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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?

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?

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.

Education fees in Nepal give households a hard time

7 Oct 2015
During my fieldwork in Ilam district, Eastern Nepal, I had the chance to visit many different homes, and to experience parts of the everyday life of Nepali families. So far, in every single stay, I was impressed by the children’s motivation for doing homework until late in the evening, and their great ability to speak English. One of them, a 4,5-years old was copying mathematical rules and letters several times, “just for fun, as he is doing it every evening”, as his older brother told me.

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.

The European Commission pledges to do more with development partners to tackle corruption

2 Oct 2015
The U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre´s call for more EU action to curb corruption in non-EU partner countries hit a European nerve.

Mid-term review of two Tanzanian human rights organisations

22 Sep 2015 | Norad: Mid-term review of two Tanzanian HR org.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

African Transformation

29 Oct 2014 | Seminar
If African economies are to transform, they need more than growth - they need growth with depth.

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?

Drone Wars

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

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.

Following guidelines saves lives

28 Aug 2014
Pneumonia is the biggest child killer in developing countries. Simple medical procedures can improve diagnosis and save lives. Yet, studies show that many clinicians do not perform these procedures. Why?

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.

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.

Non-food challenges to nutrition

6 Jun 2014 | Open lecture
How politics interfere with nutritional programs

Women's and children's rights and health

5 Jun 2014 | Open lecture
Rethinking gender equality and sustainable economic development.

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?

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).