Search in news

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.

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?

A new push for peace in Colombia

4 Nov 2015
A conversation between Diego Martínez, General Secretary of the Permanent Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Colombia, and Elin Skaar, Senior Researcher, CMI

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.

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.

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.

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?

Mid-term review of two Tanzanian human rights organisations

22 Sep 2015 | Norad: Mid-term review of two Tanzanian HR org.

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.

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.

Bergen Exchanges on Law and Social Transformation

17 Aug 2015
Welcome to a week of deliberation on effects of law and legal mobilization in Bergen, Norway 17-21 August 2015!

Seven months of war in the favela

13 Aug 2015 | CMI field notes
In the past, Brazilian intellectuals have coined the term “metaphor of war” to account for the representations of the crime and violence in Rio de Janeiro. The logic of war is at the very core of Rio’s pacification of the favelas, which in practice is carried out through armed confrontations between the police and armed groups within pacified favelas, where the main objective (on both sides), in spite of the rhetoric of peace, is still to kill the enemy.

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.

Kindergardens and shootouts

6 Jul 2015 | Blogpost from Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro:
So far, kindergartens and shootouts have by and large been completely unrelated issues in my world. Not anymore. Now, for the past days, every morning around 7.30, I have slowed down and scouted cautiously: Does anyone seem tense, watchful? Are there any police troops in a state of mobilization hiding somewhere close? Are there any heavy fireworks all of a sudden, alerts of that something is about to happen?

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?

Gender, sex and religious freedom in the context of secular law

19 Jun 2015 | Roundtable
Why and how do discussions about religious freedom and secularism coalesce around questions of gender and sexuality? What is the relationship between the regulation of gender and sexuality and the regulation of religion in modern secular societies?

Law and religious (un) freedom in the global era

18 Jun 2015
Is promoting "religious freedom" as a legally enforceable "right" the best guarantee for the free exercise of religion and for the accommodation of difference within deeply plural societies? This conference explores religion in and beyond law.

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?

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.

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?

100 years since the deportation: “The Armenians are a nation of widows and orphans”

24 Apr 2015
Today, Armenia commemorates the starting date of the massacre on the Armenian people. On 24 April 1915, leaders of the Ottoman Empire arrested Armenian intellectuals and leaders in modern day Istanbul.

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?

Political Terror: How do we measure and deal with human insecurity?

16 Mar 2015 | The Chr. Michelsen lecture 2015
International human rights law promises to protect “everyone.” Yet, there is no country in the world where citizens enjoy the human rights protection promised to them by law. Professor Mark Gibney will speak to the importance of measuring political violence and how it has been carried out.

Criminalizing FGM in Sudan: A never ending story?

5 Mar 2015 | CMI field notes
After decades of efforts to end female genital mutilation (FGM) in Sudan, the prevalence of the practice is still staggering. So far, attempts to criminalize FGM have been futile, but there is an election coming up. Will a new national assembly open up for law reform?

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.

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.

The dubious effects of economic growth

22 Dec 2014
Ethiopian women are flocking to the labour market making money of their own. Does this mean that there will be more gender equality? With a grant from the Research Council of Norway's scheme for Young Talented Researchers, CMI’s Lovise Aalen will lead a new project studying the impact of economic growth on the lives of women in developmental states.

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?

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.

African Transformation

29 Oct 2014 | Seminar
If African economies are to transform, they need more than growth - they need growth with depth.

New Horizons: Law Reform and Gender Justice in the Greater Middle East

21 Oct 2014
This conference invites scholars and activists to present papers on law reform particularly within the area of family law and criminal law. How, when and where are women activists using law and law reform as a tool to create gender justice in the greater Middle East?

A tale of three cities

29 Sep 2014
Maputo has been depicted as a ‘divided city’. How do the people living there imagine and engage with the city’s different urban spaces? A CMI research project, culminating in the film 'Maputo emergente. Visualising an African divided city' to be made by the Mozambican film-company ANIMA, explores this issue.

Drone Wars

26 Sep 2014 | Breakfast forum
Pakistani lawyer Shahzad Akbad and former US drone pilot Brandon Bryant in conversation with Åse Gilje Østensen.

Angola and Norway - the perfect partnership? Business, politics and the challenge of human rights

23 Sep 2014 | The Angola Conference 2014
LIVE STREAMING NOW Angola is Norway's "biggest and most important economic partner in Africa" says the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Does Norway's activity in Angola contribute to Angola's stability and development over time?

Store penger, tett tåke: Norge, Statoil & Angola

22 Sep 2014 | Angola konferansen
LIVE STREAMING NOW Angola er Norges største økonomiske samarbeidspartner i Afrika. Bidrar norske investeringer til utvikling? Fellesrådet for Afrika og Chr. Michelsens Institutt (CMI) arrangerer en serie seminarer og debatter om Norges engasjement i Angola i tre norske byer i september.

Following guidelines saves lives

28 Aug 2014
Pneumonia is the biggest child killer in developing countries. Simple medical procedures can improve diagnosis and save lives. Yet, studies show that many clinicians do not perform these procedures. Why?

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?