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Geir Helgesen

(+45) 3532 9523/ 2324 0609
Areas of responsibility: 

Director of NIAS and senior researcher. 

Research areas

Cultural sociology, Korea/East Asia, comparative politics, political culture and forms of governance. 



Short presentation of projects: 

Preconditions for Establishing a Dialogue with North Korea 
This project question whether the existing meetings between North Korea and the countries and regions engaged in the so called six-party talks on de-nuclearization of North Korea have taken the right track towards a mutual acceptable agreement. A Nordic approach is tested through a series of Track II diplomatic initiatives started in 2006 with a follow-up in 2008. A third initiative is planned for 2015.

The Promise and Challenge of EurAsia
Globalization has enabled new forms of interaction but also brought new challenges. Universals in business, politics, education and other spheres can no longer be assumed, even if expressed in a common language. This project proposes that the universal now urgently needs to be situated in the multiple and that reconsideration must be given to how we approach and deal with the ‘self’ and the ‘other’ in cross-cultural settings. The goal is to study East-West interactions with the central aim of facilitating cross-cultural understanding and hence improving relations between key actors and institutions. A further aim is to bring greater awareness of the importance of recognizing, acknowledging and accepting the significance of difference, as well as of being able to respond constructively to this in behaviour and understanding. To further this aim, interdisciplinary comparative research via partnerships between social science scholars in Europe and Asia is promoted.

Selected publications: 

“Nordic Collaboration in Research and Higher Education with China and India.” Pilot study, commissioned by Nordic Council of Ministers Secretariat, Department of Knowledge and Welfare. NIAS  Report 2011.Co-authored with Ras Tind Nielsen

”Looking Towards Asia: China as Partner for Nordic Collaboration in Research, Higher Education, and Innovation” Pilot study, commissioned by Nordic Council of Ministers Secretariat, Department of Knowledge and Welfare. NIAS Report 2011. Co-authored with Ras Tind Nielsen


Politics, Culture and Self. East Asian and North European Attitudes.  Co-edited with Soren Risbjerg Thomsen. NIAS Press,2006.

Ideas, Society and politics in Northeast Asia and Northern Europe. Worlds Apart, Learning from Each Other. NIAS Press 2012. Co-authored with Ras Tind Nielsen

Dialogue With North Korea? Preconditions for Talking Human Rights With a Hermit Kingdom. NIAS Press 2013. Co-authored with Hatla Thelle


Harmony, Eastern and Western Perspectives. (Working title) Co-authored with Ras Tind Nielsen, NIAS Press 2015.