Ragnhild Nordås

Senior Researcher

Ragnhild Nordås
Email: ragnhild@prio.org
Mobile phone: +47 930 65 824
Twitter: @ragnhildnordas
Website: ragnhildnordaas.weebly.com
CV: Download CV

Research Interests

  • Sexual violence 

  • Demography and conflict

  • State repression

  • Religion and violence

  • The climate change-conflict nexus

Ragnhild Nordås focuses on what has been one of the most important gaps in the conflict literature: The relative lack of attention given to sexual and gender-based violence. It is only within the last fifteen years that political scientists have begun to engage with this as a topic of rigorous empirical study, in part for lack of available data. Nordås studies sexual violence and sexual harassment as part of warfare as well as during times of relative peace. Her current book project focuses on states as perpetrators, and the causes and consequences of sexualized repression.

Dr. Nordås is a recipient of PhD funding from the Centre for the Study of Civil War (CSCW), a Predoctoral Fellowship from the Belfer Center at Harvard Kennedy School, and has been a visiting fellow at the Kroc Institute, University of Notre Dame 2010-2011.She has received research grants from the Research Council of Norway, Folke Bernadotte Academy, Sweden; National Science Foundation, US; and the Norwegian Foreign Ministry. Her work to date has been published in, amongst other, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Peace Research, Journal of Conflict Resolution, International Studies Quarterly and Political Geography.

Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict (SVAC)

The SVAC research project responds to the gravity of the problem of sexual violence and the critical need for more systematic information by creating a comprehensive Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict (SVAC) dataset covering the twenty-year period 1989–2009 as well as targeted case studies. We will use this data to analyze patterns of sexual violence in and across conflicts and conflict actors, including in the immediate aftermath of war. By disseminating our data and findings, we seek to advance the research on conflict processes, raise awareness of the problem of sexual violence in armed conflicts, and facilitate evidence-based preventive strategies.

For more information on the global SVAC database see www.sexualviolencedata.org where an updated version of the dataset is available (November 2016)  here

Female Empowerment in Eastern DR Congo (NORGLOBAL)


Project investigating how survivors of sexual and gender-based violence can be empowered and reintegrated into society through socioeconomic support programs; and building local research capacity through ICART research center in Bukavu.

 meeting (2).JPG



Working experience:

Deputy editor, Journal of Peace Research, 2014-2017

Research Director, Conditions of Violence and Peace Department: 2016

Associate editor, Journal of Peace Research, 2012-2013

Visiting Research Fellow, University of Notre Dame, 2010-2011

Senior Researcher, PRIO 2010-

Research Fellow, Harvard University, 2008-2010

Book Note Editor, Journal of Peace Research, 2006-2008

Research Assistant, CSCW Environmental Factors in Civil War 2004-2005


Dr. Polit. (PhD) in political science, Norwegian University of Science and Techology, NTNU. 2010

Cand.Polit. (Master's degree) in political science, NTNU. Spring 2004.

Other information:

Languages spoken:

Norwegian (mother tongue), English (fluent), French (some)



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


The following publications are specific to the PRIO GPS Centre. A more complete list is available at www.prio.org.

All Publications

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Amisi, Christine; Rosalie Biaba Apassa; Aline Cikara; Gudrun Østby; Ragnhild Nordås; Siri Aas Rustad & John Quattrochi (2018) The impact of support programmes for survivors of sexual violence: micro-level evidence from eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Medicine, Conflict and Survival 34(3): 201–223.
Østby, Gudrun; Ragnhild Nordås & Siri Aas Rustad (2016) Does Artisanal Mining Increase the Risk of Sexual Violence? Micro-level evidence from Eastern Congo, Quality in Primary Care 24(2): 77–80.
Nordås, Ragnhild; Siri Aas Rustad & Gudrun Østby (2016) Artisanal mining, conflict, and sexual violence in Eastern DRC, The Extractive Industries and Society 3(2): 475–484.
Cohen, Dara Kay & Ragnhild Nordås (2014) Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict: Introducing the SVAC Dataset, 1989–2009, Journal of Peace Research 51(3): 418–428.
Rustad, Siri Aas & Ragnhild Nordås (2013) Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by Peacekeepers: Understanding Variation, International Interactions 39(4): 511–534.

Book Chapter

Rustad, Siri Aas & Ragnhild Nordås (2015) Assessing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by Peacekeepers, in Olsson, Louise; & Theodora-Ismene Gizelis , eds, Gender, Peace and Security: Implementing UNSCR 1325. London: Taylor & Francis (138–162).
Nordås, Ragnhild & Lars Morten Bjørkholt (2014) Seksualisert vold i krig of konflikt [Sexualized violence in war and conflict], in Anita Schjølset, ed., Gender i Forsvaret. Oslo: Abstrakt Forlag (243–272).

Popular Article

Stanton, Jessica; Ragnhild Nordås & Dara Kay Cohen (2015) Governments don’t outsource atrocities to militias. Here’s what really happens., Washington Post - Monkey Cage, 22 December.
Nordås, Ragnhild; Dara Kay Cohen & Elisabeth J. Wood (2014) Four things everyone should know about wartime sexual violence, Washington Post - Monkey Cage, 9 June.
Nordås, Ragnhild (2013) AJPS Blog: Guest Post by Ragnhild Nordås, 1, 24 September.
Nordås, Ragnhild (2012) Spekulasjoner om seksuell vold [Speculations on Sexual Violence], Dagsavisen, 16 November.

PRIO Policy Brief

Nordås, Ragnhild & Robert Nagel (2018) Continued Failure to End Wartime Sexual Violence, PRIO Policy Brief, 7. Oslo: PRIO.
Nordås, Ragnhild (2015) Civilian Targeting by Militias: The Important Role of States, Conflict Trends, 7. Oslo: PRIO.
Nordås, Ragnhild (2013) Preventing Conflict-related Sexual Violence, PRIO Policy Brief, 2. Oslo: PRIO.
Nordås, Ragnhild (2012) Sexual Violence on the Decline? Recent debates and evidence suggest ‘unlikely’, CSCW Policy Brief, 3. Oslo: CSCW.
Nordås, Ragnhild & Dara Kay Cohen (2012) Sexual Violence by Militias in African Conflicts: Not a question of ‘delegation’ by states, CSCW Policy Brief, 1. Oslo: CSCW.
Nordås, Ragnhild & Dara Kay Cohen (2012) Sexual Violence in African Conflicts, 1989–2009: What the data show, CSCW Policy Brief, 2. Oslo: CSCW.
Nordås, Ragnhild (2011) Sexual Violence in African Conflicts, CSCW Policy Brief, 1. Oslo: PRIO.

PRIO Paper

Biaba, Rosalie; Aline Cikara; Susanne Alldén; Christine Amisi; Esther Namegabe; Ragnhild Nordås; Gudrun Østby & John Quattrochi (2016) From Pain to Empowerment?, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.
Alldén, Susanne; Siri Aas Rustad; Ragnhild Nordås; Rosalie Biaba; John Quattrochi; Aline Cikara; Christine Amisi & Gudrun Østby (2016) Social Inclusion of Survivors of Sexual Violence: How Do Support Programs Work?, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.

Related pages