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2016 Bergen Exchanges on Law & Social Transformation

22 Aug 2016
The Bergen Exchanges on Law & Social Transformation is an annual interdisciplinary meeting place for scholars who want to understand the interplay between law and social change. The lectures, roundtables and panels bring together scholars and practitioners from all over the world. Welcome

Hva nå Tyrkia?

13 Jul 2016

Three ways to curb corruption by boosting local media

6 Jun 2016
The role played by journalists in anti-corruption is extremely valuable. What can donors do to maximise the media’s role?

Is China too big to fault?

11 May 2016
In October 2010, Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel peace prize. New research from CMI shows that the Chinese sanctions had a substantial negative effect on Norwegian direct exports to China. In addition, an analysis of Norway’s voting pattern in the UN suggests that Chinese sanctions may have been effective in changing Norway’s position on human rights issues. The potential consequences are chilling.

Ending child marriages: Not only a question of law

4 May 2016 | CMI Field Notes
The new Marriage Act in Malawi has been hailed for raising the legally prescribed age of marriage to 18, yet the truth is that there is no absolute minimum age of marriage in Malawi and that legal inconsistencies threaten the enforcement of the law.

Corruption risk management: a smarter option for development aid

2 May 2016
A risk management strategy that can identify, assess and propose specific mitigation measures for corruption problems can help better address corruption. When done right, corruption risk management can contribute to increase development impacts.

Reduce judicial corruption and improve access to justice for all

26 Apr 2016
Corrupt judicial systems undermine reforms and are a major impediment to ensuring access to justice and human rights for ordinary citizens across the world, says a new report published by the United Nations Development Programme and U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre on 8 April. Titled, A Transparent and Accountable Judiciary to Deliver Justice for All, the report cites survey data suggesting that the public perceive the judiciary as the second most corrupt public institution, after the police.

Research results

16 Mar 2016
Does self-serving elite behaviour make citizens more politically active? If we inform voters about the elite’s use of tax havens, are they more likely to take part in elections and other political processes? And does the form on the information matter, are voters more inclined to respond to information that stokes their moral indignation?

Announcement of the Chr. Michelsen Prize 2016

15 Mar 2016
The Chr. Michelsen Prize for outstanding development research 2016 is awarded to Francesca R. Jensenius, Senior Research Fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI).

Honduras slipping back into authoritarian rule

4 Mar 2016
Honduras has become one of the world’s most dangerous countries for activists. In the early hours of 3 March yet another prominent activist was murdered. Indigenous leader and human rights and environmental activist Bertha Cáceres was shot by unknown gunmen in her own house.

Legislative Candidacy in Electoral Authoritarian Regimes. Evidence from Tanzania

26 Feb 2016
Authoritarian regimes is the most common regime type aside from democracy. In these settings, the ruling party permits opposition but stifles their chances to win. Why do individuals run for legislative office on opposition versus ruling party tickets in such regimes? asks Keith Weghorst, Post-doctoral fellow at Vanderbuilt University in this seminar.

Political Buddhism, ‘Unethical Conversions’ and Religious Freedom in Sri Lanka

25 Feb 2016 | PhD Defence
The Anti-Conversion Bill was never adopted in Sri Lanka, but the heated debate surrounding the law proposal in 2004 points to the dilemmas of proselytism. How far can you go to convert someone to your religion?

Why did the Tunisian dialogue quartet win the Nobel peace prize?

9 Dec 2015
As the Tunisian dialogue quartet was awarded the Nobel peace prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee hailed the Tunisian quartet's essential role in advancing peaceful democratic developments. To make further advances, the Tunisian people must regain their sense of participation and significance in the process. If this happens, the Nobel peace prize can make an actual contribution to safeguard democracy in Tunisia.

Zeinab Abul-Magd won the Roger Owen Book Award

30 Nov 2015
The Everyday Maneuvers project member, Zeinab Abul-Magd (Oberlin College) won the prestigious biennial Roger Owen Book Award for Imagined Empires: A History of Revolt in Egypt (published by University of California Press). The announcement took place in Denver, Colorado at MESA’s (Middle East Studies Association) 2015 meeting. The winner of the award is the very best in economics, economic history, or the political economy of the Middle East and North Africa scholarship.

