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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?

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.

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.

Stopping illegal trafficking of endangered species requires combatting corruption

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

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.

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.

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.’

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?

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.

Angola: Magnificent and Beggar Land – Angola since the civil war

17 Mar 2015 | Book launch
Den verdensledende forfatteren og Angola-forskeren Ricardo Soares de Oliveira, snakker om sin kritikerroste nye bok ”Magnificent and Beggar Land – Angola since the civil war.”

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?

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.

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.

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.

Key stakeholders gathered to discuss Tanzania’s future as a petro-state

27 Oct 2014
Close to 200 representatives from the government, academia, civil society and media were present when CMI, REPOA, and the National Bureau of Statistics presented their new research programme Tanzania as a future petro-state at the Hyatt Hotel in Dar es Salaam Friday 24 October.

Increasing local ownership, reducing administrative costs

27 Oct 2014
A new report concludes that Norwegian umbrella and network organisations are effective in building capacity in the South, but are cost-inefficient and have poor systems for monitoring and evaluations. Researchers recommend a channeling of more funds to funding mechanisms for civil society in the South rather than leaning on umbrella and network organisations in Norway.

Drone Wars

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

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.

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.

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.

Striving for change

30 Jun 2014
Reem Abbas is impatient. -We are always told that we have to wait. Building the nation needs to come first, women´s rights come second. The young generation of activists is tired of being told to wait, she says.

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.

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.

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.

Accountability for leadership participation in universal crimes and the role of judges

22 Apr 2014
How can we understand and ensure accountability for heinous crimes linked to power structures in society - including core international crimes such as genocide and crimes against humanity?

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?

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.

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.

Protests on an empty stomach

25 Feb 2014
During the Egyptian uprisings against president Mubarak in 2011, people demanded bread, freedom and social justice. Bread is the daily staple for millions of Egyptians, and came to symbolize the demand for a fairer economic system. But does food insecurity necessarily cause social unrest and conflict?

Cancelled: Islamic Reform in South Asia

12 Feb 2014 | BreakfastForum
Caroline Osella (SOAS) and Knut Axel Jacobsen (UiB) in conversation with Åse Gilje Østensen (Royal Norwegian Naval Academy).

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.

Khartoum

20 Jan 2014
Khartoum remains an island of peace amidst armed conflict in many corners of the country.

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?