About Us

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


Meet the Fellows!


Gabriel Koehler-Derrick is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at NYU Abu Dhabi. He holds a PhD from Harvard University, an MA from Columbia University, and a BA from Tufts University. Gabriel’s research focuses on economic and political development, state building, and the politics of religion with a regional focus on the Middle East and North Africa. We spoke to Gabriel about his current book project, his experience from working at West Point, and what life is like in Abu Dhabi.

Read the full interview here!

Governance Uncovered 

Our monthly podcast invites scholars and professionals worldwide to discuss issues related to governance and local development with host Ellen Lust.

Governance Uncovered is supported by the Swedish Research Council.



Latest Working Papers


The GLD working paper series is also available in our SSRN eJournal: University of Gothenburg Governance & Local Development Institute Research Paper Series. 

 View and subscribe to GLD's eJournal here!



The Municipal Finances and Challenges of Municipal Taxation in Post-Revolutionary Tunisia

What factors explain the deficiencies in local taxation income in developing countries undertaking decentralization reforms? In this paper, Salih Yasun focuses on the municipal finances in post-revolutionary Tunisia to answer [...]

Full Working Paper

The Social Embeddedness of Elections: Ghana's 2016 and 2020 Campaigns 

Research on electoral mobilization in Africa focuses on core versus swing voters, clientelistic linkages, and ethnic voting. This paper adds an important yet understudied addition to this scholarship: the social and institutional [...]

Full Working Paper

Local Control: How Opposition Support Constrains Electoral Autocrats

Scholars conceptualize autocrats as central planners, constrained in how much they can distribute but not where. Autocrats use punishment regimes to sanction disloyalty. In many electoral autocracies, local institutions are [...] 

Full Working Paper

The (Spatial) Ties that Bind: Frequent Casual Contact, the Shadow of the Future, and Pro- sociality Across Ethnic Divisions

What can spur prosocial behavior across ethnic divisions? A host of studies focus on the potential power of deep contact between group members. Bollen instead focuses on the capacity of casual contact. While most research [...]

Full Working Paper

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



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