The Grey Zone

The Grey Zone is a research group at UiT The Arctic University of Norway that focuses 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. Our research themes include: "People," "Geopolitics," "Law," and "Technology." 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. We are interested in understanding the complexities of a wide-ranging threat picture from the use of disinformation and psychological/information operations, to cyber attacks on infrastructure, to military incursions, resulting in the targeting of trust and security in societies.

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




Identity, Stability, Hybrid Threats and Disinformation –  By Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv, Jane Freedman & Velomahanina Tahinjanahary Razakamaharavo. Click here to read

Trust, Distrust, and Security: An Untrustworthy Immigrant in a Trusting Community – By Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv, Ali Bilgic & Cathy Wilcock. Click here to read

Russia's Critical Infrastructure Policy: What Do We Know About It? – By Christer Pursiainen. Click here to read

The Psychological Dimension of Russian Foreign Policy: Putin and the Annexation of Crimea – By Christer Pursiainen & Tuomas Forsberg. Click here to read

Critical infrastructure resilience: A Nordic model in the making? – By Christer Pursiainen. Click here to read

The Grey Zone Working Papers

Coming Soon.


AB (Arsalan Bilal)

AB’s doctoral project investigates how “invisible threats” on the digital media in general and social media in particular dovetail with populism and extremism, thereby undercutting state and societal security. Invisible threats, in the project, are defined primarily in terms of misinformation, disinformation, and fake news. Three case studies from North America, Europe and South Asia are focused upon in a bid, inter alia, to delve into different contexts and infer meaningful comparisons from the research. The study analyses populism and extremism in relation to invisible threats on the new media from the standpoint of critical security studies. Moreover, it makes theoretical reference to intersectionality as well as civilian agency.

Isabel Dineen

In the Media

The Grey Zone

Centre for Peace Studies, UiT The Arctic University of Norway
Postbox 6050 Langnes, 9037 Tromsø
Contact: Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv (Research Group Leader)
+47 94842610
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