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A commemorative blog for Håkan Wiberg

Welcome
This blog was launched in 2014, four years after our friend Håkan Wiberg died. It’s a tribute to a leading pioneer of Nordic peace and conflict research – a rare combination of academician (mathematics, philosophy, sociology and peace studies), activist and unshakeable friend of many.

Håkan Wiberg 2004 © Jan Oberg

Håkan Wiberg 2004 © Jan Oberg

Focus
Its main focus is on Wiberg the peace researcher since the largest single category of his production over almost 50 years is within that field, but we also want to give the visitors here an impression of him as friend, citizen and activist. Håkan was an immensely multi-faceted personality with a humane-ness that touched even his opponents.

You are invited
We invite you to assist us in making this blog richer by sending us comments as well as texts, photos, videos, anecdotes, and documentary materials that will add to the understanding and memory of him.

A blog, not a book
This is a dynamic blog for as long as we retrieve valuable materials. That is also why we have chosen not to produce a book which, when published, remains static. Further, a blog can be accessed anywhere in the world – and here we think mainly of students of peace research -whereas a book may be difficult to locate and costly to acquire.

Subscribe
When you subscribe to the blog you’ll be alerted every time something new is added.

Linking and copyright
Links to this blog or parts thereof can be made freely. However, texts should not be reproduced without the consent of the editors (see below and under “Contact”) who also retain the copyright to this blog in its entirety.

Einar Fredriksson

Jan Oberg 

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Tabascokungen

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Av Gunnar Windahl
Assisterande professor i psykologi, Strömstad akademi

När jag kom till Lund hösten 1960 hamnade jag på Mariagatan i Nöden något kvarter från ett boendekollektiv som gick under namnet Tabasco. En gänglig skäggprydd gestalt vanligtvis iförd kortbyxor och sandaler oavsett årstid var det mest påtagliga beviset på detta kollektivs existens när han kom cyklandes eller gåendes på trottoaren i vår stad.

Hans namn var Håkan Wiberg och på oss studenter på Mariagatan gjorde han ett mäktigt intryck tack vare sin oklara ontologisk status – var han en religiös munk, en anarkist eller vad?

Jag kände inte Håkan på den tiden men han gav näring till fantasin. Vi på Mariagatan kallade honom för Tabascokungen vilket avslöjar vår, om än osäkert grundade, vördnad inför denna resliga gestalt.

Håkan och jag kom några år senare att bli goda vänner och delade en stark känsla för udda humor och näringsrik kost.

Mycket men gott var vårt motto. Jag minns när vi skulle testa om menyn på Håkans stamlokus, lundakrogen Backholm, var reversibel. Vi startade upp med Glace au four och Invalid Port och nådde via en ryggbiff slutligen slutmålet smör, ost, sill och Gammal Norrlands.

Vid denna slutpunkt stämde fredsforskaren Håkan Wiberg upp med den modifierade snapsvisan “Golan går, den som inte Golan tar är ingen riktig karl” apropå den pågående konflikten mellan Israel och Syrien.

Våra ålagillen i Skanör på höstarna var fantastiskt roliga sammankomster i salig Hans Sjöbäcks regi. Håkan bidrog alltid med en rad suveräna limerickar till cognacen.

Under mer seriösa former diskuterade vi ofta begreppsproblem inom sociologin och psykologin.

Jag minns framför allt att vi vid flera tillfällen försökte avgränsa begreppen ‘aggression’ (beteende) och ‘ilska’, ‘raseri’ (affekt) – en åtskillnad viktig i konflikt och fredsforskning.

Jag tror aldrig jag träffat en person med en sådant omfattande och djupt kunskapsregister. Det engelska ordet ‘mind-boggling’ kommer alltid för mig när jag betänker Håkans kapacitet.

Han var dessutom en mycket varm och god människa.

Hakan Wiberg and Cassandra’s curse

By Biljana Vankovska

Biljana Vankovska

Biljana Vankovska

The very first encounter with Hakan Wiberg, while he was still director of COPRI, had a rather scary effect on a person like me. At that time, in 1997, I was a totally inexperienced and relatively young scholar from a small country. The visit to COPRI was my first study period abroad and I was hardly managing with my broken English.

