Research for Development and Justice

Democracy and Governance

CMI research on governance explores the conditions of a well-functioning system of democratic governance with low levels of corruption. What factors and mechanisms explain political and bureaucratic accountability in a given polity?

Current focus:

  • Democratisation and elections
  • Local government
  • Global anti-corruption initiatives
  • Sector governance

CMI Working Paper

Good Governance Facades

Kalle Moene and Tina Søreide (2015) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Working Paper WP 2015:2) 24 p.

Newspaper Op-Ed

Fighting corruption in anti-deforestation programmes: The case of REDD+

Aled Williams (2015) The Global Anti-Corruption Blog, Harvard Law School, 6th January 2015

U4 Workshop

Monitoring and evaluating country strategies for anti-corruption results

Presenter (2014) Swedish International Development Agency, Stockhol no. May 21, 2014

U4 Workshop

Mainstreaming anti-corruption and the project cycle

Presenter (2014) Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Copenhagen, Denmark no. April 25, 2014

Journal Article (Peer-Reviewed)

Drowning in Oil: Angola's Institutions and the "Resource Curse"

Inge Amundsen (2014) in Comparative Politics vol. 46 no. 2 pp. 169-189

Book Chapter

Judging the price of life: cost considerations in right-to-health litigation

O.L.M. Ferraz, S. Gloppen, O. Mæstad, L. Rakner (2014) in H.S. Aasen, S. Gloppen, A-M Magnussen, E. Nilssen: Juridification and Social Citizenship in the Welfare State. Edward Elgar Publishing

Book Chapter

Opposition parties and local governance in contemporary Angola and Mozambique: Mechanisms of exclusion and domination

Aslak Jangård Orre (2014) in Elliott Daniel Green; Johanna Söderström; Emil Uddhammar: Political opposition in Sub-Saharan Africa. London ; New York, NY: Routledge

Book Chapter

Grabbing an Election: Abuse of State Resources in the 2011 Elections in Uganda

Svein-Erik Helle, Lise Rakner (2014) in Tina Søreide, Aled Williams: Corruption, Grabbing and Development: Real World Challenges. Cheltenham and Northamption (MA): Edward Elgar Publishing

Book Chapter

When Per Diems Take Over: Training and Travel as Extra Pay

Ingvild Aagedal Skage, Tina Søreide, Arne Tostensen (2014) in Tina Søreide, Aled Williams: Corruption, Grabbing and Development: Real World Challenges. Cheltenham and Northamption (MA): Edward Elgar Publishing

Book Chapter

Elite Capture of Kabul Bank

Arne Strand (2014) in Tina Søreide, Aled Williams: Corruption, Grabbing and Development: Real World Challenges. Cheltenham and Northampton (MA): Edward Elgar Publishing

Book Chapter

Courts, Corruption and Judicial Independence

Siri Gloppen (2014) in Tina Søreide, Aled Williams: Corruption, Grabbing and Development: Real World Challenges . Cheltenham and Northampton (MA): Edward Elgar Publishing

Book Chapter


Tina Søreide, Aled Williams (2014) in Tina Søreide, Aled Williams: Corruption, Grabbing and Development: Real World Challenges. Cheltenham and Northampton (MA): Edward Elgar Publishing

Book Chapter

'Pay Up and Off You Go!' Buying Political Positions in Bangladesh

Inge Amundsen (2014) in Søreide, T. and A. Williams: Corruption, grabbing and development: Real world challenges. Edward Elgar Publishing

Journal Article (Non-Refereed)

Ethiopia After Meles: Stability for How Long?

Lovise Aalen (2014) in Current History vol. May 2014

Report in External Series

Political Parties in Bangladesh

Rounaq Jahan (2014) Dhaka: Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) and Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) (CPD-CMI Working Paper series no. WP 2014:8)

Report in External Series

Costa Rica’s Anti-Corruption Trajectory: Strengths and Limitations

Bruce M. Wilson (2014) (Work Package: WP3, Corruption and governance improvement in global and continental perspectives. Anti-Corruption Policies Revisited Project. EU/Hertie/GIGA)

CMI Working Paper

Latin American Civil-Military Relations in a Historical Perspective: A Literature Review

Elin Skaar with Camila Gianella Malca (2014) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Working Paper WP 2014:6) 36 p.

CMI Working Paper

Civil-Military Relations in the Middle East: A Literature Review

Bård Kårtveit and Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert (2014) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Working Paper WP 2014:5) 32 p.

CMI Insight

“Blood elections” Presidential election in Syria within the Red Regime Lines

Emma Jørum (2014) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Insight) 4 p.

U4 Issue

Impact of foreign bribery legislation on developing countries and the role of donor agencies

Bruce Zagaris (2014) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Issue 2014:6) 54 p.

