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Ragnhild Louise Muriaas

Professor, Political Science
  • E-mailragnhild.muriaas@uib.no
  • Phone+47 55 58 94 48+47 965 14 015
  • Visitor Address
    Christies gate 17
    5007 Bergen
    Room 
    315
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7802
    5020 Bergen

Ragnhild Louise Muriaas is a Professor of Political Science. Her research focus is the interaction between gender and politics, with a particular focus on representation, political careers and political financing. She is currently the project leader of a ERC project (consolidator) titled SUCCESS Gender-Gap in Political Endurance: a novel political inclusion theory (2021-2026). In the first part of the project, data on different aspects of gender and political endurance will be collected in France, Norway and the United States.   

Her work has appeared in such journals as the American Political Science Review, Comparative Political Studies, African Affairs, Political Studies and International Political Science Review. Professor Muriaas is the editor of Gendered Electoral Financing: Money, Power and Representation in Comparative Perspective (2020) - with Vibeke Wang and Rainbow Murray and she has written the book Manipulating Political Decentralization: Africa's Inclusive Autocrats (2018) with Lovise Aalen.

From 2017 to 2021 she was research dean at the Faculty of Social Sciences and from 2018 to 2022 she was the leader of the board at the Centre for Women's and Gender Research (SKOK) at the University of Bergen.

Popular presentations of her work:

Washington Post - Monkey Cage: Does funding help encourage women to run for legislative office? with Amy Mazur and Season Hoard

Democracy in Africa: What can African parties do to address gendered funding inequalities? med Vibeke Wang og Gretchen Bauer

UCL The Constitution Unit: Levelling the playing field: gendered electoral financing of women candidates with Rainbow Murray and Vibeke Wang

Washington Post - Monkey Cage: Why campaigns to stop child marriage can backfire with Lindsay Benstead, Vibeke Wang, Boniface Dulani and Lise Rakner

The Money Talks: Women and Elections in Malawi film, can be freely downloaded, and you can read an interview about the making of the short film here.   

Spring 2022: 

AORG104 Politisk teori og styreformer (Political Theory and Regimes) 

 

Spring 2018 and 2019 (with Jana Belschner):

SAMPOL221 The Politics of Gender in a Global Perspective

 

Autumn 2016:

EUR 101 Introduction to European history and politics

 

Spring 2016:

SAMPOL 327 The Politics of Gender: Citizenship, Representation and Development

 

Autumn 2015:

SAMPOL 100 Introduction to Comparative Politics

 

Spring 2015:

SAMPOL321 Political Parties in Post-Conflict States

Books:

Ragnhild L. Muriaas, Vibeke Wang and Rainbow Murray (eds) (2019). Gendered Electoral Financing: Money, Power and Representation in Comparative Perspective. Routledge.  

Lovise Aalen and Ragnhild Muriaas (2018). Manipulating Political Decentralization: Africa's Inclusive Autocrats. Routledge.

Hilde Danielsen, Kari Jegerstedt, Ragnhild L. Muriaas and Brita Ytre-Arne (eds) (2016). Gendered Citizenship and the Politics of Representation, Palgrave Macmillian.

Muriaas, Ragnhild L. 2011. Afrikanske utfordringer: En innføring i afrikansk politikk [African Challenges: An Introduction to African Politics]. Høyskoleforlaget.


Articles:

Lindsay Benstead, Ragnhild Muriaas and Vibeke Wang (forthcoming). Explaining Backlash: Social Hierarchy and Men's Rejection of Women’s Rights Reforms. Social Politics. Accepted. 

Ragnhild Muriaas, Amy Mazur and Season Hoard (2022). Payments and Penalties for Democracy: Gendered Electoral Financing in Action Worldwide. American Political Science Review, 116 (2): 502-515.  

Rainbow Murray, Ragnhild Muriaas and Vibeke Wang (2021, OnlineFirst). Editorial Introduction: Gender and Political Financing. International Political Science Review.  

