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GLD Newsletter
August 2019

In This Newsletter

  • Ian Shapiro Podcast
  • #APSA2019
  • New Working Paper
  • Staff Announcements
  • And More!

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Podcast with Ian Shapiro: Saving Democracy from Itself


Episode 5: Ian Shapiro discusses his new book "Responsible Parties: Saving Democracy from Itself" with GLD Director, Ellen Lust. Democracies across the world are adopting reforms to bring politics closer to the people. Parties have turned to primaries and local caucuses to select candidates. Ballot initiatives and referenda allow citizens to enact laws directly. Yet voters keep getting angrier. Here, the author argues that devolving power to the grassroots is part of the problem, not the solution.

Ian Shapiro is Sterling Professor of Political Science at Yale University, where he also serves as Henry R. Luce Director of the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. He has written widely and influentially on democracy, justice, and the methods of social inquiry. A native of South Africa, he received his J.D. from the Yale Law School and his Ph.D from the Yale Political Science Department where he has taught since 1984 and served as chair from 1999 to 2004. Shapiro is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a past fellow of the Carnegie Corporation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He has held visiting appointments at the University of Cape Town, Keio University in Tokyo, Sciences Po in Paris, and Nuffield College, Oxford. His most recent books are The Real World of Democratic Theory (Princeton University Press, 2012) Politics Against Domination (Harvard University Press, 2016), and, with Frances Rosenbluth, Responsible Parties: Saving Democracy from Itself (Yale University Press, 2018). His current research concerns the relations between democracy and the distribution of income and wealth.


Our podcast series "Governance Uncovered: Local Politics and Development from the Global South" is now available on iTunes, Spotify, and SoundCloud.

GLD @ APSA 2019


Lindsay J. Benstead and Ellen Lust, Traits, Competences or Policy Signals? Explaining Women's Electability, Old and New Actors in the Middle East and North African Politics panel.

Felix Hartmann, Political Selection under Economic Distress, Budgets, Bribes, and Local Political Survival panel.

Kristen Kao and Ellen Lust, The Contingency of Clientelism: Do We Study What We Say We Do?, Clientelism and Corruption panel.

Mara Revkin and Kristen Kao, Exposure to Rebel Governance and Preferences for Transitional Justice, Alliances and War panel.


Ellen Lust, Opposition Strategies and Authoritarian Resilience in Comparative Perspective panel.

Ellen Lust, Survey Research in the Middle East and North Africa panel.


Ellen Lust, Presenter, Popular Mobilizations and Populist Backlash: Perspectives on Political Change in the Middle East and North Africa

Ellen Lust, Presenter, Service Provision & Citizenship Practice: The Politics of Supply & Demand


Kristen Kao, The Micro-Politics of Immigrant Integration panel.

New Working Paper

Do Female Local Councilors Improve Women’s Representation?

Woman in Téboursouk, Tunisia (Source: Dennis Jarvis, Flickr)
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 Governance Performance Index (LGPI), an original survey of 3,600 Tunisians conducted in 2015 by the Program on Governance and Local Development (GLD), this paper investigates the relationship between local councilors’ gender and women’s access to help with personal or community issues.


Submit your paper

GLD welcomes external submissions for our working paper series. Our past papers cover a wide range of topics and we are always on the lookout for new and interesting papers. Some of the past themes in the series have included the following:
  • Local governance challenges
  • Service delivery as it varies across local contexts
  • Relationship between state and non-state actors
  • Level of corruption and citizens’ perceptions of it
  • How citizens solve disputes with officials, families, and friends and how state or non-state actors are involved
  • Participation in local elections and political campaigns
  • How security services are provided in transitional periods and/or under weak central states

If you would like your work to be featured on our website please contact us.

New Publications

Clark, J. A., Dalmasso, E., & Lust, E. (2019). Not the only game in towns: explaining changes in municipal councils in post-revolutionary Tunisia. Democratization, 1-20.

This study sheds light on the relationship between local and national elites during political transitions. Examining local councils in post-revolutionary Tunisia (2011–2013), it examines why and when the composition of councils changed in the absence of local elections.


Jöst, P., & Vatthauer, J. P. (2020). Socioeconomic Contention in Post-2011 Egypt and Tunisia: A Comparison. In Socioeconomic Protests in MENA and Latin America (pp. 71-103). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

This chapter presents the results of a quantitative protest event data analysis. In line with the overall topic of the book, the focus is on the dynamics of socioeconomic protests since the
2011 revolutions.


Lust, E. (Ed.). (2019). The Middle East. CQ Press.

