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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.

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?

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?

Iran and the West: Coexisting and competing with an ideological challenge

9 Apr 2015
Iran's foreign policy is based on revolutionary, Islamist and nationalist principles. Contradictions are solved according to "expedient interests of the system." What are the prospects of reconciliation with the West?

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.

Hamas - between radicalism and pragmatism

2 Mar 2015 | PhD Defence
In January 2006, Hamas won the parliamentary elections in Gaza. The road to power has been paved with ideological and organizational changes. What was once a mere militia is now a crucial actor in Palestinian domestic politics, as well as in Palestinian-Israeli relations.

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.

Legislating Marriages: Family Law Reform and Democratization in Africa and Asia

13 Nov 2014
Women''s rights and obligations within marriage are one of the key components of family law and is a highly sensitive political area of intervention across the globe both historically and presently. Despite massive pressures from feminist movements across the world, family law has been surprisingly stubborn to change. This workshop examines the relationship between family law reform and political transitions.

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.

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.

Avoiding Africa's Oil Curse

23 May 2014
East Africa is the global oil and gas industry's hottest frontier. Several west and central African states have already experienced petroleum booms of their own. What can East Africa learn from their experiences?

Rebuilding Somalia's Failed State: Alternative scenarios

8 May 2014
Is Somalia a failed state? Where can Somalia go from here and how can the country be rebuild?

Elections in Afghanistan

20 Mar 2014
Despite an internationally conveyed image of uncertainty connected to the coming elections in Afghanistan, there is a strong sense of enthusiasm and optimism among many Afghans. Leading Afghan civil society actors hope that the enthusiasm will translate into high voter turn-out on election day.

Corruption, grabbing and development: Real world challenges

13 Feb 2014 | Book launch in Oslo
Grabbing is a major obstacle to development. It takes different forms in different countries, and standardised anti-corruption efforts fail. Experienced practitioners and researchers present corrupt practices from around the world challenging anti-corruption efforts and explaining why they have failed.

Rebuilding Angola

30 Jan 2014
Since 2002, the Angolan government has invested 55 billion dollars in rebuilding the country's infrastructure. Angola has also rebuilt the once bustling Benguela railway all the way from the port of Lobito to neighbouring countries of DR Congo and Zambia. -The efforts to rebuild and strengthen the transport sector are crucial to development and economic growth in Angola as well as for the region, says Ana Duarte and Regina Santos.

Strengthening human rights in Ethiopia

28 Jan 2014
Ethiopia has great success in its work to eradicate poverty. Yet, the human rights situation in the country makes cooperation a challenging task for the international community. Norway should support the country´s human rights work by strengthening Ethiopia's internal debates on human rights, says CMI-researchers. -The best way to do this is through institutional cooperation, and close collaboration with Ethiopian partners.

Diversifying to avoid the resource curse?

20 Dec 2013
Diversification spreads risk as countries expand into new export sectors, but does diversification also improve institutions and address the resource curse? Diversification strategies were top of the agenda at the UNIDO General Conference in December.

Defying the international expert community in Afghanistan

20 Dec 2013
There has been much debate on whether Afghanistan's informal justice practices should be integrated in the country's official justice system. Who should decide such an issue? Local activists claiming that these practices violate human rights, international researchers arguing that they are an undeniable part of Afghan 'reality' or military actors claiming that informal justice is necessary to win the war against the insurgents?

Is Dos Santos pushing his luck?

19 Dec 2013
While the Angolan president José Eduardo Dos Santos may be grooming his son to follow him as president, political opponents of his regime have been eliminated. This year he has spent long periods of time abroad. Meanwhile, the social crisis in the country increases in scope. The opposition is organising their strengths. Even in the president's own ranks, there are murmurs of discontent. Has Dos Santos gone too far?

Monopoly of victimhood

28 Nov 2013
In Uganda, data suggests that not only women and girls are sexually assaulted in times of conflict and war, but also men and boys. Yet, male rape victims are almost invisible in interventions and even debates on conflict related sexual violence. Attention is overwhelmingly focused on girls and women. -There is a monopoly of victimhood, says Chris Dolan, Director at the Refugee Law Project at the School of Law, Makerere University.

Women, Power & Peacemaking in Africa

7 Oct 2013 | Seminar
Post-conflict countries in Africa have doubled the rates of female legislative representation compared with countries that have not undergone conflict. Professor Aili Mari Tripp compares changes in women's rights in Uganda, Liberia, Congo and Angola.

Transforming Climate Change Governance

26 Aug 2013 | Roundtable

Waiting and Watching

10 Jul 2013 | From Cairo
People in Cairo are split these days. Some blame the army for conspiring against the Muslim Brotherhood in a coup; others on the other hand salute the army, and chant "The People and the Army are One Hand".

The military chooses the people

27 Jun 2013 | Egypt crisis
The Egyptian military has a long history of safeguarding the Egyptian people from oppressive regimes. As the Morsi-government fails to curb the economic decline and growing unemployment, the Egyptian people once again turn their attention to the military in hope of rescue.

Arab Spring to Sudan?

25 Jun 2013 | From Khartoum:
There is an appetite for change. Discontent against Bashir is widespread. The popular sentiment rumbling in Khartoum is that Bashir will fall sooner or later.

