Learning from Norwegian social sciences

Shahbaz Chaudary

Islamabad—Norwegian Ambassador Tore Nedrebø, PhD, gave an overview of the development of social sciences in Norway at a session during the recent Social Science Expo in Islamabad recently, organized by the Inter University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences (IUCPSS). The specific session was organized the Pakistan-Norway Association (PANA).
It all began in the late 1940s, and in particular for the late 1950s with a major expansion in the 1960s, when higher education intakes at universities grew very fast in Europe, including Norway. The social sciences became popular subjects and jobs were available upon completion, especially in the civil service and in teaching and secondary and tertiary level.
In the central administration, economists became particular essential and they have played a pivotal role in Norway’s development.
The ambassador also said that two Norwegians have won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, Ragnar Frisch (1969) and Trygve Haavelmo (1989).
Ambassador Tore Nedrebø stressed that without knowledge in political and other social sciences diplomats would lack important background for their work.
He also thought that knowledge in law was important in his field. Dr. Nedrebø completed his PhD about five years ago on integration and cooperation in Europe, which is a particularly important topic today.
Professor Emeritus Hafeez-ur-Rehman and Assistant Professor Ali Nawaz, Quaid-i-Azam University, underlined the importance of international cooperation.
They said Pakistan must learn from other countries, and they spoke highly of their cooperation with Norway.
Dr. Hafeez has had cooperation with the International Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) for close to a decade. He is a specialist on migration issues.
Dr. Nawaz did his PhD at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, becoming a specialist in environmental and wildlife issues. He is President of PANA.
“There are many things we can learn from Norway in the way they compensate farmers when wild animals kill their domestic animals and grass in their fields.
It is to say that we need the wildlife for locals and tourists, but we must also understand that the local people are at a loss and should not carry the cost alone,” said the environmental specialist, explaining how the Norwegians and neighbouring Swedes do this. “We can certainly borrow ideas from them,” he said. At the Closing Ceremony of the IUCPSS Expo, Atle Hetland, and Norwegian Social Scientist working in Pakistan, was awarded the “Dr. Hans Frey Award for Social Sciences 2016,” in recognition of his writings relevant to Pakistani students, teachers and the general public.

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