Kristin Bergtora Sandvik

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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 the research project: “Aid in Crisis? Rights-based Approaches and Humanitarian Outcomes” (AIDEFFFECT) funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Research Council of Norway. 

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, Third World Thematics, Oslo Law Review, the Australian Feminist Law Journal, 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.  Sandviks work has been translated into multiple languages, including French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and Arabic.

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) 
  • Refugee Resettlement: Power, Politics and Humanitarian Governance (Berghahn Books, 2018).


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.





  • Borgrevink, Kaja & Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2021). The afterlife of buzzwords: the journey of rights-based approaches through the humanitarian sector. International Journal of Human Rights.  ISSN 1364-2987.  s 1- 21 . doi: 10.1080/13642987.2021.1916476
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Ikdahl, Ingunn & Lohne, Kjersti (2021). Rettens rolle etter 22. juli: Minnearbeid, overlevende og gjenoppbygging. Norsk sosiologisk tidsskrift.  ISSN 2535-2512.  5(3), s 28- 45 . doi: Show summary
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2020). Digital Dead Body Management (DDBM): Time to Think it Through. Journal of Human Rights Practice.  ISSN 1757-9619.  12(2), s 428- 443 . doi: 10.1093/jhuman/huaa002
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2020). Humanitarian Wearables: Digital Bodies, Experimentation and Ethics, In Daniel Messelken & David W. Winkler (ed.),  Ethics of Medical Innovation, Experimentation, and Enhancement in Military and Humanitarian Contexts.  Springer.  ISBN 978-3-030-36319-2.  6.  s 87 - 101
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2020). “Smittestopp”: If you want your freedom back, download now. Big Data and Society.  ISSN 2053-9517. . doi:
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2020). Wearables for something good: aid, dataveillance and the production of children’s digital bodies. Information, Communication & Society.  ISSN 1369-118X. . doi: 10.1080/1369118X.2020.1753797
  • Dijkzeul, Dennis & Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2019). A world in turmoil: governing risk, establishing order in humanitarian crises. Disasters. The Journal of Disaster Studies, Policy and Management.  ISSN 0361-3666.  43(2), s S85- S108 . doi: 10.1111/disa.12330
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2019). Is Legal Technology a New “Moment” in the Law and Development Trajectory?. Antipode.  ISSN 0066-4812.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2019). Making Wearables in Aid: Digital Bodies, Data and Gifts. Journal of Humanitarian Affairs.  ISSN 2515-6411.  1(3), s 33- 41 . doi: 10.7227/jha.023
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2019). Safeguarding’as humanitarian buzzword: an initial scoping. Journal of International Humanitarian Action.  ISSN 2364-3412. . doi: 10.1186/s41018-019-0051-1
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Lemaitre, Julieta (2019). From IDPs to Victims in Colombia: Reflections on durable solutions in the post-conflict setting, In Megan Bradley; James Milner & Blair Peruniak (ed.),  Refugees' Roles in Resolving Displacement and Building Peace: Beyond Beneficiaries.  Georgetown University Press.  ISBN 978-1626166745.  10.
  • Comes, Tina; Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Van de Walle, Bartel (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 . doi: 10.1108/JHLSCM-03-2017-0006 Show summary
  • 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 (2018). Gendering violent pluralism: women’s political organising in Latin America. Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal.  ISSN 2380-2014. . doi: 10.1080/23802014.2018.1477527 Show summary
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2018). Humanitarians in court: how duty of care travelled from human resources to legal liability. Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law.  ISSN 0732-9113.  50(3), s 358- 374 . doi: 10.1080/07329113.2018.1548192
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2018). Technology, dead male bodies, and feminist recognition: Gendering ICT harm theory. Australian Feminist Law Journal.  ISSN 1320-0968.  44(1), s 49- 69 . doi: 10.1080/13200968.2018.1465371 Full text in Research Archive. Show summary
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Jacobsen, Katja Lindskov (2018). UNHCR and the pursuit of international protection: accountability through technology?. Third World Quarterly.  ISSN 0143-6597.  39(8), s 1508- 1524 . doi: 10.1080/01436597.2018.1432346 Full text in Research Archive.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Martins, Bruno Oliveira (2018). Revisitando el espacio aéreo latinoamericano: una exploración de los drones como sujetos de regulación. Latin American Law Review | Revista Latinoamericana de Dereho.  ISSN 2619-4880.  1(1) . doi: 10.29263/lar01.2018.03 Full text in Research Archive. Show summary
  • 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 . doi: 10.18261/issn.2387-3299-2017-01-01 Full text in Research Archive.
  • 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 Full text in Research Archive.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2017). Now is the time to deliver: looking for humanitarian innovation’s theory of change. Journal of International Humanitarian Action.  ISSN 2364-3412. . doi: 10.1186/s41018-017-0023-2 Full text in Research Archive.

