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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 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.

Results Based Financing: The health system perspective

24 Nov 2015 | Regional workshop
Many experts see the introduction of results based financing (RBF) schemes as an opportunity to strengthen, or even reform, health systems; however, they are also a potential source of new risks and challenges that are not well understood.

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?

Towards a common standard for development agencies’ integrity systems

9 Nov 2015
An eventual OECD integrity guideline for development agencies should emphasise communication around ethics regimes and control systems, assessment and management of corruption risks, and moving towards joint responses in donors’ integrity systems.

How stable is the Arab oil state?

3 Nov 2015
Michael Alvarez in conversatio with Kjetil Selvik and Bjørn Olav Utvik.

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.

The way ahead for Tunisia

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

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.

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

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.

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.

Development aid: A blind spot for EU anti-corruption efforts

10 Jul 2015
The European Union needs to develop a coherent strategy and invest in tackling corruption outside its own neighbourhood.

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?

Media Development, Cross-cultural Communication and Public Diplomacy

12 Jun 2015 | Conference on China-Africa Communication

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

African Transformation

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

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.

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?

Shaping the political arena

22 Sep 2014 | Literary salon
Michael Alvarez in conversation with David and Ruth Collier

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.

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.

Avoiding Africa's Oil Curse

23 May 2014
East Africa is the global oil and gas industry's hottest frontier. Several west and central African states have already experienced petroleum booms of their own. What can East Africa learn from their experiences?

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?