The Institute for Social Research (ISF) was established in 1950 as an independent foundation in Oslo, Norway. Multidisciplinary in its orientation, it comprises research within all the social sciences and history. The interplay between basic and applied research is reflected in the position of ISF as a contract research institute with high academic ambitions and in its close contact with the other research institutes, national and international universities, the Research Council of Norway, as well as with ministries and private sector agencies. The aim is to produce knowledge and understanding in areas that are significant for society, and to work closely to the cutting edge of international social science.
The research at the institute for Social Research is centred around themes as: Civil Society in Transition, Working Life, Gender Equality, Migration, Elections and Democracy, and Political institutions.
ISF has about 40 researchers and 100 active projects at any given time; moreover ISF researchers take part in international networks and projects. ISF took on national management of the Johns Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector Research Project, carried out from 2006-2007, and the Norwegian coordination of the Network Council for “Civil Society and New Forms of Governance in Europe” (CINEFOGO), a Network of Excellence supported by EU 6th Framework Program.
Role in Third Sector Impact
- Main responsibilities: overall management and co-ordination; coordinating elaboration and testing of third sector impact indicators; coordinating integrating findings and assembly of the final report.
- Additional responsibilities: conzeptualizing and measuring the third sector, stakeholder engagement.
- Enjolras, B., Kari Steen-Johnsen & Dag Wollebæk (2013) Social media and mobilization to offline demonstrations – transcending participatory divides? New Media & Society.
- Emanuela Bozzini & Bernard Enjolras (eds.) (2012) Governing Ambiguities. New Forms of Local Governance and Civil Society. Baden-Baden: Nomos.
- B. Enjolras & K. H. Sivesind (eds.) (2009) Civil Society in Comparative Perspective. In: Comparative Social Research, Volume 26. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
- Enjolras, B. (2009) A governance-structure approach to voluntary organizations. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 38 :5, 761-783.
- Wollebæk, D., Steen-Johnsen, K.,Enjolras, B., & Ødegård, G. Rallying without fear: political consequences of terror in a high trust society. In: S.J. Sinclair (Ed.), The political Psychology of Terrorism Fears. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
ProjectsThird Sector Impact (2014-2017) Role: Project coordinator, EU-FP7 Center for Research on Civil Society and Voluntary Sector (2006-2017) The research programme Centre for Research on Civil Society and Voluntary Sector is a partnership between the Institute for Social Research and the Stein Rokkan Centre for Social Studies/The University of Bergen. The programme has three key research areas: Participation; Transitional processes; Financing and regulatory framework See more at: http://www.civilsociety.no Role: Director Social Media and the New Public Sphere (2010- 2013) This project examines how new social media such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter change the conditions for participation and influence in public sphere, and analyses the consequences for citizenship and democracy. Modern technologies enable new social practices by reducing transaction costs related to production and publication of information, and by making new tools for coordination available. The project focuses on the interaction between technological possibilities and the social practices that are formed through the use of technology. Our assumption is that this interaction creates new possibilities for individuals and groups, but at the same time established institutions will try to adapt to the new digital environment with the aim of strengthening their influence and position. The project analyses how institutional and non-institutional actors use social media strategically. An evaluation of the combined effect of these efforts on how public sphere and democratic institutions and processes function will also be undertaken. See more at: http://www.socialresearch.no/Projects/Ongoing-projects/Social-media-and-the-new-public-sphere-consequences-for-citizenship-and-democracy-VERDIKT Role: Project Coordinator Monitoring of Free-Speech in Norway (2013- 2014) This project investigates the state of freedom of speech in Norway. ISF will manage the project on assignment by the Free-Speech Foundation. The project will address issues concerning the terms of freedom of speech, freedom of speech in light of multiculturalism, digitalization and shifting media structures, security, control and surveillance and the terms of freedom of speech in the labour market. We will apply both qualitative and quantitative approaches, with a central element being a survey targeted at both the general public and at groups of particular interest to freedom of speech: Ethnic minorities, journalists and cultural workers. The project will be conveyed through multiple platforms, with important arenas being a series of seminars and a new webpage. There will also be published a report and all of the project partners will contribute to an anthology to be published by a Norwegian publishing company in which freedom of speech is investigated through multiple perspectives. See more at: http://www.statusytringsfrihet.no/ Role: Project Coordinator
Signe Bock Segaard holds a Ph.D. in Political Science, University of Oslo and has worked as Senior Researcher at Institute for Social Research in Oslo since 2009. Segaard is member of the International Programme Committee of EVOTE2014. She has published on civil sector, trust and social capital, (electronic) democracy and politics, election and voters.