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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.

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  • Befring, Anne Kjersti Cecelia & Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2021). PODCAST UIO: Vi trenger en offentlig samtale om hva vaksinepass skal brukes til.
  • Brekke, Jan-Paul; Paasche, Erlend; Espegren, Astrid & Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2021). Selection Criteria in Refugee Resettlement. Balancing vulnerability and future integration in eight resettlement countries. Rapport – Institutt for samfunnsforskning. 2021:3. Full text in Research Archive. Show summary
  • Graver, Hans Petter; Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Nylund, Anna & Lintvedt, Mona Naomi (2021). Stortinget må vedta en ny lov dersom koronasertifikat skal innføres. Juridika Innsikt. Show summary
  • Lintvedt, Mona Naomi & Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2021). Vi trenger en høring om digitale vaksinepass. Rett24. Show summary
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Ikdahl, Ingunn (2021). COVID-19: Towards a Digital Fragmentation of the Right to Education?.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Lintvedt, Mona Naomi (2021). The role of law and the rule of law in Covid-19 tracing apps: Smittestopp revisited.
  • Hellum, Anne; Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Valland, Tatanya & Erdal, Marta Bivand (2020). Korona, minoritetsvern og statens plikt til å gi helseinformasjon.
  • Hellum, Anne; Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Valland, Tatanya & Erdal, Marta Bivand (2020). Whose Needs? Reflections on Health Information and Minorities.
  • Köhler-Olsen, Julia & Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2020). Children in Lockdown. Children’s Rights, Covid-19 and the Case of Norway.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2020). Care, In Antonio De Lauri (ed.),  Humanitarianism: Keywords.  Brill Academic Publishers.  ISBN 978-90-04-43113-3.  -.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2020). Covid-19 and the law: lessons for global health.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2020). Criminalization, In Antonio De Lauri (ed.),  Humanitarianism: Keywords.  Brill Academic Publishers.  ISBN 978-90-04-43113-3.  -.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2020). «Den gode jurist» og hvem som forstår juss. Juridika Innsikt.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2020). Digital Brains: Neuroscience, Philosophy and Law in Conversation.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2020). Digital dead body management: A new issue for human rights research. Harvard Human Rights Journal.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2020). Governing global health emergencies: the role of criminalization. IHP (International Health Policies).
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2020). Humanitarian Wearables and the Future of Aid in the Global Data Economy. Global Policy Opinion (blog).
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2020). Perpetuating data colonialism through digital humanitarian technologies. ISS Blog.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2020). SDGs and the rule of law: the need to globalize the ethics of legal tech.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2020). Safeguarding, In Antonio De Lauri (ed.),  Humanitarianism: Keywords.  Brill Academic Publishers.  ISBN 978-90-04-43113-3.  -.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2020). Smittestopp- appen som rettssosiologisk problem.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2020). Smittestopp: The rise and fall of a technofix, In Linnet Taylor (ed.),  Data justice and COVID-19: Global perspectives.  Meatspace Press.  ISBN 978-1-913824-01-3.  -.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2020). The COVID-19 Tracking Apps Ecosystem Unraveled: Critical Issues for Global Health. BMJ Global Health.  ISSN 2059-7908.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2020). The SDGs, access to civil justice, and legal technology.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Garnier, Adele (2020). Covid19 und seine Auswirkungen auf die Migration. Chaberlin.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Garnier, Adele (2020). How will the COVID-19 pandemic reshape refugee and migration governance?.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Garnier, Adele & Cellini, Amanda (2020). The COVID-19 Resettlement Freeze: Towards a Permanent Suspension?.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Hellum, Anne; Erdal, Marta Bivand & Valland, Tatanya (2020). Covid-19 and the duty to provide health information to diverse populations. OpenGlobalRights.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Hellum, Anne; Valland, Tatanya & Erdal, Marta Bivand (2020). Covid-19 and the quest for inclusive health information. IHP (International Health Policies).
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Langford, Malcolm (2020). Norway and the COVID-19 Lockdown. Petrie Flom Center Harvard Law School Blog. Show summary
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Liden, Kristoffer & Langford, Malcolm (2020). Korona og rettsstaten. PRIO Blogs.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Lohne, Kjersti (2020). Teaching transitional justice after conflict and terror: Cases of Kosovo and Norway.
  • Sefton, Therese; Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen (2020). Hva skjer med Svenskegrensen?.
