Is there a shrinking of civic spaces, and if so, is it a threat to democracy?

23 May 2023

09:30 – 10:50, Weidemann 5

Civic space provides the framework in which people and groups can meaningfully participate in the political, economic, social, and cultural life of their societies, exercising the right to express views, assemble, associate, and engage in dialogue with one another and with authorities. Participation and the right of access to information is a core component of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and prerequisite for a well-functioning democracy. How can we defend our civic spaces and ensure the right to civil society participation? 


Vidar Lund, President, Norwegian Library Association

Introductory remarks

Espen Røsbak, Manager, Sølvberget Library and Culture Centre, Stavanger

Henrik Syse, Research Professor, The Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO

A Norwegian Library Association (Bibliotekforeningen) side-event at WEXFO 2023


Vidar Lund

Vidar Lund

President, Norwegian Library Association

President of the Norwegian Library Association. Lund has a background in the public library sector as a manager of public libraries at the municipality- and county levels.


Espen Røsbak

Espen Røsbak

Manager, Sølvberget Library and Culture Centre, Stavanger

Manager at Sølvberget Library and Cultural Center. Espen Røsbak is the previous manager of Kapittel, Stavanger International Festival of Literature and Freedom of Speech from 2011-2019.

Henrik Syse

Henrik Syse

Research Professor, The Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)

Henrik is a Research Professor at PRIO, working on ethical questions related to armed and other societal conflicts. He has also worked on questions related to domestic terrorism, ideology, free speech, and religion. He holds a doctoral degree in philosophy.