Vibeke Wang, Ragnhild Muriaas and Gretchen Bauer (2021, OnlineFirst). Funding Demands and Gender in Political Recruitment: What Parties do in Cabo Verde and Ghana. International Political Science Review. 

Chiweza, Asiyati Lorraine, Happy Kayuni, and Ragnhild Louise Muriaas (2021) Understanding Handouts in Candidate Selection: Challenging Party Authority in Malawi. African Affairs, 120(481): 569-589. 

Vibeke Wang, Ragnhild L. Muriaas and Yvette Peters (2021). Affirmative Action Measures and Electoral Candidates’ Positioning in Zambia. Journal of Modern African Studies, 59(4): 507-533.  

Amanda L. Robinson, Amanda Clayton, Martha Johnsen and Ragnhild L. Muriaas (2020). (How) Do Voters Discriminate Against Women Candidates? Experimental and Qualitative Evidence from Malawi. Comparative Political Studies, 53(3-4): 601-630.

Vibeke Wang and Ragnhild L. Muriaas (2019). Candidate selection and informal soft quotas for women: gender imbalance in political recruitment in Zambia. Politics, Groups, and Identitites, 7(2): 401-411. 

Muriaas, Ragnhild L., Vibeke Wang, Lindsay Benstead, Boniface Dulani and Lise Rakner (2019). 'Why the Gender of Traditional Authorities Matters: Intersectionality and Women’s Rights Advocacy in Malawi?' Comparative Political Studies, 52(12): 1881-1924.

Cappelen, Cornelius and Ragnhild L. Muriaas (2018). Polish labour migrants and undeclared work in Norway. Scandinavian Political Studies, 41 (2): 167-187.

Muriaas, Ragnhild L., Liv Tønnessen and Vibeke Wang (2018). Counter-mobilization against child marriage reform in Africa. Political Studies, 66 (4): 851–868.

Aalen, Lovise and Ragnhild L. Muriaas (2017) Power Calculations and Political Decentralization in African Post-Conflict States, International Political Science Review, 38 (1), 56-69. 

Muriaas, Ragnhild, Lise Rakner and Ingvild Aagedal Skage (2016) Political Capital of Ruling Parties after Regime Change: Contrasting Successful Insurgencies to Peaceful Pro-democracy Movements, Civil Wars, 18 (2): 175-191

Muriaas, Ragnhild L. and Lars Svaasand (2015) Opposition Parties and the Decentralization Process in South Africa and Zambia. Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, 53 (4).

Kayuni, Happy and Ragnhild L. Muriaas. 2014. ‘Alternatives to gender quotas: electoral financing of women candidates in Malawi’, Representation, 50 (3): 393-404.

Muriaas, Ragnhild L, Liv Tønnessen and Vibeke Wang. 2013. 'Exploring the Relationship between Democratization and Quota Policies in Africa', Women Studies International Forum, 41: 89-93.

Muriaas, Ragnhild and Happy Kayuni. 2013. 'The Reversed Contagion Effect: Explaining The Unevenness of Women’s Representation across South African Municipalities', Women's Studies International Forum, 41: 150-9.

Muriaas, Ragnhild L. 2013. 'Party Affiliation in New Democracies: Local reactions to the split of the ruling party in Malawi', African Journal of Political Science and International Relations, 7 (4): 190-9.

Muriaas, Ragnhild L. and Vibeke Wang. 2012. Executive dominance and the politics of quota representation in Uganda, Journal of Modern African Studies, 50 (2): 309-38.

Mpesi, Andrew M, and Ragnhild L. Muriaas. 2012. 'Food security as a political issue: the 2009 elections in Malawi', Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 30 (3): 377-93.

Muriaas, Ragnhild L. 2011. ‘ANC & Power Concentration in South Africa: does local democracy allow for power-sharing?’ Special Issue on Opposition in Africa, Democratization, 18 (5), 1067-86.