In fear and respect, I could still hardly understand a word of what he was kindly trying to tell me. Yet I felt very welcome in that community, where I learnt their leading dictum: “Be brilliant!” And I took it as seriously, as anybody related to COPRI, although honestly I do not think I am there yet.

A year later, in 1998, he visited Macedonia. My youngest daughter, who was only 4, made a quicker and better judgment: having seen a giant with a long beard standing on our doorstep, as soon as she overcame the first shock, with a full trust so typical for a child, she took him by hand and invited him to join her watching “The Lion King”. He probably resembled a good-spirited Santa Claus to her. Continue reading

Vennen, observatøren og samfundsdebattanten

Av Marianne och Sverre Lodgaard

Marianne Lodgaard

Marianne Lodgaard

Vi har begge kjent Håkan i lang tid. Marianne fra Lund gjennom arbeidet i TFF, Sverre i fredsforskningssammenheng fra 1970-tallet. Vi har vært mye sammen – i Lund, København, Oslo, Dubrovnik og ved én anledning også på vårt feriested i Trøndelag, hvor vi nå sitter. Vi var nære venner: Håkan var utpreget vennekjær, og vi var blant de heldige som fikk nyte godt av det.

Håkans faglige bakgrunn var bred og hans kunnskaper enorme. Han var et vandrende leksikon. Samtidig var han så mye mer: Han kunne holde de uttømmende forelesningene om en rekke viktige emner i samfunnsfag generelt og internasjonal politikk spesielt. Som regel gjorde han det uten å gå nærmere inn på sine egne standpunkter og preferanser. Hans rolle var observatørens og analytikerens.

Derfor overrasket det mange at han under krigene på Balkan skjøv denne rollen til side og markerte egne posisjoner med et sterkt og uredd engasjement. Da var det rik anledning til å være uenig.

Sverre Lodgaard

Sverre Lodgaard

Continue reading

Wiberg’s contribution was immense

By Nigel Young
Editor-in-Chief: Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace, OUP, New York and Oxford, 20l0

Nigel Young

Nigel Young

Hakån Wiberg, a leading European Peace Researcher who died in Copenhagen, was one of the very best spirits in Global Peace Study since the late l960s. Although a child of  l960s peace activisim, Wiberg was both part astonishing auto-didact, a remarkable polymath; but also a scrupulous, and multilingual scholar with a deep scientific (in its best sense) inclination.

Despite strongly held opinions, his approach was always skeptical, critical – even detached. Continue reading

Håkan Wiberg in memoriam: We love you, miss you and you live in us

By Johan Galtung

Johan Galtung 2010 © Jan Oberg

Johan Galtung 2010 © Jan Oberg

Christmas day 2013 brings up memories of a Christmas shared with Håkan in Dubrovnik, in the old Yugoslavia for which so much of his heart (like mine) was beating.  A bridge between East and West, between North and South, so badly needed in a conflict-ridden world by what was then called the East-West and the North-South conflicts, one with the danger of nuclear war and the certainty of the wars in Korea and Vietnam, the other with the certainty of billions in misery.

With his deep knowledge of Yugoslavia, including command of what was then called Serbo-Croat – that hyphen disappeared with much else – he was perfectly aware of the forces tearing Yugoslavia apart, even if that unifying icon, Tito, had to pass away first (in 1980).

His analysis and predictions – I remember often two words, “more war” – were very accurate, true to his immense storage of knowledge, retrievable at any point in the countless formal and informal dialogues at the Inter-University Centre, IUC, in Dubrovnik.  We did not have that word for what we did, but we all actually googled Håkan – wiberged him! I remember one Asian scholar being almost offended when Håkan ran up against a border in his immense knowledge. Continue reading

Rolig, generös, intelligent – och snäll

Av Anna Møller
Sekreterare på Lunds Uiversitets Fredsforskningsinstitut, LUPRI, på 1980-talet

Anna Möller

Anna Möller

Han var så rolig och generös. Han tyckte så mycket om de små förtjusande bakelserna som gjordes på Konditoriet på Dag Hammarskjölds väg och trots att han var strängt upptagen tog han sig alltid tid att noga svara på mina alltmer omfattande frågor när jag skrev min C-uppsats i statskunskap om Nordisk Fredspolitik. Han förutspådde, flera år innan de inträffade såväl krisen i Balkan som fastighetscrachen på 90-talet. Continue reading