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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

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.

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).

Cleaning up oil spills barehanded

3 Mar 2016
An oil spill in Peru has left a trail of destruction. The company responsible for the oil spill offered indigenous people in the affected areas the equivalent of five NOK to clean up the mess barehanded.

Reporting back: Portraying people in the divided city of Maputo

1 Mar 2016
CMI researcher Inge Tvedten and his UiB colleague Bjørn Bertelsen took an unconventional grip in communicating their research project about people in Mozambique’s capital city Maputo. They let the Mozambican film company ANIMA go on an artistic spree with their research results. So far, more than 2000 people in the bairros have seen their film. This is one research project that will not just end up in a drawer.

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.

Mæstad continues as Director at CMI

23 Dec 2015
Ottar Mæstad has accepted an extension of his engagement and will soon enter his second term as Director at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.

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.

Education fees in Nepal give households a hard time

7 Oct 2015
During my fieldwork in Ilam district, Eastern Nepal, I had the chance to visit many different homes, and to experience parts of the everyday life of Nepali families. So far, in every single stay, I was impressed by the children’s motivation for doing homework until late in the evening, and their great ability to speak English. One of them, a 4,5-years old was copying mathematical rules and letters several times, “just for fun, as he is doing it every evening”, as his older brother told me.

Everyday Maneuvers: Military-Civilian Relations in Latin America and the Middle East

30 Sep 2015 | Conference
Military-civilian relationships go to the heart of a nation's culture and politics. Dr. Hazem Kandil from Cambridge University discusses Military, Security, and Politics in Regime Change. Prof. Catherine Lutz from Brown University will explore Military Power in Social Context. There will also be panel debates and young scholars' corner.

Maputo - Ethnography of a divided city

25 Sep 2015 | Movie preview
This is a film about a city. Maputo is a young African capital city emerging at the frenetic rhythm of the global financial demand. Some say it’s not meant for everyone. People from different backgrounds welcome us into their neighborhoods and help us see through their eyes the real Maputo.

Five things you need to know about the SDGs

25 Sep 2015
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been criticised for being too broad and vague. What are the chances of success?

Blurred lines: When the military becomes intertwined with civil society

17 Sep 2015
When general al-Sisi appeared wearing a suit for the first time, it caused public outrage among the middle class in Egypt. It also sparked immediate speculations of a presidential run. The suit became another symbol of the blurred lines between military and civilian relations.

How to prevent corruption in water management

24 Aug 2015
Corruption keeps people thirsty. It damages drinking supplies and sanitation and makes water inaccessible and unaffordable. Because dirty water can be deadly, cleaning up the water sector is a matter of life and death. Below is some advice for what donors can do to help prevent corruption in water management.

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.

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?

The balancing act of moderate Islamist politics in Tunisia

12 May 2015 | CMI Field Notes
Discussions over the role Islam should play in public life, are raging in Tunisia. A veiled Tunisair flight attendant caused uproar in the Tunisian Parliament recently, writes researcher Mari Norbakk from fieldwork in Tunis.

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.

Rethinking inequalities in Latin America

6 Mar 2015
Several countries in Latin American has managed to reduce economic inequalities during the past decade. Yet, various forms of social, economic and cultural inequalities continues to be a defining feature of Latin American societies.

The harsh realities of life

10 Feb 2015 | CMI Field Notes
I am in Malawi on a short field trip to interview some of the main actors involved in pro-women policy processes in the country. On the road to Mulanje from Blantyre in southern Malawi the scenery is beautiful. It is hard to imagine that only a couple of weeks ago this district was one of the worst-affected by the flood disaster.

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.

Creating successful businesswomen

4 Dec 2014
A field experiment from Tanzania shows that female entrepreneurs have less success than their male counterparts even after training and provision of grants. Why is it so hard to succeed for women running small businesses, and what will it take to shift the tide?

Hylland Eriksen joins CMI

27 Nov 2014
Professor Thomas Hylland Eriksen has accepted a position as Associated Senior Researcher at CMI.

Pastoralism under stress

25 Sep 2014
The separation of Sudan and South Sudan has caused severe problems for the pastoralists living in the borderlands between the two nations. What used to be common land is now subject to border disputes and strict regulations, but cattle and goats do not respect international borders.

Girls need career possibilities

28 Aug 2014
Family planning policies have been implemented around the world for decades, but with limited results. This is also the case in Tanzania where school dropout is a big problem and the majority of girls get pregnant by the age of 20. What are they doing wrong?

Researching the social dynamics of law  

21 Aug 2014
Law is increasingly center stage for political battles. Across the globe, people are going to court to claim their right to health or education, to fight for their right to engage in sex work or same-sex relationships - while others mobilize courts and legislatures to criminalize prostitution or homosexual practice.

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.

Human rights in Latin American

31 Mar 2014 | New RCN projects
CMI has received funding for one new project on Latin American democratisation and peace processes and one project on abortion rights lawfare.

Simón Bolívar- a man of war and a symbol of freedom

27 Mar 2014
During the recent revolution in Egypt, Simon Bolívar- a man from a different war, a different century and a different continent- was watched over and embraced by protestors as a symbol for their struggle. Why?

Didier Fassin: Humane, All Too Humane: Ethics and Politics of Humanitarianism

14 Mar 2014 | Chr. Michelsen lecture 2014
Humanitarianism has become a cosmopolitan language serving to qualify a broad diversity of actions, from aid to war, and of agents, either private or public. The lecture will propose an analysis of its ethical tensions and political predicaments.

Fairness and global inequality

13 Mar 2014 | Let's be fair:
With Ingvild Almås, NHH Norwegian School of Economics

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?

Changing conditions for fighting economic crime

30 Oct 2013 | Workshop
What constitutes an efficient criminal justice system? This international workshop with leading experts explores criteria for crime-preventive impacts through the criminal justice system.

Here come the girls: Empowering young Tanzanian women

28 Oct 2013
In Tanzania, there is a striking increase in the number of girls who get pregnant from the ages 16 to 20. Among 16 year olds, 11 percent get pregnant, whereas 61 percent of the 20 year old girls start childbearing. Why do so many girls have babies when they are this young? How does this affect their economic situation and possibilities of entering the job market?

There is no fuel!

1 Jul 2013 | From Cairo
It is no longer the Egyptian people against the current regime. The people have split into two fronts, opposing each other as pro- and anti-Morsi. People, who expect violence, expect it to arise from clashes between the groups, not between the security forces and the people...

Dodging the health problems of the poor

30 May 2013
Less than 10 percent of money spent on health research is spent on diseases that primarily affect 90 percent of the world's population, including the poorest. Are even the meager 10 percent spent wisely? No, says Professor David Sanders and argues that a fear of stepping into the realm of politics makes global health actors and donors prioritise wrongly.

Afghan women's rights activists caught in a crossfire

30 Apr 2013
Afghan women's rights activists are caught in a squeeze between the expectations of Western donors, demands from Islamists and their own ambitions. Advocates fear rejection of all attempts to promote women's rights and are forced to make compromises.

New Director of the CMI Board

22 Mar 2013
We need to understand the mechanisms that contribute to sustainable development and improvements in the life of people, says professor Lars G. Svåsand.

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.