Muriaas, Ragnhild L. 2011. ‘Traditional institutions and dencentralization: A typology of co-existence in Sub-Saharan Africa’, Forum for Development Studies, March, 38 (1), 87-107.

Muriaas, Ragnhild L. 2009. ‘Local Perspectives on the 'neutrality' of traditional authorities in Malawi, South Africa and Uganda’, Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, 47 (1), 28-51.

Muriaas, Ragnhild L. 2009. ‘Reintroducing a Local-Level Multiparty System in Uganda: Why be in opposition?Government and Opposition, 44 (1), 91-112.

Muriaas, Ragnhild L. 2009. ‘ANC og maktkonsentrasjon i Sør-Afrika: Åpner lokaldemokratiet for maktdeling?’, Politica, 41 (3), 283-99.
 

Chapters in books:

Martha C. Johnson, Ragnhild Muriaas, Amanda Clayton, and Amanda Lea Robinson (2021). Deeper Decentralization, Fewer Women? Decentralization and Women's Candidacies for Local Office in Benin and Malawi. In Leonardo Arriola, Martha Johnson, and Melanie Phillips (eds) Women and Power in Africa: Aspiring, Campaigning and Governing. Ch. 4. p. 85-113. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ragnhild Muriaas (2020) Gendered Electoral Financing: Two Approaches Toward Funding as an Affirmative Action Measure. In Jamil, I., Aminuzzaman, S.M., Lasna Kabir, S., Haque, M.M. (Eds.) Gender Mainstreaming in Politics, Administration and Development in South Asia, Palgrave. 

Muriaas, Ragnhild, Vibeke Wang and Rainbow Murray (2019). Introduction: Introducing the Concept of Gendered Electoral Financing, pp. 1-24. In Muriaas, Wang and Murray (eds.) Gendered Electoral Financing: Money, Power and Representation in Comparative Politics. New York: Routledge.

Borges, Aleida, Ragnhild Muriaas and Vibeke Wang (2019). Cabo Verde: Legislated Candidates Quotas with Reward for Compliance in Cabo Verde: Victory for no one? pp. 74-92. In Muriaas, Wang and Murray (eds.) Gendered Electoral Financing: Money, Power and Representation in Comparative Politics. New York: Routledge.

Muriaas, Ragnhild and Amy G. Mazur (2019). Conclusion: Does Money Talk? An initial Comparative Analysis, pp. 154-174. In Muriaas, Wang and Murray (eds) Gendered Electoral Financing: Money, Power and Representation in Comparative Politics. New York: Routledge.

Hilde Danielsen, Kari Jegerstedt, Ragnhild L. Muriaas and Brita Ytre-Arne (2016). ‘Introduction’. In Hilde Danielsen et al. (eds) Gendered Citizenship and the Politics of Representation, Palgrave Macmillian.

Ragnhild L. Muriaas, Liv Tønnesen and Vibeke Wang (2016). Substantive Representation: From Timing to Framing of Family Law Reform in Morocco, South Africa and Uganda. In Hilde Danielsen et al. (eds) Gendered Citizenship and the Politics of Representation, Palgrave Macmillian.

Muriaas, Ragnhild L. 2015. 'The Quality and Stability of Subnational Elections in Africa: A Methodological and Conceptual Tool', ch. 5. In Anthony Spanakos and Francisco Panizza (eds.) Conceptualizing Comparative Politics, New York, NY: Routledge.

Hussein, Mustafa K. and Ragnhild L. Muriaas. 2013. 'Traditional Authorities' in Nandini Patel and Lars Svåsand (eds) Government and Politics in Malawi, second edition. Lilongwe, Malawi: Capital Printing Press.

Muriaas, Ragnhild L. 2013. 'The ANC and power concentration in South Africa: does local democracy allow for power-sharing?' pp. 12-31. In Emil Uddhammer, Elliott Green and Johanna Söderström (eds.) Political Opposition and Democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa, New York, NY: Routledge. (reprint).