- Segaard, Signe Bock & Jeppe Agger (2013) Local Election Blogs: Networking among the Political Elite. In: Information Polity 18(4): 299-313
- Segaard, Signe Bock, Harald Baldersheim & Jo Saglie (2013) The Norwegian Trial with Internet Voting: Results and Challenges. In: Revista General de Derecho Público Comparado (13)
- Wollebæk, Dag & Signe Bock. Segaard (eds.) (2011) Social Capital in Norway. In: Sosial kapital i Norge. Oslo: Cappelen Akademisk
- Segaard, Signe Bock (2011) Social Capital and Organisational Affiliation among Ethnical Minorities (Sosial kapital og organisasjonstilknytning blant etniske minoriteter). In: Dag Wollebæk & Signe Bock Segaard (eds.) Sosial kapital i Norge. Oslo: Cappelen Akademisk.
- Segaard, Signe Bock (2010) Ways to Local e-Democracy – Organisation, Goals, Means, and Results (Veje til lokalt e-demokrati – organisering, mål, virkemidler og resultater). Oslo: Akademisk Publisering.
Outsourcing of Scandinavian welfare societies? Consequences of private and nonprofit service provision (2012-2016) This project is designed to improve our understanding of how welfare politics; allocation of service contracts to public, private and nonprofit providers; and citizen roles are linked, by addressing the following research questions:
• Under what circumstances are active citizenship roles as opposed to narrower consumerist roles likely to occur? • Does it make a difference if the providers belong to the public, private or the nonprofit sector? • Are there differences between welfare services where there is broad party consensus about the need to curb costs, as opposed to services where there is competition about improvement and expansion between the parties? • Do the institutional logics by which welfare service contracts are allocated to providers and expectations coordinated matter, i.e. is there a shift from government to governance?
The project will strengthen stakeholders' critical awareness of consequences of outsourcing and user choice for active citizenship. The project involves researchers from Norway, Sweden and Denmark and provides a comparative perspective on the Scandinavian welfare societies. See more at: http://www.socialresearch.no/Projects/Ongoing-projects/Outsourcing-of-Scandinavian-welfare-societies
Social media and the new public sphere: consequences for citizenship and democracy (2010-2014) This project examines how new social media such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter change the conditions for participation and influence in public sphere, and analyses the consequences for citizenship and democracy. Modern technologies enable new social practices by reducing transaction costs related to production and publication of information, and by making new tools for coordination available.
The project focuses on the interaction between technological possibilities and the social practices that are formed through the use of technology. Our assumption is that this interaction creates new possibilities for individuals and groups, but at the same time established institutions will try to adapt to the new digital environment with the aim of strengthening their influence and position. The project analyses how institutional and non-institutional actors use social media strategically. An evaluation of the combined effect of these efforts on how public sphere and democratic institutions and processes function will also be undertaken. See more at: http://www.socialresearch.no/Projects/Ongoing-projects/Social-media-and-the-new-public-sphere-consequences-for-citizenship-and-democracy-VERDIKT
- Sivesind, K. H., & Selle, P. (2009),Does Public Spending "Crowd out" Nonprofit Welfare? Comparative Social Research, 26, 105-134.
- Sivesind, K. H., & Selle, P. in: R. Alapuro & H. Stenius (Eds.) (2010) Civil society in the Nordic countries: Between displacement and vitality. In: Nordic Associations in a European Perspective (pp. 89–120). Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft.
- Sivesind, K. H., Pospíšilová, T., & Frič, P. (2013) Does Volunteering Cause Trust? A comparison of the Czech Republic and Norway. European Societies: The Official Journal of the European Sociological Association, 15(1), 106-130.
- Sivesind, K. H (2013) Nonprofit welfare services: a solution to the Scandinavian models future problems? (Ideella välfärdstjänster: en lösning på den skandinaviska modellens framtida utmaningar?) In: L. Trägårdh, P. Selle, L. S. Henriksen & H. Hallin (Eds.), Civil Society squeezed between state and capital. Welfare, diversity and future (Civilsamhället klämt mellan stat och kapital. Välfärd, mångfold, framtid). (pp. 75-88). Stockholm: SNS Förlag