BPS (Norway)

The Universitetet i Bergen (UiB) in Norway is the Coordinating institution for the ECOPAS project, which is hosted by its Bergen Pacific Studies Research Group (BPS). It also coordinates two of its work packages (WP1 and WP7).

Located at the UiB’s Department of Social Anthropology, BPS has developed into a centre of research excellence and institutional strength in its field and currently holds the leadership of both the European Society for Oceanists (ESfO) and the North American Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania (ASAO). With four full professors and a number of postdoctoral and doctoral fellows, BPS is the largest centre of its kind in northern Europe. It has long experience from the management of large-scale externally funded projects and has the privilege of building on the strong long-term record of Norwegian anthropology as an influential academic actor in policy making at home and abroad, particularly in settings of north-south cooperation and development partnerships.

The research agenda, project portfolio and publication record of BPS emphasise Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, where it has well-established records and enduring collaboration with the national museums. With a strong record in international partnerships and project management the BPS functions as the hub of a strong and viable network of European, North American and Pacific Islands institutions, and continues to host visiting scholars engaged in research in many different parts of the Pacific.

The leading international role of BPS indicates how in Norway (which has no historical, strategic or aid-related interest in the Pacific), large-scale external and internal funding and institutional importance for Pacific Studies can be reached through the strong pursuit of high-quality scholarship in the wider theoretical agendas of anthropology and related disciplines.