Newspaper Op-Ed

Dynastiene dreper demokratiet

Inge Amundsen (2014) Bergens Tidende 12.01.2014

Journal Article (Peer-Reviewed)

Democratic Dynasties? Internal Party Democracy in Bangladesh

Inge Amundsen (2013) in Party Politics vol. DOI: 135406881351137 pp. 1-10

Journal Article (Peer-Reviewed)

Making unity unattractive: The conflicting aims of Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement

Lovise Aalen (2013) in Civil Wars vol. 15 no. 2 pp. 173-191

Book Chapter

Rationality and Enlightenment

Jesper Stenberg Johnsøn (2013) in Paul Kelly: The Politics Book. London: DK Publishing

Journal Article (Non-Refereed)

Autarquias em Angola: Qual o problema do gradualismo?

Aslak Jangård Orre (2013) in Lucere vol. October 2012

CMI Report

Institutions of checks and balances: The Election Commission of Angola

Inge Amundsen (2013) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Report R 2013:5) 34 p.

CMI Brief

Dynasty or democracy? Party politics in Bangladesh

Inge Amundsen (2013) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Brief vol. 12 no. 6) 4 p.

Angola Brief

Controlling elections: The Angolan Election Commission

Inge Amundsen (2013) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (Angola Brief vol. 3 no. 1) 4 p.

U4 Issue

Good governance for medicines initiatives: Exploring lessons learned

Jillian Clare Kohler, Natalia Ovtcharenko (2013) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Issue 2013:3) 26 p.

U4 Issue

Certified integrity? Forest certification and anti-corruption

Tina Søreide, Aled Williams (2013) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Issue 2013:1) 20 p.

U4 Brief

Complaints mechanisms in health organizations

Taryn Vian (2013) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Brief 2013:6) 4 p.

U4 Brief

The Indonesian Court for Corruption Crimes: Circumventing judicial impropriety?

Sofie Arjon Schütte, Simon Butt (2013) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Brief 2013:5) 4 p.

U4 Brief

Political economies of corruption in fragile and conflict-affected states: Nuancing the picture

Zaum Dominik (2013) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Brief 2013:4) 4 p.

U4 Brief

Corruption in land administration: Roles for donors to minimise the problem

Liam Wren-Lewis (2013) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Brief 2013:1) 4 p.

Newspaper Op-Ed

Stemmene fra Brasils gater

Ingrid Samset (2013) Bergens Tidende 3 July

Newspaper Op-Ed

NHOs mørke solskinshistorie

Thor Olav Iversen (2013) 27.04.13

Journal Article (Peer-Reviewed)

Lempning for kartellvirksomhet og korrupsjon

Tina Søreide and Birthe Eriksen (2012) in Tidsskrift for Strafferett no. 1 pp. 61-86

Book Chapter

"Uma iniciativa condenada ao sucesso". O Fundo Distrital dos 7 milhões e suas consequências para a governação em Moçambique

Aslak Jangård Orre & Salvador Cadete Forquilha (2012) in Bernhard Weimer: Moçambique: Descentralizar o centralismo - Economia política, recursos e resultados. Maputo: IESE

Lovise Aalen

Research Director

Political scientist whose research focuses on democratisation and human rights in the Horn of Africa.

Inge Amundsen

Senior Researcher

Political scientist focusing on democratisation, parliaments, political parties, corruption, resource and oil revenue management, and aid.

Bjørn Enge Bertelsen

Associated Senior Researcher

A social anthropologist and work mainly on violence, state, memory and tradition within political anthropology in Southern Africa and Mozambique.

Daniel M. Brinks

Associated Senior Researcher

Daniel Brinks is Associate Professor of Government, in the fields of Comparative Politics and Public Law, at the Department of Government at the University of Texas, Austen.

Siri Gloppen

Senior Researcher

Political scientist exploring intersections between law and politics.

Aranzazu Guillan Montero

Senior Advisor (U4)

Political scientist and development practitioner whose work focuses on governance, anticorruption, transparency and accountability.

Jan Isaksen


CMI Emeritus, economist focusing on poverty, development and public finance.

Jesper Stenberg Johnsøn

Senior Advisor (U4)

Development thinker and doer working on governance, anti-corruption, evaluation and measurement, risk management, aid effectiveness, and fragile states

Frode Løvlie

Researcher and PhD candidate

Political scientist focusing on political Islam, democratisation and demographics in the Middle East, political violence, and social movement and political party theories.

Ricardo Soares de Oliveira

Associated Senior Researcher

His research includes African politics, the geopolitics of energy and international political economy, especially natural resource extraction, state decay and post-conflict reconstruction.

Aslak Jangård Orre

Senior Researcher

Political scientist whose competence areas include local government reform, corruption and anti-corruption, parties and opposition in Africa and the politics of decentralisation and rural livelihoods.

Lise Rakner

Senior Researcher (20%)

Political scientist focusing on democratisation and human rights, economic reform, taxation, institutional change and international aid, with a particular emphasis on Southern and Eastern Africa.

Sofie Arjon Schütte

Advisor (U4)

Advisor (U4) with a focus on corruption and anti-corruption in the justice sector.

Ole-Jacob Sending

Associated Senior Researcher

Political scientist focusing on peacebuilding, global governance and the functioning of international organisations, and on the power of experts in international policymaking.