Reality defeats good intentions: The power of religious leaders in Touba

27 Nov 2015
Legislation is a widely used tool for increasing the number of women in politics. But laws seeking to promote gender parity come short in facing the ‘sociological realities’ in Senegal, as the case of the holy city of Touba shows.

Results Based Financing: The health system perspective

24 Nov 2015 | Regional workshop
Many experts see the introduction of results based financing (RBF) schemes as an opportunity to strengthen, or even reform, health systems; however, they are also a potential source of new risks and challenges that are not well understood.

MESA 2015 -- Roger Owen Book Award announcement

22 Nov 2015
The Everyday Maneuvers project member, Zeinab Abul-Magd (Oberlin College) won the prestigious biennial Roger Owen Book Award for Imagined Empires: A History of Revolt in Egypt. The announcement took place in Denver, Colorado at MESA’s (Middle East Studies Association) 2015 meeting.

Protection of civilians: Why they die in US strikes

10 Nov 2015
The US military strike that devastated the MSF hospital in Kunduz in northern Afghanistan on 3 October generated profound, if short-lived, outrage in much of the world. The US government promised an investigation, and in late October appointed a military panel to do so. Yet its investigation is unlikely to address the more fundamental questions this attack raises: Why have US-airstrikes repeatedly produced catastrophic cases of “collateral damage” in Afghanistan?

How to make sense of a billion Tweets?

3 Nov 2015 | Open Seminar - Panel debate
Powerful communication tools in the pockets of billions and on our desktops have changed our ability to engage with the world through groups, apps, sites or maps. We organize ourselves, and participate in worldwide dialogue, through such tools. How are these tools used, particularly in developing countries, for humanitarian relief, governance and accountability, and civil society mobilization?

Digital Revolutions: New Information Technology Tools in 21st Century Politics

2 Nov 2015 | Workshop
New digital tools represent a technological revolution, and are at the same time revolutionizing politics. They promise great potential for mobilizing people, ideas, and resources in new and profound ways. Join us in exploring the potentials and pitfalls of these new tools.

The way ahead for Tunisia

23 Oct 2015
Is Tunisia delivering on the promise of the Arab Spring by producing a real democracy?

No magic bullets for reconciliation

17 Aug 2015 | Rwanda
When societies go from military dictatorship to democracy or from internal armed conflict to peace, one of the toughest choices facing the government in the new order is how to deal with past violence. Great hopes have been pinned on transitional justice mechanisms, but the anticipated positive effects of transitional justice mechanisms on the process of restoring peace or (re)constructing democracy may be too high.

Making remittances work against money laundering

20 Jul 2015
Hawala networks can be useful partners in the work against money laundering of corruption gains, rather than the obstacle they are often considered to be.

Print media in Kuwait: Pluralism with a bias

25 Jun 2015
The number of newspapers in Kuwait has skyrocketed, but their owners are all closely affiliated to the political elite. Does this lead to a certain bias in the newspaper’s electoral coverage?

How to curb corruption in emergencies

4 Jun 2015
At lunchtime 25 April Nepal was struck by a devastating earthquake. Following high death tolls, numerous charitable organisations scurried to the South Asian country in order to provide humanitarian aid on the ground. The United Nations alone made a flash appeal for close to half a billion USD in emergency support.

Violence against women in Afghanistan: Getting away with murder

19 May 2015
On 19 March, Farkhunda was lynched by an angry mob on the streets of Kabul. She had been falsely accused of burning the Quran. In a swift trial, four men were sentenced to death, eight to 16 years in prison. The Farkhunda trial is a statistical outlier. In Afghanistan, few men are punished for violence against women.

Covering up a massacre in Angola?

19 May 2015 | Will the international community take a stand?
In mid-April 2015, news emerged about the killing of nine police-men in Angola's Huambo province. The incident involved the police and members of Juliano Kalupeteca's "Light of the World" religious sect. In the following days, grizzling reports emerged of a massacre of perhaps hundreds of sect members. We do not yet know the truth. Angola's government appears to do its utmost to prevent knowledge of it to transpire. Will the international community remain passive?

Corruption hunters - investigating and prosecuting financial crime

11 May 2015 | Panel discussion
Norad’s international corruption hunters network meets in Bergen. Hear how they work to prosecute corrupt criminals.

