CMI and the University of Bergen have received 9.8 million NOK from the Research Council of Norway for a research project on the backlash against democracy in Africa.

From Ethiopia, Malawi and Tanzania to Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, African states are adopting legal restrictions on key civil and political rights that form the basis of democratic rule. The Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) and University of Bergen’s (UofB) joint project “ Breaking BAD: Understanding Backlash Against democracy in Africa”  aims to develop a rigorous empirical basis for understanding the scope, causes, responses to and effects of the backlash against democracy that has swept the African continent over the past decade. The research will use mixed methods, combining surveys and experiments with a qualitative approach. The new research project is anchored in the CMI research programme on Political Inequalities (PINQ).

CMI and the UofB have teamed up with researchers from the University of California at Berkeley (UCB), the University of Washington, Cornell University and universities/research institutions in Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe.

The ongoing cooperation with University of California at Berkeley has provided the opportunity to include PhD-candidates from UofB and UCB actively in fieldwork in Zambia. With funding from the Research Council of Norway’s FRIHUMSAM-programme, the team can now include more PhD-candidates in the fieldwork, hence extending PINQ’s educational component.

Lise Rakner

Professor at University of Bergen and Affiliated Research Professor