Muriaas, Ragnhild L. 2005. 'Dilemmas Connected to Recognising Customary Law and Courts in South Africa' in Lone Lindholt and Sten Schaumburg-Müller (eds.) Human Rights and Local/living law in Human Rights in Development, Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill Academic Publishing.

 

Book Reviews

Ragnhild L. Muriaas (2019). The political over-representation of the rich in the USA. European Political Science, online first. 

Ragnhild L. Muriaas (2013). 'Sexuality and Gender Politics in Mozambique: Rethinking Gender in Africa' by Signe Arnfred, Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning, January, 88-92.

 

Working Papers:

Lindsay J. Benstead, Ragnhild L. Muriaas, and Vibeke Wang (2018). 'When Do Donor Endorsements Help or Hurt? Policy Advocacy and Men’s Interests in Malawi'. Working Paper, No.16, The program on Governance and Local Development (GLD). Yale and University of Gothenburg.

Ragnhild Muriaas, Vibeke Wang, LIndsay J. Benstead, Boniface Dulani and Lise Rakner (2017). 'It Takes a female Chief: Gender and Effective Politicy Advocacy in Malawi', Working Paper, No.11, The program on Governance and Local Development (GLD). Yale and University of Gothenburg.

 

Reports:

The Local Governance Performance Index (LGPI) in Malawi: Selected FIndings on Gender (2017). Report prepared by Lindsay Benstead, Boniface Dulani, Ragnhild L. MUriaas, Lise Rakner and Vibeke Wang. GLD report. The program on Governance and Local Development (GLD). Yale and University of Gothenburg.

Dissertations:

Muriaas, Ragnhild L. 2008. Affection and Defection: Local Perspectives on the Pull Towards the Government Party in Malawi, South Africa and Uganda, PhD Dissertation, Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen.

Muriaas, Ragnhild L. 2002. Two Bulls in a Kraal - Recognising cultural difference in post-Apartheid South Africa, hovedfagsoppgave (M.Phil. Thesis), Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen.
 

