian (2016). Is The War on Drugs a Humanitarian Crisis?. ATHA.SE.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Hoelscher, Kristian (2016). Is the War on Drugs a “Humanitarian Crisis”?.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Lemaitre, Julieta (2016). Tailoring Protection of Civilians to State Capacity.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Rolandsen, Øystein H. & Jensehaugen, Jørgen (2016). Humanitarian Studies Colloquium: The history of development and humanitarian studies in Norway.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2015). Actors, agendas and legal categories in post-war Colombia. Show summary
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2015). An academic New Year’s resolution for Colombia: understanding continued gendered violence as a threat to positive peace. IntLawGrrls Blog.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2015). Conundrums in the Embrace of the Private Sector. ATHA.SE.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2015). Drones for Humanitarian «Interventions».
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2015, 21. april). Et forbud mot drapsroboter?. [Radio].
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2015). Evaluating Ebola: the politics of the military response narrative. Reliefweb.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2015). From IDPs to victims in Colombia: Reflections on durable solutions in the post-conflict setting.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2015). Humanitarian Drones?.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2015). Resettlement comments Alexander Betts.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Lemaitre, Julieta (2015). Beyond Sexual Violence: Gendered Political Insecurity as a Threat to Peace. IntLawGrrls Blog.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Lemaitre, Julieta (2015). From IDPs to Victims in Colombia: Transition from Humanitarian Crisis through Law Reform?. Reliefweb.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Lohne, Kjersti (2015). Lethal Autonomous Weapons: Killing the ‘Robots-don’t-Rape’ Argument. IntLawGrrls Blog.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Lohne, Kjersti (2015). What's wrong with the idea that 'robots don't rape'?.
  • Lemaitre Ripoll, Julieta; Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Romero Villalba, Luz Estella; Ochoa Arias, Ana Manuela; González Villegas, Valentina & Vargas Mahecha, Sandra (2014). Defensoras de derechos humanos Tres estudios de casos de ONG y su respuesta al desplazamiento forzado. PRIO Report. 9.
  • Lemaitre Ripoll, Julieta; Sol López, Eva; Pablo Mosquera, Juan; Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Vargas Gómez, Juliana (2014). De desplazados a víctimas. Los cambios legales y la participación de la Mesa de Víctimas de Mocoa, Putumayo.. PRIO Report. 8.
  • Lemaitre, Julieta; Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Sol López, Eva; Pablo Mosquera, Juan; Vargas Gómez, Juliana & Guerrero, Patricia (2014). Sueño de vida digna” La Liga de Mujeres Desplazadas: Estudio de caso en mejores prácticas de organización de base para el goce efectivo de derechos.. PRIO Report. 7.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2014). Accountability and Transparency Issues in the Turn to Technology.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2014). Blir humanitære organisasjoner de nye overvåkerne?. Bistandsaktuelt.  ISSN 1501-0201.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2014). Cybersecurity.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2014). Cyberwar & Drones. Emergent Military Technologies: Lowering the Threshold for the Use of Force.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2014). Cyberwar and international law.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2014). Ebola: A Humanitarian Crisis or a Crisis of Humanitarian Governance?. Humanitarian Practice Network.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2014). Fighting the War with the Ebola Drone, by Kristin B. Sandvik.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2014). Inventing Transition, Transitional Inventions: From Internal Displacement to Armed Conflict in Colombia.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2014). New NATO cyber defense policy: unclear on key issues. The Blog: International Voices.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2014). The Moral Economy of Humanitarian Drones.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2014). The War on Drugs as “Humanitarian Crisis:” Examining the Latin American Experience.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2014). The pluralities of protection: an ethnographic examination of precautionary measures for displaced women in Colombi.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Chris, Wilson & Karlsrud, John (2014). A Humanitarian Technology Policy Agenda for 2016. Advanced Training on Humanitarian Action (ATHA).
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen (2014). Investigating the "good drones": New possibilities, unclear pitfalls.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Karlsrud, John & Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen (2014). Blir humanitære organisasjoner de nye overvåkerne?. Bistandsaktuelt.  ISSN 1501-0201.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Lemaitre, Julieta & Vargas Gómez, Juliana (2014). Organización comunitaria y derechos humanos. La movilización legal de las mujeres desplazadas en Colombia.. PRIO Report. 10.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Marsh, Nicholas (2014). Lethal Autonomous Weapons: Issues for the International Community. Security & Defence Agenda.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Marsh, Nicholas & Mirshahi, Maral (2014). Killer robots – hvorfor ønsker man et forbud?. Ytring : NRK.

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Published May 19, 2016 1:17 PM - Last modified Jan. 9, 2017 11:22 AM