May 2018 Newsletter

May 2018 Newsletter

In this month's newsletter:
  • Working paper
  • GU's Annual Policy Dialogue Day
  • Publications
  • Staff Announcements: Visiting Scholars
  • Presentations
  • Did You Know
  • Thank you, Interns!
"When do Donor Endorsements Help or Hurt? Policy Advocacy and Men's Interests in Malawi"

This working paper proposes an interest theory of public opinion formation and finds that, overall, women's organizations or western donors are as effective as the control for quotas, but cause backfire effect for land reforms—highly sensitive issues threatening men’s interests.

The paper, along with all other working papers and reports, can be downloaded here.
GU's Annual Policy Day
Gothenburg University held its Annual Policy Dialogue Day on May 30, 2018. The event brought together various practitioners, policy makers, and academics to bridge the gap between analysis and practice in an effort to shed light on questions relating to democracy support and governance.
This year's theme was:

"New Research = Better Policies. Insights on Democracy, Governance, and Armed Conflict."

The event was jointly organised by the V-Dem Institute, QoG - Quality of Government Institute, Governance and Local Development - GLD and UCDP (Uppsala Conflict Data Program).

Ms. Ana María Menéndez (Senior Advisor to the Secretary-General on Policy, United Nations) presented the keynote address.
GLD Director Ellen Lust delivering her welcome address during the opening session.
GLD Director Ellen Lust with Senior Advisor to the Secretary-General on Policy, United Nations, Ms. Ana María Menéndez.

GLD Presentations

GLD Director Ellen Lust presented “We Don’t Need No Education: Resource Endowments and the Demand for Social Service Provision” and chaired a session on “Measuring and Predicting Success and Failure in Governance, Democracy and Conflict.”

GLD Post-doctoral fellow Ruth Carlitz presented "Gendered Accountability: When and Why Do Governments Respond to Women's Policy Priorities?” and “Space: The Best Practice Frontier… A New Perspective on Local Government Efficiency.”

GLD Post-doctoral fellow Kristen Kao presented “Money Machine: Do the Poor Demand Clientelism?”

GLD Scholar Prof. Pierre Landry presented “Unpacking the Local Governance Performance Index.”

GLD Scholar Adam Harris presented “Resource Flows in Local Versus National Elections: The Importance of Ethnicity and Partisanship” and “Bureaucratic Behavior in Nine Developing Democracies: Evidence from a Conjoint Experiment.”

GLD PhD student Felix Hartmann and Prof. Georgios Xezonakis (QoG, University of Gothenburg) presented “Night Light Transmission as a Means to Foresee Radical Political Change.”

GLD Interim Researcher Josephine Gakii Gatua served as a panelist at the plenary session on “How do we know what works: Current Trends in Causal Inference and the Evaluation of International Assistance Programs.”

More pictures from this event will be available at

Publications in May

GLD Director Ellen Lust and Rabab El-Mahdi (American University in Cairo) recently published a roundtable, Reevaluating the Nation-State in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, vol. 50, no. 2 (May 2018): 315-346.

The roundtable was convened at AUC in 2017, co-sponsored by AUC and GLD. Published interventions include an introduction by Rabab El -Mahdi and Ellen Lust, and interventions by Ariel I. Ahram (Virginia Tech), Lisa Anderson (Columbia), Rabab El-Mahdi (AUC), Ellis Goldberg (Washington), Ellen Lust (GU), and Charles Tripp (SOAS).

The 2018 Annual Review of Political Science has been released, including two papers by GLD Director Ellen Lust:

Ellen Lust and Lise Rakner,
"The Other Side of Taxation: Extraction and Social Institutions in the Developing World," Annual Review of Political Science, vol. 21 (2018): 277-294.

David Waldner and Ellen Lust, "Unwelcome Change: Coming to Terms with Democratic Backsliding," Annual Review of Political Science, vol. 21 (2018): 93-113.

GLD PhD student Ezgi Irgil and Mine Islar (Lund University Center for Sustainability Studies) recently published a paper, "Grassroots practices of citizenship and politicization in the urban: the case of right to the city initiatives in Barcelona," Citizenship Studies, (2018).
Staff Announcements
Visiting Scholars

Dr. David L. Rousseau

David is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at the University of Albany (State University at New York). He previously served as Dean of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany and was founding Dean of the College of Emergency Preparedness. David will be visiting us from May 1 - June 30.

In June we will welcome Marwa Shalaby from Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.
GLD Grant Scholar Lindsay J. Benstead presented "Does Electing Female Councilors Affect Women’s Representation? Evidence from the Tunisian Local Governance Performance Index (LGPI)" at the EGEN meeting at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, May 4-5.

On May 7, GLD Director Ellen Lust presented "The Determinants of Local and National Vote Choice: Evidence from a Conjoint Experiment" (co-authored with Adam Harris and Kristen Kao) at the Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals (IBEI) in Barcelona, Spain.

Ellen Lust presented a keynote speech, "Socio-Economic Challenges and Governance Transformation in the Arab World" at the ESCWA Implementing Agenda 2030: Economic Governance and National Development Planning in the Arab Region meeting in Tunis, Tunisia on May 9th.

Ruth Carlitz, GLD Post-doctoral fellow, presented "When Does Transparency Improve Public Goods Provision? Street‐level Discretion, Targetability, and Local Public Service Delivery" (co-authored with Monika Bauhr) at the workshop on Systems of Public Service Delivery in Developing Countries, at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, May 14-15.

Ellen Lust participated as a panelist addressing the question, "Is There Still an "Arab Uprisings" Research Agenda?" and served as a discussant of "Land and Power: Colonial Legacies of Redistributive Conflict in the Middle East and North Africa ” at the 9th Annual POMEPS Conference in Washington DC on May 24th.

GLD Data Scientist Sebastien Nickel and Research Associate Nesrine Ben Brahim attended an Advanced Applied Econometrics course on Causal Inference with Observational Data taught by Marc F. Bellemare, Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota, and Arne Henningsen, Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen, May 14-18.
GLD - Social Media
GLD would also like to thank our Spring Interns Robert Kristiansen, Dziyana Katselkina and Anita Mureithi for their time at GLD.
We hope to see you in the future.
Our interns enrich our office and make our work possible!
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