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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.

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.

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?

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?

What you need to know about extreme poverty

5 Oct 2015 | SDGs
End poverty in all its forms everywhere is goal number one in the new Sustainable Develelopment Goals. Magnus Hatlebakk explains what extreme poverty is.

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.

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?

Stopping illegal trafficking of endangered species requires combatting corruption

3 Sep 2015
Corruption and illegal trafficking endanger the world’s biodiversity

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.

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?

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.

Media Development, Cross-cultural Communication and Public Diplomacy

12 Jun 2015 | Conference on China-Africa Communication

Jobs for the Poor: The Role of Private Sector Development

2 Jun 2015
Minister EEA and EU Affairs, Vidar Helgesen, presents Norwegian priorities. Mary Hallward-Driemeier (World Bank) shares findings on expanding job opportunities in developing countries. Followed by panel debate.

Magnificent and Beggar Land - Angola since the Civil War

22 May 2015 | Book launch
'We live in “an oligarch’s ideal world”. Western countries barely even pretend to disapprove of kleptocrats any more.’

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?

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.

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.

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.

Multinational accounting firms: On both sides of the table

23 Jan 2015
Big accounting firms advice multinational companies on tax loopholes and lobby for tax exemptions. At the same time they advice governments in developing countries on tax reforms and engage in government task forces. A new research project delve deeper into the dual role of multinational accounting firms.

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.

Hylland Eriksen joins CMI

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

CMI researchers appointed to Afghanistan Review Commission

21 Nov 2014
The Norwegian government has appointed a committee that will evaluate Norway’s engagement in Afghanistan. The main objective is to review and draw lessons from the operation. Senior researchers Astri Suhrke and Torunn Wimpelmann at CMI will be part of the Commission.

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.

New Director for U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre

29 Sep 2014
Boris Divjak started as Director of our U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre in September. He wants to reach even more practitioners from the development community.

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.

José Eduardo Agualusa

19 Sep 2014 | African Authors
Join us in exploring the prize-winning Angolan author José Eduardo Agualusa's Africa, where the mundane and the fantastic, the tragic and the comic, fact and fiction merge in an artful mix of poetry, politics and personal confessions.

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.

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.

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.

How to convince nurses to work in rural areas

30 Jun 2014
Tanzanian nurses are reluctant to work in rural areas. - Offering further education and free housing may convince many more to move to remote areas, says CMI director Ottar Mæstad.

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.

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?

Promoting human rights in ever changing contexts

31 Mar 2014
Uganda's new anti-homosexuality law has disheartened the international human rights community. Would it have been possible to foresee Museveni's approval of the law? In an ideal world, actors promoting human rights can design projects and interventions and see them through with norms and laws in mind. In the real world, where politics and erratic decisions come into play, human rights work is extremely challenging.

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?