In the more succinct Fifteenth Edition of The Middle East, editor Ellen Lust brings important new coverage to this comprehensive, balanced, and superbly researched text. This best-selling text not only helps you comprehend more fully the world around you, but it also enables you to recognize and formulate policies that can more successfully engage the Middle East. 


Robinson, D., & Tannenberg, M. (2019). Self-censorship of regime support in authoritarian states: Evidence from list experiments in China. Research & Politics, 6(3).

The study of popular support for authoritarian regimes has long relied on the assumption that respondents provide truthful answers to surveys. However, when measuring regime support in closed political systems there is a distinct risk that individuals are less than forthright due to fear that their opinions may be made known to the public or the authorities.


Short Term Research Grants

GLD is offering a limited number of research fellowships for scholars for short-term research on Governance and Local Development. Awards averaging 25,000 SEK will be offered to support research travel to the for projects related to critical governance issues. Recipients are expected to submit a paper to be included in the GLD Working Paper Series.

Please send through your CV and research proposal in English to by 30th September. Successful applicants will be contacted within two weeks of this deadline.

For more information click here.


Staff Announcements

Welcoming New Staff

Clancy Karlsson (Research Associate)
Clancy is an Associate Researcher at GLD and holds a Bachelor of Science in Integrative Studies from the University of North Texas. In addition to his duties with GLD, he is currently a Masters student in the International Administration and Global Governance (IAGG) program at the University of Gothenburg, and is a former GLD intern. His academic interests include issues of censorship, surveillance, free expression, and digital privacy.


Visiting Scholars

Somayeh Shafei
Somayeh Shafiei has worked as an assistant research professor in the Institute of Humanities and Cultural Studies science 2013. IHCS is the oldest and biggest organization for performing researches in humanities in Iran. She holds a PhD in Political Sociology from Allameh Tabataba'i University and teaches courses on qualitative methodology, social stratification and principal of sociology. Her research focuses on social studies of women and gender by topics of lifestyle, social participation, social status, leisure, cultural & social capital and the favorite area of micro politics - in particular power and resistance. As an inquiring sociologist, she has programmed, conducted and supervised several types of research in Iran. She is the annual selected researcher of IHCS in 2015. Her articles and book chapters on women and gender studies not only concentrate on Iranian society, but also discover the trends of social changes since the eve of this century.

Visiting until: January 2021

Karen Ferree
Karen Ferree studies democratization in Africa.  Her work sits at the intersection of institutional and behavioral approaches to politics, with a particular focus on how ethnic and racial divisions and formal and informal institutions shape voting behavior and election outcomes in emerging democracies.  She has written about South African politics in her book, Framing the Race in South Africa: the Political Origins of Racial Census Elections (Cambridge University Press, 2011). She has also written about electoral institutions, electoral integrity, and issues related to survey design in Africa.

Visiting until: August 2020


Goodbye Josephine and Nesrine!

This month we are sad to say goodbye to one of our Postdocs, Josephine Gakii, and one of our Associate Researchers, Nesrine Ben Brahim. Josephine and Nesrine, who have both been with us for almost two years, worked tirelessly on survey preparation for our ongoing Sub-Saharan African project on Urbanization and Social Institutions, and we would like to thank them both for their excellent work throughout their time with us.

We wish both of you success in your future pursuits and we look forward to seeing you out in the field!

Internships @ GLD

Do you want to experience being part of a research team and work with questions that promote human welfare globally? We are looking for highly motivated, self-driven interns who are interested in governance and development. Knowledge of statistical programs, Arabic, French, or Swedish is an asset. As an intern, you will be an important part of our team and will be given the opportunity to obtain practical experience in working with a research project within academia.

We are currently accepting applications for three different internship positions: Research, Data Science and Project Management. While we prioritise applications from Gothenburg University students, we welcome submissions from around the world.

To apply, please send your CV, a cover letter describing why you want to participate in our internship program, and a writing sample to We ask that you submit all documents in English.

Middle East and North Africa Workshop in Sarajevo

This month we hosted a workshop on the Middle East and North Africa. The event was held in Sarajevo from Aug 7-9 and was used to identify the most important questions concerning local governance and development in the MENA region, with an emphasis on North Africa, and to discuss potential projects and research ideas to advance our understanding in this area. This was a first step in a cluster of coordinated studies aimed at extending our knowledge on these issues and producing, among other outputs, an edited volume.


GLD in the Field

GLD Postdoc, Kristen Kao, and Research Associate, Nesrine Ben Brahim, spent two weeks in Tunisia conducting fieldwork for an upcoming project. The July trip involved interviews with local leaders and politicians. Stay tuned for more information on this important project in the near future. 



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