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Ending child marriages: Not only a question of law

4 May 2016 | CMI Field Notes
The new Marriage Act in Malawi has been hailed for raising the legally prescribed age of marriage to 18, yet the truth is that there is no absolute minimum age of marriage in Malawi and that legal inconsistencies threaten the enforcement of the law.

Assisted return not a permanent solution for all asylum seekers

3 May 2016 | Blog post
Many asylum seekers who choose assisted return are from a country destroyed by war and conflict. More than half of those who return to countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq plan to migrate again. Assisted return is a viable type of support to assist with the return, but is not sufficient to prevent large numbers of people once again leaving insecure countries of return. Only minor changes are required, however, to increase the potential for permanent return.

Reduce judicial corruption and improve access to justice for all

26 Apr 2016
Corrupt judicial systems undermine reforms and are a major impediment to ensuring access to justice and human rights for ordinary citizens across the world, says a new report published by the United Nations Development Programme and U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre on 8 April. Titled, A Transparent and Accountable Judiciary to Deliver Justice for All, the report cites survey data suggesting that the public perceive the judiciary as the second most corrupt public institution, after the police.

Honduras slipping back into authoritarian rule

4 Mar 2016
Honduras has become one of the world’s most dangerous countries for activists. In the early hours of 3 March yet another prominent activist was murdered. Indigenous leader and human rights and environmental activist Bertha Cáceres was shot by unknown gunmen in her own house.

Legislative Candidacy in Electoral Authoritarian Regimes. Evidence from Tanzania

26 Feb 2016
Authoritarian regimes is the most common regime type aside from democracy. In these settings, the ruling party permits opposition but stifles their chances to win. Why do individuals run for legislative office on opposition versus ruling party tickets in such regimes? asks Keith Weghorst, Post-doctoral fellow at Vanderbuilt University in this seminar.

Political Buddhism, ‘Unethical Conversions’ and Religious Freedom in Sri Lanka

25 Feb 2016 | PhD Defence
The Anti-Conversion Bill was never adopted in Sri Lanka, but the heated debate surrounding the law proposal in 2004 points to the dilemmas of proselytism. How far can you go to convert someone to your religion?

The Syrian War

15 Feb 2016
The Syrian chaos triggered in 2011 is presently the world’s #1 problem. Join UofB's one day conference on the Syrian War on 15 February.

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.

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?

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.

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?

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.

How to curb corruption in emergencies

4 Jun 2015
At lunchtime 25 April Nepal was struck by a devastating earthquake. Following high death tolls, numerous charitable organisations scurried to the South Asian country in order to provide humanitarian aid on the ground. The United Nations alone made a flash appeal for close to half a billion USD in emergency support.

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?

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?

The Iran-US nuclear agreement: Beginning of a new era?

6 May 2015
If the nuclear framework agreement is to be the start of something bigger, the US and other Western countries need a vision beyond the fight against terrorism, argues Walter Posch at the National Defence Academy in Vienna. Recognizing the role of energy security and economy in the region may be key to long-lasting change.

Iran and the West: Coexisting and competing with an ideological challenge

9 Apr 2015
Iran's foreign policy is based on revolutionary, Islamist and nationalist principles. Contradictions are solved according to "expedient interests of the system." What are the prospects of reconciliation with the West?

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.

IS: Who are the Western Recruits?

11 Feb 2015 | BreakfastForum
Yousuf Assidiq from Minotenk and Truls Tønnessen, FFI in conversation with Åse Gilje Østensen.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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?

Out of poverty with inclusive policy

17 Jun 2014
Nepal consists of more than 100 different castes and ethnic groups. A recent social inclusion survey reveals deep social exclusion, discrimination and immense differences between the different groups. Will Nepal succeed in lifting the poorest castes and ethnic groups in the country out of poverty using inclusive policies?

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.

P4P: Good intentions can go wrong

30 May 2014
In an effort to improve maternal and child health, Tanzanian authorities implemented a pay for performance (P4P) scheme in 2009. The more women the health workers convinced to give birth at health facilities, the bigger bonus they would get. The number of women giving birth at health facilities did increase, but the new scheme also had adverse effects.

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?

Impossible to measure the effect of Norwegian aid

4 Apr 2014 | New study
Norwegian aid projects have not been designed or implemented in a way that makes it possible to evaluate them, concludes a recent study of the Norwegian Aid Administration.

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.

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.

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?

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.

Security in public spaces

29 Jan 2014 | Breakfast Forum

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.

Tragiske forviklinger

3 Jan 2014 | Utenriksanalyse
Voldshandlingene i Sør-Sudan skyldes rå maktkamp mer enn etniske motsetninger, skriver Gunnar Sørbø, seniorforsker ved CMI, i Morgenbladet.