Tina Søreide

Senior Researcher (on leave)

Economist with a focus on corruption, sector regulation and political economy

Nils Taxell

Senior Advisor (U4)

Political scientist and development practitioner focusing on governance, anti-corruption, fragile states and aid effectiveness.

Arne Tostensen

Senior Researcher

Sociologist currently focusing on governance and human rights research.

Vibeke Wang

Postdoctoral Researcher and Coordinator: Gender Politics

Political scientist whose research focuses on gender and politics, representation, parliaments, foreign aid, and democratization.

Aled Williams

Senior Advisor (U4)

Political scientist focusing on aid, corruption, governance, and natural resources, particularly political economy and political ecology approaches to the forestry sector and extractive industries.

Per Aarvik

Master's student, continuing education in comparative politics at University of Bergen.

Elections and Democracy in Africa

Start: Nov. 2009 (Completed)
Keywords: Liberation movements, pro-democray movements, Africa, elections, democracy
Geography: Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, Ethiopia, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Democracy and corruption

Start: Jun. 2011 (Completed)

Angola Programme: CEIC - CMI Cooperation

Start: Jan. 2011 (Current)
Geography: Angola

Allowances and Per Diems in Sub-Saharan Africa

Start: May. 2011 (Completed)
Keywords: incentive problems - corruption - public institutions

Transition to what? African liberation- and pro-democracy movements' troubled democratic heritage

Start: Nov. 2008 (Completed)
Keywords: sub-saharan africa, liberation movements, democratic transitions, media, elections, political parties, the judiciary
Geography: Zambia, Malawi, Uganda, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Zimbabawe, Tanzania

Corruption in public works, Angola

Start: Oct. 2010 (Current)

The Political Parties in Bangladesh: Political Dynasties and Democratisation

Start: Sep. 2010 (Completed)
Keywords: Political parties, good governance, politics, clientelism, political finance
Geography: Bangladesh

The Parliament of Bangladesh: Representation and Accountability

Start: Sep. 2010 (Completed)
Keywords: Parliament, legislature, politics, good governance
Geography: Bangladesh

Bangladesh: Inclusive growth and good governance

Start: Jun. 2010 (Completed)
Keywords: Governance, poverty, entrepreneurship; FDI
Geography: Bangladesh

Nigeria: Norwegian Support of Good Governance

Start: Feb. 2010 (Completed)
Keywords: Good governance, anti-corruption
Geography: Nigeria

Natural resources, corruption and trust

Start: Jan. 2010 (Completed)
Keywords: Natural resources, trust, corruption

The study of governance comprises all types and aspects of political regime – be they democratic, autocratic or variants in between. Governance studies address the relationship between those in position of authority (elected or not) and the citizenry at large, i.e. the accountability relationship between the governors and the governed – including in federal and decentralised arrangements. In a democratic system periodic elections that are deemed free and fair serve as the main mechanism of such vertical accountability. Other institutions serve functions of horizontal accountability (checks and balances) between state institutions, e.g. the judiciary, ombudspersons, auditors-general, human rights commissions and anti-corruption agencies – often dubbed institutions of restraint.

Fundamentally, corruption is an accountability problem which stems from inadequate legislation and weak institutions of restraint, coupled with political cultures that in effect condone corrupt behaviour. The corruption phenomenon must therefore be placed in the context of the broader political economy of the countries concerned. It is critical to study the incentive structures that drive corruption and to analyse the weaknesses of the institutions of restraint that are meant to serve as brakes on corrupt practices.

Despite broad international attention devoted to corruption and its consequences, the practice persists as a global problem. Transparency International has indicated that corruption has worsened in some countries and survey respondents consider anti-corruption measures taken so far to be inefficient. The complexity of the problem and the involvement of high-ranking government officials suggest that investigations and sanctions are inadequate to fight the problem.

The CMI Governance Cluster seeks to better understand and identify the underlying preconditions of a well-functioning system of democratic governance with low levels of corruption. What factors and mechanisms explain political and bureaucratic, vertical and horizontal, accountability in a given polity? How can incentive structures be altered so as to prevent corruption? What anti-corruption policies work and why? To address these questions, this cluster brings together CMI research competence on democratic governance and corruption. Besides, the cluster will promote the synergies and opportunities offered by the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre ( and its close dialogue with donor agencies in eight countries and attention to anti-corruption programmes throughout the world.

The cluster activities are centred on defined research questions. The current portfolio includes projects on democratisation and democratic consolidation, with particular focus on fragile/post-conflict states and dominant-party states; decentralisation and local government; electoral processes; party systems and incumbency advantage; party financing; civil society and multi-stakeholder groups; assessment of global anti-corruption initiatives and conventions; legal transplants/legal cultures; and political incentive problems in sector governance.

While the cluster addresses issues of cross-country relevance, the members hold country-specific competence on Angola, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia , former Soviet republics, as well as several East-European countries (Czech Republic, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia and Kosovo)

CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute)
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