The Grey Zone

The Grey Zone is a research group at UiT The Arctic University of Norway. We focus on multiple challenges around understanding and addressing "grey zone" or hybrid threats and warfare. We explore both the ways in which these concepts are defined and understood, as well as what and how different threats are perceived, from individual, society, to state and international levels. We address different ways of managing possible threats, crises and warfare including local preparedness and societal trust, national preparedness strategies, Total Defense, and Whole-of Government and Comprehensive Approaches. The Grey Zone supports and strengthens multidisciplinary research and teaching in International Relations and Politics at UiT, consolidating International Politics competencies both on hybrid threats and warfare, but as well on security issues more generally speaking, Arctic security, international crises and operations. 

The research group leader is Professor Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv, and the coordinator is Arsalan Bilal (AB).


Organisation (since 2020):

The Grey Zone (GZ) research group functions to highlight the important research being done in various projects pertaining to Arctic security and hybrid threats and warfare.  

GZ is composed of a crossdisciplinary group of scholars with shared interests in international relations broadly understood (from law, politics and linguistics to societal and personal levels of security and preparedness for crisis and war) and more specifically the understanding and impacts of hybrid threats and warfare on civilian populations. A central context of our work is the Arctic security and geopolitical landscape.

GZ is open to all those who are interested in the themes covered by the group. Group members share relevant research results and participate in seminars addressing works in progress, updates on the different research projects, and presentation of results.

A member of the GZ research group has access to the website information (including recent publications), and to the seminars including draft documents being discussed. GZ members do not have access to data collection within the different projects unless they are also a partner in the project (see below).

The GZ research group is NOT a research project.


Not all members of the GZ group are also partners within all the different projects.

The projects are composed of smaller constellations of partners, some of whom are members of GZ and others who are not and focus on a specific research project. Not all projects are led by the GZ research group leader.

Each project has its own, separate data collection storage system, housed in different arenas. These are not mixed, and only project partners (that is, not all GZ members) have access to these arenas.

No data collected in any of the projects are categorized as classified, though any personal data (human) is treated as sensitive and protected.

The usual protocols for data management are followed in accordance with the guidelines of the Norwegian Research Council and EU.

Project results:

The results of all the research projects are publicly available when published. This includes scholarly venues (books, journals, edited volumes) as well as ongoing commentaries from GZ and/or project members in the form of editorials, interviews, and public commentaries.

For more information about the separate projects, please contact the individual project leaders (see links) and/or the leader of the Grey Zone research group, Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv. 

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