  • Sefton, Therese; Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Jumbert, Maria Gabrielsen (2020). Korona som dobbeltkrise for det nordiske samarbeidet: en politisk-sosiologisk tilnærming.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2019). "Book review: Angélica Durán-Martínez, The Politics of Drug Violence: Criminals, Cops and Politicians in Colombia and Mexico". Theoretical criminology.  ISSN 1362-4806.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2019). Digital harm.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2019). Digital harm: Challenges, risks and opportunities for ethical donorship in AidTech.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2019). Exploring ethics, rights and child safeguarding.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2019). Humanitarian wearables and digital bodies: problems of gifts and labour.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2019). Legal technology: a field guide to ethical problematization and reflection.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (ed.) (2019). Local Culture and Everyday Practice: Reflections on ethical issues experienced by DEPP labs part 2.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2019). Professionalisation, participation and relationships: Reflections on ethical issues experienced by DEPP Labs part 3.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2019). Protecting children’s digital bodies through rights. OpenGlobalRights.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2019). Safeguarding women after disasters: some progress, but not enough. The Conversation.  ISSN 2201-5639.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2019). Safeguarding: good intentions, difficult process. ALNAP.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2019). Starting the ethical journey: Reflections on ethical issues experienced by DEPP labs.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2019). Technologizing the Fight against Sexual Violence: A Critical Scoping. PRIO Paper. 12. Show summary
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2019). The Politics of Drug Violence: Criminals, Cops and Politicians in Colombia and Mexico. Theoretical criminology.  ISSN 1362-4806.  23(3) . doi: 10.1177/1362480619835631
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2019). The Weaponization of Killer Trucks: Vehicular Terror and Vehicular Crypts. Border Criminologies Blog.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2019). We will never be post-human: cyber peace, gendered digital bodies and the future of peacebuilding.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Dijkzeul, Dennis (2019). Humanitarian governance and localization: What kind of world is being imagined and produced?.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Dijkzeul, Dennis (2019). New Directions in Humanitarian Governance: Technology, Juridification and Criminalization. Global Policy.  ISSN 1758-5880. Show summary
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Fast, Larissa (2019). The Place of Data and Digital Bodies in Humanitarian Operations.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Høigilt, Jacob & Liden, Kristoffer (2019). Humanitarian policy: How do we make it and what is it good for? Launch of IHSA Disasters Special Issue.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Salter, Mark B. (2019). Horizon Scan: Critical security studies for the next 50 years. Security Dialogue.  ISSN 0967-0106. . doi: Show summary
  • 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). Dead male bodies: a challenge for feminist legal thought. IntLawGrrls Blog.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2018). Duty of care: from human resources to legal liability.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2018). From legal to social protection: the case of VAF.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2018). Humanitarian subject experimentation: Beneficiary bodies, technology optimism and the making of wearables in aid. Show summary
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2018). Legitimating drone force: History, the affordances of postcolonial imaginaries and the War on Everything.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2018). Making Wearables in Aid: Bodies, Data and Gifts.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2018). Technology, Dead Male Bodies and the Politics of Feminist Recognition: Theorizing the Gendered Logic of Algorithmic Protection and Targeting.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2018). Towards digital dead body management (DDBM) in the Global Emergency zone.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2018). Towards digital dead body management (DDBM) in the Global Emergency zone. Show summary
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Langford, Malcolm (2018). Law and Technology.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Lohne, Kjersti (2018). The Moral Turn in Global Governance: - a Case Study of Rights-Based Approaches of Norwegian Humanitarianism.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Martins, Bruno Oliveira (2018). A Venezuelan Incident: Maduro and the Politics of Latin American Drones. PRIO Blogs.
  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Townsend, Neil (2018). Community engagement, bootcamps and ‘failing fast’ as cultural practice: The DEPP Innovations Labs.
  • 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.

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Published May 19, 2016 1:17 PM - Last modified Feb. 25, 2019 11:35 AM