Henrik Syse

Research Professor

Henrik Syse
Email: syse@prio.org
Mobile phone: 930 62 567
Twitter: @Henrik_Syse
CV: Download CV

Research Interests

Henrik is a Research Professor at PRIO, working on ethical questions related to armed and other societal conflicts. He has also worked on questions related to domestic terrorism, ideology, free speech, and religion. He holds a doctoral degree in philosophy.

 Henrik first came to PRIO in 1997 as a Senior Researcher. He has, since then, worked part-time at PRIO, alongside several other tasks and jobs. Henrik was a Journal Editor for the Norwegian political journal Tidens Tegn (1998-2000), and a Member of the Secretariat of the Norwegian Government Commission on Human Values (1998-2001). He was a Post-Doc Scholar at the University of Oslo (2002-05) and had part-time teaching positions at the University of Oslo (2001-03) and at the Norwegian Defence University College (2009-13). He worked as Head of Corporate Governance at Norges Bank Investment Management (2005-07), where he helped start the group within the bank that works on ownership, governance, and ethics for the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global. For a full six-year term (2015-20), he was a member of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, serving as its Vice Chair for the last four years of that term. 

Henrik has since 2009 served as Chief Co-Editor of the Journal of Military Ethics (currently with James L. Cook), and he is part-time Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Oslo New University College (formerly Bjørknes University College). His position at PRIO encompasses his work as a journal editor as well as participation in several research projects, currently on the ethics of mediation and the use of artificial intelligence in armed forces. Henrik is also a freelance public speaker.

Before he came to PRIO, Henrik was a Fulbright Fellow at Boston College, USA (1989-91), and a Norwegian Research Council Fellow at the University of Oslo (1992-97). He earned his Bachelor's (Cand.Mag.) Degree from the University of Oslo in 1989, his Master of Arts Degree from Boston College in 1991, and his Ph.D. (Dr.Art.)  Degree from the University of Oslo in 1997.

Henrik has lectured and published widely on problems within moral philosophy, political philosophy, business ethics, religion, and the ethics of warfare. He is the author of Natural Law, Religion, and Rights (St. Augustine's Press, 2007), based on his doctoral dissertation, and is the editor of The Ethics of War: Classic and Contemporary Readings (with Gregory Reichberg and Endre Begby, Blackwell, 2006); of Ethics, Nationalism, and Just War (with Gregory Reichberg, Catholic University of America Press, 2007); of Religion, War, and Ethics: A Sourcebook of Textual Traditions (with Gregory Reichberg and Nicole Hartwell, Cambridge University Press, 2014), and of Norge etter 22. juli ("Norway after July 22") (Cappelen Damm, 2018). He has published many academic articles, including in journals such as Ethics and International AffairsSecurity Dialogue, Journal of Peace Research, Augustinian Studies, Modern Age, Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics, Corporate Governance, and Journal of Military Ethics. He has also published several books in Norwegian on issues such as faith and reason, free speech, and applied ethics. His most recent monograph, Ord i krise (Cappelen Damm, 2020), deals with the challenges of life in crisis situations, with an emphasis on the Covid pandemic.


​​​​​​Languages spoken:
Norwegian, English, German

Working experience:
Head of Corporate Governance, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), 2005 - 2007.

Post-doc Research Fellow, University of Oslo, 2002 - 2005. 

Part-time Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, University of Oslo, 2001-2003.

Member of the Secretariat of the Norwegian Government Commission on Human Values 1998-2001.

Chief editor of political journal 'Tidens Tegn' 1998-2000. Senior researcher at PRIO since 1997.

Programme leader for the PRIO research program 'Ethics, Norms, and Identities' 1998-2002.

Dr.Art. (equiv. to PhD), University of Oslo, 1997;
Master of Arts, Boston College, 1991;
Cand.Mag. (equiv. to B.A.), University of Oslo, 1989. Fulbright scholar 1989-1991.
Doctoral student under the Ethics Program of the Norwegian Research Council 1992-1996.

PRIO Projects



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 Centre for the Study of Civil War. A more complete list may be available at www.prio.org.

All Publications

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Syse, Henrik (2006) Plato, Thucydidies, and the Education of Alcibiades, Journal of Military Ethics 5(4): 290–302.

Book Chapter

Syse, Henrik (2004) Den konservative bekymring [The Conservative Worry], in Åpen verden. Et forsvar for globaliseringen. Oslo: (265–274).
Syse, Henrik (2004) Fellesskap og demokrati [Community and Democracy], in Demokrati – vilkår og virkninger. Oslo: (113–131).
Syse, Henrik (2004) Den lange veien mot enighet – kristendom og islam om krigens etikk [The Long Road to Consensus – Christianity and Islam on the Ethics of War], in Etikk, tro og pluralisme – festskrift til Lars Østnor. Bergen: (63–73).
Syse, Henrik (2004) Frihet fra og frihet til – refleksjoner om moral [Freedom From and Freedom to – Reflections on Morality], in Frihet – samtalen fortsetter. Oslo: (134–141).

Non-refereed Journal Article

Syse, Henrik (2004) Etisk pluralisme i Norden [Ethical Pluralism in the Nordic Countries], Mennesker og rettigheter – Nordisk tidsskrift for menneskerettigheter 22(2): 247–250.

Related pages