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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

Senior Researcher (social anthropology)

15 Jun 2016 | Vacancy
CMI seeks an experienced social anthropologist who can strengthen the institute’s disciplinary, thematic and regional expertise, and is keen to work within thematically oriented, multi-disciplinary research teams.

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.

Assisted return not a permanent solution for all asylum seekers

3 May 2016 | Blog post
Many asylum seekers who choose assisted return are from a country destroyed by war and conflict. More than half of those who return to countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq plan to migrate again. Assisted return is a viable type of support to assist with the return, but is not sufficient to prevent large numbers of people once again leaving insecure countries of return. Only minor changes are required, however, to increase the potential for permanent return.

Evaluating assisted return

2 May 2016
Many asylum seekers who opt for assisted return come home to countries ruined by war and conflicts. More than half of the persons who return to countries like Afghanistan and Iraq plan to remigrate. Small and uncostly changes in the assisted return programme can increase the chances that people stay.

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.

Når grensene stenges. Flyktningkrisen i Midtøsten

6 Apr 2016
Maja Janmyr (UiB), Are Knudsen (CMI) og Kjersti Gravelsæter Berg (UiB) i samtale om flyktningkrisen i Midtøsten.

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).

Oil regimes on the verge of collapse

11 Mar 2016 | Breakfast Forum
When oil prices fell in 2014, Angola and Venezuela lost half of their income base. Crisis followed. Why has it been so hard for these countries to reform their political economies?

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.

What is terrorism?

2 Mar 2016 | Open lecture
Terrorism dominates the news as violent attacks hurt random civilians and provoke strong reactions and condemnations across the globe. Fighting terror is high on the political agenda. But what is terrorism?

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.

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?

The Syrian War

15 Feb 2016
The Syrian chaos triggered in 2011 is presently the world’s #1 problem. Join UofB's one day conference on the Syrian War on 15 February.

In memory of Fredrik Barth

28 Jan 2016
Fredrik Barth, one of the world's most prominent anthropologists, passed away last Sunday at an age of 87. He taught us how to think about and analyze cultural complexity, ethnic relations, liveliood systems, ecology, politics and religion.

Leveraging open government for engaging citizens and improving transparency

25 Jan 2016
A series of case studies on the implementation of Open Government Partnership (OGP) reforms found that civil society participation fosters successful implementation, and that the limited capacity of local governments and civil society actors can be an obstacle for reform. Political commitment and strong coordination at the country level also improve the implementation record of OGP National Action Plans.

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.

Can REDD+ be corruption-free?

11 Dec 2015
Manipulating baseline forest data, double-counting project benefits, and skewing monitoring schemes have been known as likely corruption risks for REDD+. But how do these risks map onto the actual political economy of REDD+ implementation in selected pilot countries?

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.

The best way to tax natural resources

24 Nov 2015
-A 'good' natural resource tax regime is one that does not undermine - or strangle - the development of the ordinary tax system, says CMI researcher Odd-Helge Fjeldstad. Different segments of the tax system 'interfere' with each other. If the most resourceful companies and individuals do not contribute with tax revenue due to tax avoidance and exemptions, this will affect the taxpaying behaviour of others.

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?

Final conference and plans for 2016

5 Nov 2015
CMI held the third and final conference in the “Everyday Maneuvers” project and plans for a more intensive publication and project development workshop in 2016.

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?

How stable is the Arab oil state?

3 Nov 2015
Michael Alvarez in conversatio with Kjetil Selvik and Bjørn Olav Utvik.

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.

Angola’s Financial Sector: A Roundtable Report

30 Oct 2015
Angola's rapid economic growth over the last decade has been driven almost exclusively by the oil sector: 98% of Angola’s exports are linked to this sector. Yet, Angola has also seen explosive growth of its financial sector. Why has the Angolan financial sector grown so rapidly? How are Angola’s natural resource sector and its finance sector linked? How does Angola’s financial sector interface with the global economy?

The way ahead for Tunisia

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

Contested Powers: The Politics of Energy and Development in Latin America

8 Oct 2015 | Book Launch
The key to addressing climate change and sustainable development around the globe is to first address the relationship between political and financial power and energy use and resources. Meet the editors John-Andrew McNeish, Axel Borchgrevink and Owen Logan.

Steps to limit the endemic corruption around junior mining companies

4 Oct 2015
High environmental risks and questionable development outcomes characterise the mining industry. A myriad of small companies operate in competitive, high-risk, high-reward settings with weak institutions that fail to enforce regulations. Such conditions are highly conducive to corruption, violence, and environmental destruction.

The European Commission pledges to do more with development partners to tackle corruption

2 Oct 2015
The U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre´s call for more EU action to curb corruption in non-EU partner countries hit a European nerve.