About Us

The Program on Governance and Local Development (GLD) is a research program based at the University of Gothenburg, originally founded in 2013 at Yale University by Program Director, Professor Ellen Lust. GLD focuses on the local factors driving governance and development. The program is dedicated to international collaboration and scientifically rigorous, policy-relevant research in an effort to promote human welfare globally. Program findings are made available to the international and domestic communities through academic publications, policy briefs, public presentations, and social media, as well as on-the-ground workshops in cooperation with local partners.





Our Mission

“We aim to promote human welfare by conducting scientifically rigorous research across the globe. Our research focuses on answering a fundamental question: why are some communities able to provide secure environments, good education, adequate healthcare, and other factors that encourage human development, while others fail to do so? We engage with communities across the world, develop methodological tools, gather data, undertake analyses on major issues affecting societies today, and disseminate findings to academics, relevant policy-makers, and  the communities in which we work.”

Latest Working Papers




Do Female Local Councilors Improve Women's  Representation?

Tunisia’s 2018 municipal elections, in which a legislated quota was implemented and women won 47 percent of seats, raises questions about whether electing female councilors improves women’s representation in clientelistic settings. Using data from the Local [...]


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Tribes without Sheikhs?

This paper examines the ways in which Jordan’s rapidly evolving media sector is transforming the nature of authority in Jordan. An older generation of leaders, known as sheikhs, confronts technologies they often don’t understand and a new generation that has little respect for its elders’ ancestral claims. Amid a [...]


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The Importance of Intersectionality

Many studies of electoral behavior and women’s electability in the developing world focus on single traits—e.g., religion, gender, and ethnicity. Yet, candidate identities affect electability intersectionally—i.e., identities are mutually constituted by social hierarchies, leading to complex , interactive effects—in ways that [...]


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Ceasefires as State-Building

This paper views ceasefires as rarely only a “cease fire”. Rather it reconceptualises ceasefires as particular types of wartime order that can have a variety of different state-building consequences. These include ramifications for local level conflict dynamics, the development of rebel governance institutions, and [...]


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Country Reports


LGPI Tunisia: Selected Findings on Health

Tunisia has a very good health-care system compared to most of the Arab world. The healthcare system includes primary-care clinics and health centers, which deal with nearly 60 percent of public-sector medical outpatients, reproductive-health visits, schools, and student-health visits [...]


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LGPI Malawi: Selected Findings on Gender

Malawi’s context raises a number of challenges that the government, traditional leaders, civil society, and the development community are working to address. One area of particular focus is gender equality and women’s empowerment. The LGPI supports this effort by providing [...]


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Annual Report





December 2019: New Working Paper, Claire Adida Workshop and More

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November 2019: Call for Proposals, GLD around the World, and More

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October 2019: GLD MENA Book: New Funding, Steering Committee, GLD Visits Oman, and More

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September 2019: GLD MENA Book: Call for Chapter Proposals, Special Podcast from the Field, Working Paper  & More

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August 2019: Ian Shapiro Podcast, #APSA 2019, New Working Paper  & More

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Latest Podcasts

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