8 Mar 2019

Welcome to the Chr. Michelsen Annual Lecture 2019 on March 15

March 15, 6 p.m in the University Aula, Muséplass 1

Chr. Michelsen's vision about cultural and scientific work fostering tolerance and understanding between nations and people lays the foundation for our work as a devlopment research institute. On March 15, Chr. Michelsen's birthday, we celebrate him and his vision by directing the attention towards the most pressing challenges of our time. We invite the most influential politicians and policy makers, civil society actors and internationally renowned researchers to provide their take on the real-life challenges facing people in an often divided and unequal world.

This year's Chr. Michelsen Speech will be given by Dag-Inge Ulstein, Minister of International Development. We have invited him to share his perspectives on the importance of international and national efforts promoting tolerance and understanding. 


Dag-Inge Ulstein, Minister of International Development, will give this year's Chr. Michelsen Speech. Photo: Sturlason


This year's Chr. Michelsen Annual Lecture, Sustainable Sanctuaries: The economic inclusion of refugees, will be given by Alexander BettsLeopold Muller Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs and a Fellow of Green-Templeton College at the University of Oxford.


Alexander Betts, Professor at the University of Oxford, will give this year's Chr. Michelsen Annual Lecture.


Drawing upon mixed methods, participatory research in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda, including an original panel data set on the economic lives of refugees and host communities, the lecture examines a series of questions relating to the economics, politics, and ethics of supporting the participation of refugees within the national economies of the host countries. In relation to the economics, it asks: 1) what explains differences in refugees' welfare outcomes? 2) what difference does government regulation on the right to work make to refugees and hosts? 3) are refugees economically distinctive compared to hosts? 4) what assistance models work best? 5) when do refugees choose onward migration? In relation to the politics, it explores the interests and power relations that explain variation in the local and national willingness to economically include refugees. In relation to ethics, it examines some of the challenges relating to a market-based approach to refugee assistance. The lecture concludes by offering a road map for a sustainable (and evidence-based) global refugee system.