Educating Afghan children: Blinded by numbers

8 May 2015
Access to education has been one of the main priorities for Afghan authorities and the international community for the past 14 years, but despite formidable investments in the country’s educational sector, many Afghan children leave school without being able to read or write. What has gone wrong?

The Iran-US nuclear agreement: Beginning of a new era?

6 May 2015
If the nuclear framework agreement is to be the start of something bigger, the US and other Western countries need a vision beyond the fight against terrorism, argues Walter Posch at the National Defence Academy in Vienna. Recognizing the role of energy security and economy in the region may be key to long-lasting change.

Policing the Favelas: Reform, Rank, and Resistance in Rio’s Pacifying Police Units

24 Mar 2015 | Rio, March 2015
Felipe doesn’t like it much, shootouts occur almost every day, but he knows that he can’t show any signs of weakness, so he tries to keep up appearances. Two weeks after arriving at Fazendinha he was shot in a confrontation with armed traffickers.

How can Norway best support Afghanistan?

24 Mar 2015 | Afghanistan Week 2015:
The current situation in Afghanistan is the subject of two opposing narratives: one is a success story about international support and involvement since 2001; the other is a story where much has gone wrong and everything can only get worse. Agreeing on a narrative that is closer to the truth is crucial when deciding what form Norwegian support and involvement should take in the future, write Arne Strand and Liv Kjølseth.

Lifting the veil: Educating girls in Afghanistan

23 Mar 2015 | BreakfastForum
Cultural and religious resistance against education of girls is widespread in many parts of Afghanistan. How can you run schools for girls in the insecure Kandahar province where education for girls is highly controversial?

Playing the Ethnic Card? The political game in Malawi

4 Feb 2015 | CMI Field Notes
The good (but not so new) news from Malawian politics is that some of the democratic basics are in place, making the somewhat impaired democracy keep stumbling on, writes CMIs Inge Amundsen and Gift Sambo from the field.

The European Backlash: Conservative Movements, Abortion and LGBT Rights

29 Jan 2015
Europe experiences ultra-conservative push-backs on social advances in sexual and reproductive rights. Who are the actors, what motivates them and how do they work?

Civil-military relations in Venezuela…by the pool

27 Jan 2015 | CMI Field Notes
In Venezuela, views on the relationship between civilian politics and the military are highly divergent. Yet, at the pool club Circulo Militar el Lagunito all boundaries between civilians and the military are blurred. In this social club, anyone is welcome, no questions asked. The idea of civil-military alliances is at the core of CMI researcher Iselin Åsedotter Strønen's field work in Caracas.

China´s Soft Power in Africa: Emerging media and cultural relations between China and Africa

4 Sep 2014 | International Symposium
The conferance is organized by the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Nottingham Ningbo Campus in China, the University of Westminster´s Africa Media Centre, and Rhodes University´s School of Journalism and Media Studies.

Natural Resource Management: The importance of good policy makers

30 Jun 2014
- Policy makers and their decisions matter much more than a supposed resource curse, says Ricardo Soares de Oliveira. As East Africa booms with oil, he urges international actors and donors to repoliticise the international reform and financial agenda.

Out of poverty with inclusive policy

17 Jun 2014
Nepal consists of more than 100 different castes and ethnic groups. A recent social inclusion survey reveals deep social exclusion, discrimination and immense differences between the different groups. Will Nepal succeed in lifting the poorest castes and ethnic groups in the country out of poverty using inclusive policies?

Reducing poverty: The role of labour markets

12 Jun 2014
Poverty is in decline in Nepal. Steady economic growth and labour migration is part of the explanation.

Thailand: A Different Kind of Coup

2 Jun 2014 | Behind the News
The military has seized power under the banner of 'unity and harmony' to defend the constitutional monarchy. In the short term, they have won. In the longer run, the outcome is much less certain.

Time, Trust and Patience

30 May 2014 | Alf Morten Jerve 1953-2014
Development aid must given to those who need it the most. Aid must be long-term, patient and build on trust, said Alf Morten Jerve. Alf Morten Jerve passed away 15 May.

Ethiopia, the Somali territories and regional conflict dynamics in the Horn of Africa

9 May 2014
Tobias Hagman gives a talk on the peace negotiations between the Somali rebel group Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and the Ethiopian government.