Johan Olsen

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Johan P. Olsen
Born(1939-08-14)August 14, 1939
Tromsø, Norway
Alma materUniversity of Bergen
Spouse(s)Helene Adriansen
Scientific career
Fieldspolitical science

Johan Peder Olsen (born August 14, 1939) is a Norwegian political scientist, and Professor Emeritus in Political Science at the University of Bergen, known for his work on new institutionalism.[1]

Life and work[edit]

Olsen obtained his MA om Political Science, with a minor in economics and political history, at the University of Oslo in l967. In 1971 he obtained his PhD at the University of Bergen. He obtained an Honorary Doctorate from the Åbo Akademi, Finland in, 1988, and from the University of Copenhagen in 1990.[2]

Olsen has started his career as journalist and reporter for various Norwegian newspapers from l958 to 1963. He started his academic career as research assistant at the Institute of Political Science of the University of Oslo in l965. In 1969 he was appointed Assistant professor at the Institute of Sociology of the University of Bergen, in 1970 Associate professor, and in 1973 Professor in Public Administration and Organization Theory until 1993.

Olsen was also member of the Norwegian Research Council, and a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.[3] He established ARENA (Advanced Research on the Europeanization of the Nation State) in 1994.[4] He was Research Director at ARENA for many years, and is now.[5]

Olsen is one of the developers of the systemic-anarchic perspective of organizational decision-making known as the Garbage Can Model.[6]

Selected publications[edit]

  • James G. March and J. P. Olsen, (eds.). Ambiguity and Choice in Organizations, Bergen Universitetsforlaget, 1976.
  • Brunsson, Nils & Johan P. Olsen (eds.). Organizing organizations. Bergen-Sandviken, Norway: Fagbokförlaget, 1998.
  • March, James G. & Johan P. Olsen. Democratic Governance. New York: The Free Press, 1995.
  • Brunsson, Nils & Johan P. Olsen. The reforming organization. London & New York :: Routledge, 1993.
  • March, James G. & Johan P. Olsen. Rediscovering Institutions. The Organizational Basis of Politics. New York: The Free Press. 1989

Articles, a selection


  1. ^ Hall, Peter A., and Rosemary CR Taylor. "Political science and the three new institutionalisms*." Political studies 44.5 (1996): 936-957.
  2. ^ Johan P. Olsen CV. Accessed 02.02.2015
  3. ^ "Gruppe 7: Samfunnsfag (herunder sosiologi, statsvitenskap og økonomi)" [Group 7: Social sciences (including sociology, political science and economics)] (in Norwegian). Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. Retrieved 26 October 2009.
  4. ^ "The history of ARENA - ARENA Centre for European Studies". Retrieved 4 February 2011.
  5. ^ "Johan P. Olsen - ARENA Centre for European Studies". Retrieved 5 February 2011.
  6. ^ Morgan, Gareth, Fred Gregory, and Cameron Roach. Images of Organization. (1997).

External links[edit]