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  • Show author(s) (2009). Strategier for informasjonsinnsamling i en annen kulturell kontekst.
  • Show author(s) (2009). Reintroducing a Local-Level Multiparty System in Uganda: Why Be in Opposition? Government and Opposition. 91-112.
  • Show author(s) (2009). Politikk og kultur i Uganda.
  • Show author(s) (2009). Party Affiliation in New Democracies: Reactions to the split of the ruling party in Malawi.
  • Show author(s) (2009). Organisator av Panel 4 Concentration of power in South Africa: Is local democracy the road to power-sharing?
  • Show author(s) (2009). Local democracy and political opposition in South Africa.
  • Show author(s) (2009). Local Perspectives on the 'neutrality' of traditional authorities in Malawi, South Africa and Uganda. Commonwealth and Comparative Politics. 28-51.
  • Show author(s) (2009). Forskningsetikk: Redelighet og den frie tanke.
  • Show author(s) (2009). Fjorten år som ompalompa.
  • Show author(s) (2009). Eliteintervju.
  • Show author(s) (2009). Bruk av observasjon som metode i Statsvitenskap.
  • Show author(s) (2009). ANC og maktkonsentrasjon i Sør-Afrika: Åpner lokaldemokratiet for maktdeling? Politica - Tidsskrift for politisk videnskab. 283-299.
  • Show author(s) (2008). Ålesunder med doktorgrad om demokratisering i Afrika.
  • Show author(s) (2008). Popular representation in Africa: The politics of expectations.
  • Show author(s) (2008). Local democracy and political opposition in South Africa.
  • Show author(s) (2008). Is Democratic Decentralisation more likely to succeed in Dominant Party Systems? Comparing the cases of Malawi, South Africa and Uganda.
  • Show author(s) (2008). Democratic Decentralisation and the Pull towards the Government Party.
  • Show author(s) (2008). Afrika: Feltarbeid – evaluering og innhenting av informasjon.
  • Show author(s) (2008). Affection and Defection: Local Perspectives on the Pull Towards the Government Party in Malawi, South Africa and Uganda.
  • Show author(s) (2007). Why local democracy failed in Malawi: Notes from a field study.
  • Show author(s) (2007). Strategier for informasjonsinnsamling i annen kulturell kontekst.
  • Show author(s) (2007). Staying loyal to the party or the president? Party institutionalisation at local level in Malawi.
  • Show author(s) (2007). Re-introducing Multiparty system at the Local Level in Uganda: Why be in opposition?
  • Show author(s) (2007). Observasjon og Observasjon i praksis.
  • Show author(s) (2007). Hvorfor velge UiB som arbeidsplass? Stipendiattilværelsen ved UiB.
  • Show author(s) (2007). Feltarbeidet og etikk.
  • Show author(s) (2007). Experience from a Fieldwork in Malawi, South Africa and Uganda.
  • Show author(s) (2007). Det Kvalitative Intervju: Eksempel fra forskning på Uganda.
  • Show author(s) (2007). Det Kvalitative Intervju: Eksempel fra forskning på Uganda.
  • Show author(s) (2007). Chiefs in Malawi: Substituting Local Democracy, Accommodating National Politics.
  • Show author(s) (2006). Variations in perceptions of popular representation at local level in Malawi, South Africa and Uganda.
  • Show author(s) (2006). Utfordringer knyttet til Feltarbeid.
  • Show author(s) (2005). Dilemmas Connected to Recognising Customary Law and Courts in South Africa. 15 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2005). Chiefs in Local Democracy: Framework for Analysing Local Governance in East and Southern Africa.
  • Show author(s) (2004). Det sivile samfunn og demokratiutvikling i Afrika.
  • Show author(s) (2004). Decentralisation and the political force of traditional authorities.
  • Show author(s) (2002). Two Bulls in a Kraal - Recognising cultural difference in post-Apartheid South Africa.

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)

Gender-Gap in Political Endurance: a novel political inclusion theory (SUCCESS)

Ragnhild L. Muriaas (Project leader). This is a five years ERC Consolidator Grant project (2021-2026). 

SUCCESS will advance a novel theory of inclusion that explains gender-gaps in endurance and provide much-needed new empirical evidence on how, why and under what conditions gender-gaps in political endurance can be closed in a world with high electoral volatility.

  • How does political endurance matter for political outcomes?  

  • What strategies do elected representatives use to sustain their political careers? 

  • How do voters evaluate political experience – when is it good and when is it bad?  

  • Are there specific institutions and contexts that underpin gender-gaps in political endurance across time, regions, and political systems?  

 

The Cost of Doing Politics: Gender Aspects of Political Violence

PI Vibeke Wang, CMI. Research project financed by FRIHUMSAM, the Research Council of Norway (2020-2025).

Team: Gretchen Bauer, Elin Bjarnegård, Jana Birke Belschner, Fiona Buckley, Akosua Darkwah, Gerald Karyeija, Stella Kyohairwe, Ragnhild Muriaas, Pär Zetterberg

Across the globe, there has been a substantial increase in gender equality in political life. Women have more than doubled their presence in national parliaments from 1995 (11.3 %) to 2018 (23.4%) (Inter-Parliamentary Union). However, there are indications that women’s political gains may have come at a high cost. Practitioner organizations as well as academics seek to raise awareness about physical attacks, intimidation, and harassment aimed at women politicians. This project aims to better understand how gender shapes the scope, form, and consequences of political violence targeted at politicians, and to develop strategies to reduce the problem.

Youth in Africa: How Africa's post conflict regimes handle the African Millennias (Norglobal)

Project leader: Lovise Aalen, Research project financed by Norglobal, the Research Council of Norway (2019 - 2022)

Team: Asnake Kefale, Aslak Orre, Simbarashe Gukurume, Marjoke Oosterom, Gerald K. Karyeija, Ragnhild Louise Muriaas, Pauline Lemaire, and Salvador Forquilha  

The population in sub-Saharan Africa is the fastest growing and the youngest in the world, yet the politicians ruling them are typically among the oldest.

