Rune Slagstad

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Rune Slagstad
Born (1945-02-22) February 22, 1945 (age 72)
Bergen, Norway
Era 20th century
Region Western Philosophy

Rune Slagstad (born 22 February 1945) is a Norwegian historian, philosopher, legal theorist, professor and journal editor. In addition to professional work, he has since the late 1960s contributed actively to public debate on a variety of issues from Norway.


Slagstad was editor of Pax Publishing (1971–1978) and the Norwegian University Press (1986–1989). He has held tenured professorships both at the University of Oslo, the Norwegian Institute for Social Research and Oslo University College and headed The Research Council of Norway Program on Governance and Democracy ("LOS") (1990–1998).

He initiated and co-edited the encyclopedia PaxLeksikon (with i.a. Hans Fredrik Dahl and Jon Elster),[1] co-edited the leftist journal Kontrast, and was editor-in-chief of the intellectual journal Nytt Norsk Tidsskrift[2] from 1984 through 2009. Among his significant publications are the books Constitutionalism and democracy (co-edited with Jon Elster), De nasjonale strateger (”National strategists”),[3] Rettens ironi (”The Irony of Law”)[4] and Sporten: en idéhistorisk studie (”Sports”),[5] a study of sports from a cultural historical point of view.

Slagstad has been a member of the Norwegian Academy for Language and Literature (1996-), the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (2002-), and on the board of Morgenbladet (2003–2009) and The Danish-Norwegian Foundation (1998-). He was one of the founders of the Norwegian Socialist Left Party (est. 1975), in which he through the 1970s also held several leading positions.[6]

From 2009-2013 Slagstad held a professorship at the Centre for the Study of Professions at Oslo University College. He is currently at The Institute for Social Research working on a study of Scandinavian social-democratic sittlichkeit.

Slagstad was born and raised in Bergen, but now lives in Oslo with his wife Anine Kierulf. He has three children.

He was in 2005 announced Norway’s leading intellectual by the daily newspaper Dagbladet.[7] In 1996 he received the Fritt Ord Honorary Award.[8]


In 2006 he played flute in the church service for Jens Chr Hauge—a rendition of traditional folk tune "Jeg lagde mig saa sildig".[9]