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.”

Interview with Boniface Dulani

This month, our long-term collaborator, Boniface Dulani, gave an interview about GLD's and IPOR's joint research and its impact on Malawi's policy space. Among other projects, Boni talks about the 2016 Malawi LGPI:

"The survey respondents were able to challenge the public officials, insisting that the study was a true portrayal of the reality on the ground."

Find the full interview here.

Latest Podcasts




April 2021: Governance Uncovered Special, New Working Papers, Events, Opportunities, and more

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March 2021: GLD's 2020 Annual Report, Podcast on Tunisia, Working Paper on Turkey's Democracy, and more

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February 2021: New Covid-19 Findings, New Grant, GLD Events, Opportunities, and more 

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January 2021: Call for STG Proposals, Covid-19 Testing in Malawi, GLD Workshop Series, and more

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November 2020: Rapid Urbanization in Ghana, Stereotypes and Covid-19, Call for Working Papers, and more

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Latest Working Papers




How Does Punishment Affect Reintegration? Attitudes Toward Islamic State "Collaborators" in Iraq

How does variation in the severity of punishment affect public opinion toward the reintegration of former nonviolent offenders? We study this question in the context of Iraq, where the United States has been heavily involved in the design and development of criminal justice institutions since overthrowing Saddam [...]


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The Impact of Presidential Appointment of Judges: Montesquieu or the Federalists?

A central question in development economics is whether there are adequate checks and balances on the executive. This paper provides causal evidence on how increasing constraints on the executive, through the removal of Presidential discretion in judicial appointments, promotes the rule of law. The age structure of judges at the time of the reform [...]


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Media Bias, Kurdish Repression, and the Dismantling of Local Democracy in Turkey

In this article, we explore how heightened repression and the consolidation of power by the executive branch in Turkey have allowed Erdoğan to take steps that further undermine the country’s democratic evolution. We argue that Erdoğan’s increasing pressure on the media, along with the state of emergency following the 2016 coup attempt, facilitated the [...]


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Municipal Boundaries and the Politics of Space in Tunisia

This paper examines Tunisia’s 2015-17 municipal boundary reform process, undertaken in preparation for the decentralization process mandated under the 2014 constitution. It analyzes how municipal boundary decisions were made, the actors who were involved, and the logic that shaped the reform process. Through extensive fieldwork [...]


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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