This observation is the starting point of a new NORGLOBAL project. It zooms in on four countries – Ethiopia, Mozambique, Uganda and Zimbabwe – in which the current rulers are yesterday’s rebels. They consolidated authoritarian regimes after securing victory in the liberation struggles between the 1975 and 1992. The vast majority of citizens was born long after that, yet it knows no other powerholders.

While youth is an asset for any population, the above conundrum represents several challenges. One is “economic”, as most of the sub-Saharan African economies struggle to produce enough decent work for the large youth cohorts that enter labour markets every year. The other is “political”. Can the aging rulers govern in a way that satisfy the material needs and political aspirations of the upcoming generations?

 

Earlier projects: 

Money Talks: Gendered Electoral Financing in Democratic and Democratizing States.

Ragnhild L. Muriaas (Project leader). Research project financed by FRIHUMSAM, the Research Council of Norway (2016-2020).

Money is assumingly one of the greatest barriers to women in the political recruitment process. Particularly in candidate-centered electoral system where candidates compete twice: first in the primaries, and then, if they are successful, in elections at the state or national level. The financial disadvantage of women is expected to constitute an obstacle for women´s entry into politics everywhere and especially in developing countries where women´s socio-economic status is disproportionately low relative to men. This line of reasoning has caused a global upswing in financial schemes targeting women candidates, although the scholarship on women´s representation has not followed suit. MoneyTalks represents a new research frontier by putting the effects of gendered electoral finaincing on the agenda. The project analyzes on how such schemes - separate from or in conjunction with gender quotas, interact with electoral processes and institutions that tend to be gendered across regions. Key cases are Cape Verde, Ireland, Kenya, Malawi, Tunisia and the United Kingdom. 

 

Engineering gender equality: The effects of aid to women’s political representation in Malawi, Sudan, Uganda and Zambia.
Liv Tønnessen (project leader). Research project financed by NORDGLOBAL, the Research Council of Norway (2013-2017). Ragnhild Louise Muriaas is principal investigator. 

In the last decades the international community has placed women's political participation on the agenda.  One of the key motivators behind this focus on women's political participation has been the assumption that there is a causal relationship between women's numerical representation on the one hand, and the substantive and symbolic representation of women on the other. This project focuses on questions related to women's representation in four African cases that have been key recipients of gendered aid the last decade (Malawi, Sudan, Uganda and Zambia). Muriaas main focus in this project has been studying reforms within the area of ending early marriages among key political agents in Zambia and Malawi, as well as, conducting survey experiments on the endorsement effects within reforms on early marriage, gender quotas and land reform in Malawi. The survey is conducted in collaboration with The Progamme of Governance and Local Development at Gothenburg (GLD), se http://gld.gu.se/malawi.html


Labor migration and the moral sustainability of the Norwegian welfare state.

Stein Kuhnle (project leader). Research project funded by VAM, the Research Council of Norway (2013-2017).

EDUCATION

2008 Ph.D, Departmenet of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen.

2002 Cand. Polit. Degree. Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen.

1996 Cand. Mag. Degree. Faculty of Social Science, University of Bergen.

 

POSITIONS

2015 Associate Senior Researcher, Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI), Bergen, Norway.

2013 -  Associate Professor,Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen.

2010 Visiting Scholar, Department of Sociology, University of California (Berkeley).

2009 - 2013 Post-doctor,Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen.

2005-2006 Visiting scholar, Department of Political Studies, University of Cape Town, South Africa.

2005 Visiting scholar, Political Science and Public Administration, Makerere University, Uganda.

2004 Visiting PhD-student, The Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, Sweden. 

2004 - 2008 PhD Student, Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen.

2002 - 2004 University lecturer, Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen.

 

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