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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.

The way ahead for Tunisia

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

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.

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?

Sudan after the elections

19 May 2015 | Sudan Week

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.

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.

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.

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 Election in Brazil

15 Oct 2014 | Brakfast Forum

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.

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.

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.

Which way, Erdogan?

9 Apr 2014 | BrreakfastForum
Where is the Turkish democracy heading? Kjetil Fosshagen (UIB) and Acar Kutay (Rokkansenteret) in conversation with Åse Gilje Østensen.

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.

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.

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?

Can Ghana withstand the resource curse?

26 Nov 2013
Ghana discovered oil in 2010. The country now produces 100 000 barrels a day, amounting to an income of 1 billion dollars a year. Are the country's institutions strong enough to withstand the resource curse? -Yes, says Inge Amundsen, senior researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.

Organizing their way to gender equality

25 Oct 2013
Ugandan women have organized themselves to the core of national politics. What lessons are there to learn from the Ugandan experience?

Ethiopia challenging Norwegian aid politics

30 Sep 2013
Ethiopian authorities are tightening the grip on political opponents, the Muslim minority and the media. Human Rights Watch describes the situation as alarming. The majority party in the soon to be Norwegian government has signaled cuts in aid to countries that do not respect human rights. Will they sacrifice Norwegian-Ethiopian relations on the altar of human rights?

The military chooses the people

27 Jun 2013 | Egypt crisis
The Egyptian military has a long history of safeguarding the Egyptian people from oppressive regimes. As the Morsi-government fails to curb the economic decline and growing unemployment, the Egyptian people once again turn their attention to the military in hope of rescue.

Arab Spring to Sudan?

25 Jun 2013 | From Khartoum:
There is an appetite for change. Discontent against Bashir is widespread. The popular sentiment rumbling in Khartoum is that Bashir will fall sooner or later.

Iran Election 2013

14 Jun 2013 | BreakfastForum

Elections for what? The role of ballots in North Africa's political transitions

8 May 2013
The importance of electoral institutions is growing in North Africa as a consequence of the 2011 Arab uprisings. Four international specialists discuss the lessons of the recent electoral experiences. Have elections resulted in new forms of authoritarianism or are they harbingers of genuine democratic transitions?

Women's battles outside the Western feminist tradition

22 Mar 2013
The late Hugo Chavez proclaimed himself a feminist and opened up new arenas for women's activism in Venezuela. Poor women challenged their traditional roles as mothers and wives and took a collective step into the public sphere. Yet, their struggle is not so much about women's liberation from a Western feminist perspective as it is a fight for alleviating poverty and opening up new spaces for women's political participation.

Christmas in a Caracas barrio

20 Dec 2012 | Blogging from Caracas
The streets, shops, metros and buses are congested like a school of mackerel in syrup by people out spending their December wages. It is high-volume Christmas preparations.

What happens if Chávez dies? (And why do they love him so much?)

10 Dec 2012
Plaza Bolívar in the center of Caracas was filled with people today. Most people wore red t-shirts with images of the Chávez. A boy was sitting on his father´s shoulders, waiving with a doll of Chávez clad in military outfit.

Iranian industry in limbo

26 Nov 2012
A thwarted industrial policy, poor economic governance and external tensions have brought Iran's industrial class to the brink of extinction. They are trapped in between the revolutionary rhetoric of the Islamic republic and unfulfilled attempts of economic pragmatism.

Women make revolutions not tea

14 Oct 2012 | Liv Tønnessen blogs from Sudan:
For the first time in Sudanese history, 25% of the parliamentarians in the Assembly are women.

The polarisation to come

14 Aug 2012 | Angola Election 2012
On 31st of August voters in Angola will elect a new parliament and a president. It is already clear that the dice are loaded. Despite the low quality of the elections and the machinations of the incumbent - is Angola on the path to democracy?

Women's representation in African Parliaments: Empowering women?

29 Jun 2012
Electoral gender quotas have changed the representation of women in politics. Africa is pioneering. Rwanda is currently the only country in the world with more women than men in the national parliament.

Democratic Imperatives

8 Jun 2012
A new report documents measures that can make government and politics more responsive, more accountable and more transparent and enable citizens to take a greater role in governing themselves.

Election in Burma - now what?

18 Apr 2012 | Breakfast Forum
Frøy Gudbrandsen in conversation with Burmese democracy activist Kaythi Aye and Harald Bøckman (Norwegian Burma Committee)

The power of the masses

30 Mar 2012
Last year, discontent voters managed to get rid of Zambia's contested president Rupiah Banda. What is the success formula for overthrowing a regime based on electoral authoritarianism? Part of the answer lies in the urban masses.

Faith-based food justice

6 Jan 2012 | Nefissa Naguib blogs from Cairo:
Our faith drives us. We do our work with respect and humility. Our aim is to facilitate the distribution of food for every Egyptian who needs it, without discrimination between women or men, Muslim or Christian."

Pitfalls of South African Democracy

6 Oct 2011 | Seminar
The political advances made in South Africa since the end of Apartheid have been formidable. However, there are challenges. There is a lack of a viable and strong civic tradition in the country.

The politics of Africa's urban youth: Populism, music and anger

3 Oct 2011 | Seminar and panel debate
Poor and frustrated youth in African cities usually figure in the spotlight as violent and frightening elements during riots or elections. The seminar and panel debate will discuss music as a form of political expression originating from the youth themselves, and populist attempts of political parties to mobilise the urban youth. Are they victims of manipulation by unscrupulous politicians or agents of political change?

Mass Media under Fire: Making Sense of State Attacks on the Media in Sub-Saharan Africa

27 Jun 2011 | CMI Seminar
Peter Von Doepp examines the direct effects of elections, military interventions, constitutional referenda, and food crises on government interference with private media outlets.

Democratic Renewal in Bangladesh

16 Jun 2011 | Seminar:
Democracy is fragile in Bangladesh. The new 2008 government promised change in politics and governance. Professor Rounaq Jahan, from the University of Colombia, explores the challenges faced by the new government.

A choice between cancer and AIDS?

5 Jun 2011 | Election in Peru:
On June 5th, a new Peruvian president will be elected in a runoff between Ollanta Humala and Keiko Fujimori. The two candidates, for different reasons, raises concerns writes Camila Gianella.

Afghan leaders see need for US to make peace

27 May 2011 | With video: Hamish Nixon:
The Afghan conflict is driven by the impact and behaviour of international troops as well as the illegitimacy of the Afghan government.

Elections and Democracy in Africa

28 Apr 2011 | Presentation and debate
Lise Rakner, Helge Rønning and Lovise Aalen will presents results of their research project Elections and Democracy in Africa.