Elections for what? The role of ballots in North Africa's political transitions

8 May 2013
The importance of electoral institutions is growing in North Africa as a consequence of the 2011 Arab uprisings. Four international specialists discuss the lessons of the recent electoral experiences. Have elections resulted in new forms of authoritarianism or are they harbingers of genuine democratic transitions?

When humanitarian action becomes politics

28 Feb 2013
The idea that you can incorporate humanitarian action into political agendas usually backfires, says Antonio Donini from the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University.

CSR in the Arab World: A mission impossible?

25 Feb 2013
CSR is on the rise in the Arab World, but the initiators find it difficult to root the concept beyond the ranks of state-owned enterprises and crony capitalists. - When CSR projects are initiated in Arab countries, they do not enter an empty void. Many businessmen have pre-existing conceptions of social responsibility, originated in Islam, says CMI-researcher Kjetil Selvik.

Navigating societies in transition

29 Jan 2013
How do military-civilian relations stamp societies in upheaval and conflict? What role do they play in the transition to democracy? A new CMI project on military-civilian relations compares Latin America and the Middle East.

New CMI project on Latin-America and the Middle East

18 Jan 2013
The Norwegian MFA has granted 11,567 million NOK for the next three years for a CMI research project on military-civilian relations in Latin-America and the Middle East.

Angola: Growth, development & inequality - and what role for Norway?

4 Dec 2012 | Seminar
How is Angola transforming growth into development? How to balance benefits to Angola's citizens and foreign investors?

Iranian industry in limbo

26 Nov 2012
A thwarted industrial policy, poor economic governance and external tensions have brought Iran's industrial class to the brink of extinction. They are trapped in between the revolutionary rhetoric of the Islamic republic and unfulfilled attempts of economic pragmatism.

Assessing corruption risks critical for success of REDD

7 Sep 2012 | Op-ed
Learning the right lessons from past experiences with corruption in the forest sector is crucial to prevent broad undermining of REDD+.

Etiopias nye sterke mann

27 Aug 2012 | Kronikk
Etter dødsfallet til Etiopias sterke mann, statsminister Meles Zenawi, er det spådd eit maktvakuum i landet. Visestatsminister Hailemariam Dessalegn tek over som statsminister fram til neste val i 2015. Vil han klare å fylle rolla som leiar for eit av Afrikas mest folkerike land i ein region prega av konflikt og ustabilitet? Og vil han klare å unngå å bli trekt inn i den indre maktkampen som no går føre seg i regjeringspartiet?

Etiopias nye sterke mann

27 Aug 2012 | Kronikk
Etter dødsfallet til Etiopias sterke mann, statsminister Meles Zenawi, er det spådd eit maktvakuum i landet. Visestatsminister Hailemariam Dessalegn tek over som statsminister fram til neste val i 2015. Vil han klare å fylle rolla som leiar for eit av Afrikas mest folkerike land i ein region prega av konflikt og ustabilitet? Og vil han klare å unngå å bli trekt inn i den indre maktkampen som no går føre seg i regjeringspartiet?

The polarisation to come

14 Aug 2012 | Angola Election 2012
On 31st of August voters in Angola will elect a new parliament and a president. It is already clear that the dice are loaded. Despite the low quality of the elections and the machinations of the incumbent - is Angola on the path to democracy?

Women's representation in African Parliaments: Empowering women?

29 Jun 2012
Electoral gender quotas have changed the representation of women in politics. Africa is pioneering. Rwanda is currently the only country in the world with more women than men in the national parliament.

Democratization and quota policies in Africa

14 Jun 2012
What is the relationship between democratization and quota policies in Africa?

Democratic Imperatives

8 Jun 2012
A new report documents measures that can make government and politics more responsive, more accountable and more transparent and enable citizens to take a greater role in governing themselves.

Migration into resource-rich Gulf economies

3 May 2012 | Seminar
Halvor Mehlum and Gry Østenstad on the political economy of migration policies.

The power of the masses

30 Mar 2012
Last year, discontent voters managed to get rid of Zambia's contested president Rupiah Banda. What is the success formula for overthrowing a regime based on electoral authoritarianism? Part of the answer lies in the urban masses.

Breakfast Forum: The Malawi Slippage - From democracy to autocracy

14 Mar 2012 | Breakfast Forum
Frøy Gudbrandsen (UiB) in conversation with Malawi activist Rafiq Hajat and Arne Tostensen (CMI)

Flammable societies?

24 Jan 2012
Despite the discovery of oil and gas, most countries rich in natural resources are still economically troubled and conflict-ridden. -Resources are not only tied to financial value, but also to social identity and cosmology. Current explanations of the resource curse fail to consider historical grievances and the significance of social territorialism, says John-Andrew McNeish in his newly published book Flammable Societies: Studies on the Socio-Economics of Oil and Gas.

What will two Norwegian ministers achieve in Angola?

21 Nov 2011
Angola suffers from gross inequality, widespread poverty and a reputation for authoritarianism and corruption. However, this does not scare off foreign investors. The former Portuguese colony is enormously rich in natural resources, and is a main destination for Norwegian investments in Africa.

Strengthening Norwegian-Brazilian cooperation

15 Nov 2011
A new collaboration project between Chr. Michelsen Institute and the University of Brasilia strengthens the academic bonds between Norway and Brazil. The project aims to explore the role of armed forces in transitions to democracy.