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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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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?

Sudan after the elections

19 May 2015 | Sudan Week

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.

Corruption hunters - investigating and prosecuting financial crime

11 May 2015 | Panel discussion
Norad’s international corruption hunters network meets in Bergen. Hear how they work to prosecute corrupt criminals.

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.

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 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?

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.

Regulating religion in secular Europe: Criminalizing religious practice?

12 Nov 2014 | BreakfastForum
Christine Jacobsen, SKOK, and Malcom Langford, CMI, in conversation with Åse Gilje Østensen.

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?

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.

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.

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.

Protecting Civilians in Refugee Camps

22 May 2014
Rather than serving as civilian and humanitarian safe havens, refugee camps are notorious for their insecurity. When a violation occurs, to which actors shall responsibility be allocated?

Fairness and migration

7 May 2014 | Let's be fair
Open lecture with Manuel Vásquez (Professor of Religion at the University of Florida).

Prosecuting leaders for universal crimes before domestic courts

23 Apr 2014
Public event with Naomi Roht-Arriaza (University of California), Elin Skaar (CMI) and Harmen van der Wilt (University of Amsterdam).

Understanding Universal Crimes

22 Apr 2014
A dialogue between Terje Einarsen (University of Bergen) and Rob Currie (Dalhousie University)

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.

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.

Homophobic lawfare in Uganda and beyond

25 Mar 2014 | BreakfastForum
Åse Gilje Østensen (Royal Norwegian Naval Academy) in conversation with Malcolm Langford (Norwegian Centre for Human Rights and Chr. Michelsen Institute) and Siri Gloppen (UiB/CMI).

Women's struggles in reverse?

17 Mar 2014
What does the future hold for Afghanistan's women?

Corruption, grabbing and development: Real world challenges

13 Feb 2014 | Book launch in Oslo
Grabbing is a major obstacle to development. It takes different forms in different countries, and standardised anti-corruption efforts fail. Experienced practitioners and researchers present corrupt practices from around the world challenging anti-corruption efforts and explaining why they have failed.

To pay or not to pay

28 Jan 2014
Taxpayer compliance in Sub-Saharan Africa is closely linked to peoples' views of the government's ability to deliver on important services, the fairness of the system, and consequences of tax evasion shows findings from the recent Afrobarometer survey.

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.

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?

Monopoly of victimhood

28 Nov 2013
In Uganda, data suggests that not only women and girls are sexually assaulted in times of conflict and war, but also men and boys. Yet, male rape victims are almost invisible in interventions and even debates on conflict related sexual violence. Attention is overwhelmingly focused on girls and women. -There is a monopoly of victimhood, says Chris Dolan, Director at the Refugee Law Project at the School of Law, Makerere University.

New projects to CMI

28 Nov 2013
CMI has won a framework agreement with the Norwegian embassy in Tanzania to conduct 7-10 in-depth studies on aid, public finance, natural resources, land and agriculture, macroeconomics the next 4 years.

The International Criminal Court: Global justice or unfair treatment of Africans?

27 Nov 2013 | BreakfastForum
Senior Researcher Gunnar M. Sørbø (CMI) and Professor of law Terje Einarsen (UiB) in conversation with Åse Gilje Østensen.