Projects at the Institute focus upon observing and analysing international negotiation processes, international organisations, the shaping of national positions in key countries, and the implementation of international obligations at the national and local levels. Implications for public and private sectors, as well as policy development in Norway are also an important concern.

FNI activities include academic studies, contracts for research, investigations and evaluations. The main disciplines are political science and law, but FNI researchers also hold degrees in economics, geography, social anthropology and history, and have special language and regional competence on Russia and China.