Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism Bergen

– I hope to promote children’s position in society

NEW RESEARCHERS: Dr. Katre Luhamaa, Daniel Nygård and Sveinung H. Nygård.

Katre Luhamaa (left) is an estonian researcher with a clear goal as an academic.

– I hope to promote children’s position in society through my research.

Together with Daniel Nygård (right) and Sveinun H. Nygård (not present at the photo), is one of the three new researchers who have taken up positions at Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism in 2018.

Luhamaa has a Ph.D. in Law, and has conducted research in the fields of international law, EU law and human rights. Her thesis asked if children’s rights are universal, and studied Estonia, Finland and Russia.

– Even though the three countries have all ratified the European Convention on the Exercise of Children’s Rights, there are differences in how this is incorporated in national law, as well as in legal practice. The legal protection of children is most advanced in Finland, and worst in Russia.

– I also found that states often hide behind translation: The original law and the official English translation often differs in substance. According to the English version states seem to conform to international standards on children’s right. However, when you look at the original law and the national context, the picture can be quite different.

High ambitions

Luhamaa will be at the centre for a period of two years.  Along with her family, she moved to Bergen from Tartu, where she worked as a lecturer at the university.

– Tartu and Bergen have some similarities. Both are the second largest city in their countries, and both are university cities with many students.  However, the landscape is very different.  The highest mountain in Estonia is just above 300 meters. You would probably not call it a mountain, but a small hill. The family look forward to exploring the mountains surrounding Bergen, and also the seaside.

Luhamaa express her appreciation to the International centre at UiB, which helped her with all the practicalities of relocating to Norway. This allowed her to focus more on research.

– I find the the DISCRETION-project which I will work with very interesting, both substantially and methodologically. The project is interdisciplinary, and I think we can learn a lot from each other across the disciplinary borders.

– It will also be interesting to find out more about how larger scale interdisciplinary research projects are managed. I will learn as much as I can from Marit, and use this opportunity to establish myself as a researcher and hopefully apply for a grant myself by the end of the period.


Daniel Nygård is also new to the Centre, but not to the University of Bergen. He holds an M.Phil. from the Department of Administration and Organization Theory, and comes from a position as adviser on online learning at the Learning Lab at UiB. Daniel will function as a coordinator for the research projects at the centre, and will also have responsibility for dissemination of research results.

–  Discretion, paternalism and child protection are new topics for me, as my thesis focused on branding in higher education. But I find the field very interesting, and I look forward to learn more.

Sveinung H. Nygård (small picture) is the third new researcher. He is a specialist in child and adolescent psychology, with more than 12 years of clinical experience from the field. Sveinung works as a Psychologist at the Office for Children, Youth and Family Affairs (Bufetat), and will be associated with the centre in a 20% position on the Adoption-project.

– I have previously functioned as an expert in child protection cases. It will be most  interesting to look at such cases from the perspective of a social scientist. I find the research conducted by Marit Skivenes and others on child protection to be very important, and hope to to use my expertise to contribute to the research.


Comments are closed.