Åshild  Kolås Author of Evaluating Organization Development
FEATURED AUTHOR

Åshild Kolås

Research professor
Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)

Åshild Kolås is a social anthropologist and Research Professor at PRIO. Her core research areas are multi-ethnic communities in India and China, especially Tibet, Nepal, Inner Mongolia and Northeast India, where she has worked on governance and governmentality, identity politics, discourse and representation. Her current research is on gender, peacebuilding and conflict management in Myanmar.

Biography

Åshild Kolås is a social anthropologist and Research Professor at PRIO, and headed PRIOs Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding Program from 2005 to 2011. She has conducted long-term fieldwork in multi-ethnic communities in India and China, and has worked on Tibet, Nepal, Inner Mongolia and Northeast India. Her latest books are Sovereignty Revisited: The Basque Case (Routledge, 2017) and Basque Nationhood. Towards a Democratic Scenario (Peter Lang, 2016; both co-edited with Pedro Ibarra Güell) . She is also the author of Tourism and Tibetan Culture in Transition. A Place Called Shangrila (Routledge, 2008) and On the Margins of Tibet: Cultural Survival on the Sino-Tibetan Frontier (University of Washington Press, 2005; 2015, with Monika P. Thowsen). Since 2006, Åshild Kolås has coordinated an institutional cooperation between PRIO and the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) in New Delhi. Her current research is on gender, peacebuilding and conflict management in Northeast India and Myanmar. She is a member of the editorial board of Alternatives: Global, Local, Political.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    governmentality, identity politics, discourse, representation

Websites

Books

Featured Title
 Featured Title - Women, Peace and Security in Nepal - Kolås - 1st Edition book cover

Articles

Social Identities Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture

How critical is the event? Multicultural Norway after 22 July 2011


Published: Feb 01, 2017 by Social Identities Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture
Authors: Åshild Kolås
Subjects: Anthropology - Soc Sci

It is commonly assumed that insecurity experienced by citizens in the wake of a terror attack gives rise to public demands for strong countermeasures, which political leaders must respond to. This article asks how Norwegian society was affected by the 22 July 2011 attacks against the government office complex in Oslo and Labour Party youth camp on Utøya. Combining quantitative and qualitative methods, it analyses political impact, examining post-22 July public debates and related policymaking.

The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology

Truth and Indigenous Cosmopolitics in Shangrila


Published: Jan 04, 2017 by The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology
Authors: Åshild Kolås
Subjects: Anthropology - Soc Sci

In their efforts to make Shangrila meaningful locally, cadres associated Shangrila with the hidden land of Shambhala, appealing to a spiritual reality ultimately knowable only to visionaries. We can thus talk about three different logics of truth (scientific, literary and visionary) and two different realities (material and spiritual) of concern to the ‘making up’ of Shangrila.

Asian Ethnicity

Framing the tribal: ethnic violence in Northeast India


Published: Jul 07, 2015 by Asian Ethnicity
Authors: Åshild Kolås
Subjects: Anthropology - Soc Sci

This article examines the framing of ‘ethnic conflict’ in Northeast India, and argues that ‘ethnic clashes’ have become an institutionalized form of armed violence in the region, while ‘ethnic rivalry’ is a key diagnostic frame for conflict. As enactments and imaginaries of institutionalized violence, ‘ethnic clashes’ are a product of actors who hold stakes in representing armed political violence as a result of ‘ethnic conflict’ between rivaling tribal communities.

Development and Change

Degradation Discourse and Green Governmentality in the Xilinguole Grasslands of


Published: Jan 22, 2014 by Development and Change
Authors: Åshild Kolås
Subjects: Anthropology - Soc Sci

This article examines discourses about grassland degradation in China as expressed by herders, government officials and researchers, presenting findings from fieldwork in Xilinguole League, Inner Mongolia. Recognizing degradation discourse and grassland restoration policies as key sites of political contestation, this study seeks to illuminate the mechanisms by which grasslands are identified as degraded, and the implementation of policies to restore and protect the grasslands.

Journal of Peace Research

Naga Militancy and Violent Politics in the Shadow of Ceasefire


Published: Nov 29, 2011 by Journal of Peace Research
Authors: Åshild Kolås
Subjects: Anthropology - Soc Sci

Ceasefires are often seen as a simple measure to end violence and allow more substantive negotiations to begin. Contemporary conflict resolution models thus posit the ceasefire as a basic step in the peacebuilding trajectory. Offering an in-depth analysis of Naga militancy in Northeast India, this article argues that ceasefires should rather be understood as a part of the dynamics of conflict.

News

Workshop on Roles of Women in Myanmar's Contemporary Peace Process

By: Åshild Kolås
Subjects: Anthropology - Soc Sci

An international seminar on Roles of Women in Myanmar’s contemporary Peace process was held in Yangon on Monday.

Women peace and security, empowerment as well as women roles in ethnic armed organizations in Myanmar society were mainly discussed.

Experts do welcome the significant women participation improvement in peace process, but stressed the remaining gender inequality and frameworks.  

Director, Ar Yone Oo Social Development Association, Cin Khan Lian said “Today … policy makers, experts and industry leaders would share their opinions and findings on the women peace and security, women roles and obstacles. I see women participation improvement in peace process, but the number is still low. Some of the cultures still challenge them – some don’t even know their rights. There are certain levels of gender inequality. To improve it demands men’s participation, I think.” 

Technical Adviser, Chin National Front, Chin Chin said “I’d discuss women peace and security as well as effect on women due to the armed conflicts. In our Chin State, most of the women are lagging behind in skills, development and many others. Although we’ve seen improvement in women participation in leading roles, it’s low when it comes to decision making. We need strong and systematic frameworks, or rules and regulation to protect women security.”

International experts stressed the importance of listening to the people’s voices.

Research professor, Peace Research Institute Oslo, Ashild Kolas said "... I think it's much more important to listen. And international community should listen more to the people of Myanmar.... Because there are many ideas floating around in the international medias these days that are not rooted in the ground reality of this country..."

A member of National Parliament ensures the development of women roles.

Member of parliament, National Parliament, Naw Susanna Hla Hla Soe said “We have seen a great participation of women in NCA … peace process even. The number of women participation in parliament reached around 14%. It’s low that’s why we have been conducting campaigns and awareness programmes. We also have a national strategic plan for the advancement of women (2013-2022).”

Members of CSOs and INGOs as well as local and international experts also joined the 1-day seminar.