Defence reform

Reform is a persistent feature of various sectors, which continuously need to adapt to shifting priorities and environments. The defence sector in Norway and other NATO member states has been and remains subject to wide-reaching reforms. 

The following are some of the areas that the institute addresses as part of its research programme on defence reform: What have been the key features and causes of defence reform? To what extent have the objectives been met? What can the defence and other sectors learn from such processes? What lessons can the Norwegian defence sector learn from similar processes in other countries?


Research projects

Defence reform
The defence sector in Norway and other states has been subject to wide-reaching reforms over the last 20 years, but the results have varied. The defence sector as an organisation has, at the same time, evolved in step with changes in public sector and society at large. But the understanding of how defence organisations change in order to adapt to shifting circumstances has changed little.

The project addresses defence reform as a phenomenon, and analyses what factors facilitate and constrain processes of reform. Norway’s experiences with defence reform are compared with other states and sectors in order to contribute towards a better understanding of why some reform processes in contemporary society have more success than others.
The project is funded by the Ministry of Defence.
Contact: Per Martin Norheim-Martinsen


Norwegian defence reforms 1998–2014
This study deals with the transformation of the Norwegian Armed Forces between 1998 and 2014. The backdrop and main features of the reforms are accounted for in some detail in volume 5 of Norsk forsvarshistorie (the History of Norwegian Defence). This book, however, only covers the years up to 2000. The aim of the defence reforms has always been to develop a manageable organization in which ambitions are in accordance with realities, and, moreover, an organization that is able to adapt swiftly in an environment of rapidly changing threats and risks. The core issue of the project will be to examine to what extent these ambitious goals have been reached. Driving factors and hindrances in the restructuring process will be discussed, as well as opportunities and challenges associated with the new flexible defence. The project is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Defence and Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Contacts: Kjell Inge Bjerga, Tor Jørgen Melien, Magnus Hakenstad and Olav Bogen


Central leadership of the Armed Forces 1940–2003
This PhD project examines the history of the central leadership of the Norwegian Armed Forces over a protracted period. Special attention is given to analyzing the history of the defence sector from a broadly social perspective. The decision system in the Armed Forces is considered in relation to Norway’s government administration and international trends.
Contact: Kjell Inge Bjerga



Published 09 January 2015 11:23.. Last updated 08 June 2017 11:27.