Workshop: The Dynamics of Decentralization in the MENA: Comparative Lessons for Oman
02/03/2020 - 03/03/2020
The workshop aims to bring together scholars working on decentralization, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, to discuss the nature of decentralization experiences across the region. The discussion will focus around the design of decentralization reforms, obstacles faced, progress made and outcomes of reforms, and will hopefully generate new ideas regarding decentralization, and also strengthen collaborative scholarly and policy networks around these issues. This workshop is part of a 2-year project (funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York) on decentralization in the MENA, with a focus on Oman. The broader project aims to make three main contributions: First, it seeks to promote policy-relevant, scholarly research on decentralization, and pave the way for further cross-national studies and analyses on the topic. Second, it will inform stakeholders in the Sultanate of Oman, focusing on how differences in community governance structures -- that is, the extent to which citizens turn to state institutions for services versus non-state actors or different individuals (e.g., men vs. women, diverse ethnic and religious groups) participate in decision processes -- affect challenges in decentralization. Third, it aims to strengthen and expand networks of scholars and other stakeholders from across the MENA, sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the United States (US) and Europe concerned with decentralization. To do so, we employ an inclusive, multi-method approach to explore subnational variation in governance that may affect the effective implementation of decentralization processes in Oman.
GLD Annual Conference 2020: Governance, People and Space
18/05/2020 - 19/05/2020
The Program on Governance and Local Development at the University of Gothenburg will hold its fourth annual conference on May 18 - 19, 2020. Entitled "GPS: Governance, People and Space,” the conference aims to examine how governance mechanisms and outcomes vary across differences in people (e.g., gender, ethnicity) and space (e.g., neighborhoods, villages/cities, and other spatial contexts).
GLD Annual Conference 2019: Routes to Accountability
23/05/2019 - 24/05/2019
The Program on Governance and Local Development at the University of Gothenburg will hold its third annual conference on May 24-25, 2019 with the theme, "Routes to Accountability." The goal of the conference will be to consider if, how, and when citizens can effectively hold service providers and authorities accountable. We consider not only the ways in which citizens hold state actors accountable, but also how people demand answers and enforce sanctions when non-state authorities violate their duties. We seek perspectives from both scholars and practitioners to understand how processes and practices of accountability differ across state and non-state arenas, the extent to which these arenas intersect, and how answers to these questions may differ across sectors such as education, health, security, and welfare provision. We encourage research that addresses these questions across the chain of accountability: from the provision of information on rights, responsibilities, and outcomes to enforcement and sanctioning of unresponsive providers and authorities. In charting these various routes to accountability, we will also contribute to GLD’s broader aim of explaining variation in governance and local development in an effort to promote human welfare globally.
Policy Dialogue Day 2019
22/05/2019 - 22/05/2019
The Annual Policy Dialogue Day “New Challenges to Democracy, Governance, and Peace” will take place on Wednesday 22 May 2019, at the Wallenberg Conference Center in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Several large-scale societal changes affect democracy, governance and peace both at national and local level: expanded access to social media and digital tools is shaking up political communication; rapid changes due to globalization challenge national and local governance; a rise in identity politics, political exclusion and populism threatens democratic progress and good governance; and non-state actors are increasingly involved in various aspects of governance.
GLD Annual Conference 2018: Layered Authority
31/05/2018 - 01/06/2018
The Program on Governance and Local Development (GLD) at the University of Gothenburg will hold its second annual conference on May 31 - June 1, 2018 with the theme, "Layered Authority." In contexts where the state is weak, scholars have highlighted the importance of traditional authorities and other non-state actors when it comes to dispute resolution, tax collection, and a variety of other functions. And yet citizens abiding by traditional authorities in some domains may encounter state authorities in others -- for instance, if they send their children to public school or seek care from public hospitals. Moreover, the authority of state and non-state actors may overlap in ways that can create confusion or cause conflict -- for example, when it comes to land titling. Even in contexts where the state is seen as quite strong (i.e., upper- and middle-income countries) people may defer to religious authorities and other non-state entities when it comes to making decisions about marriage, schooling, and funeral rites. The tension that can arise between state and non-state authorities in the West is evidenced by recent legal battles over same-sex marriage, access to contraceptives, and abortion. We seek to showcase research that examines the ways in which different authorities interact, and the extent to which they complement or clash with each other. We also wish to understand how such interactions affect governance more broadly -- at the community as well as the state level. We aim to stimulate dialogue on such questions among scholars, policymakers, and other members of the development community.
Policy Dialogue Day 2018
30/05/2018 - 30/05/2018
We are pleased to announce an invitation to attend the Policy Dialogue Day 2018 “New Research = Better Policies: Insights on Democracy, Governance, and Armed Conflict” in Gothenburg, Sweden, May 30, 2018. This year’s Policy Dialogue Day is organized by the V-Dem (Varieties of Democracy) Institute, the QoG (Quality of Government) Institute, GLD-Gothenburg (Program for Governance and Local Development), UCPD (Uppsala Conflict Data Program) and ViEWS (a Political Violence Early Warning System). The annual Policy Dialogue conference bridges the gap between analysis and practice and aims to shed light on questions relating to democracy support and governance. The conference serves as a meeting platform for practitioners, policy makers, and academics.
SAFEResearch Handbook Workshop
27/04/2018 - 27/04/2018
Conducting field research has become an increasingly risky endeavour in recent years, particularly in regions characterized by violent conflict, repressive political regimes, or state failure. Working under such conditions is challenging. Researchers need to think of ways to assure the physical safety of their respondents, they need to protect themselves, and they must consider whether and how the confidentiality of information can be maintained. Despite these conditions, and despite the fact that journalists, NGO workers, and scholars across a range of disciplines face similar challenges, guidance on how to prepare and conduct safe field research is not readily available. SAFEResearch aims at addressing these shortcomings. We want to sensitize the academic community to the risks faced by many researchers and to draw on the experience of practitioners. Safe fieldwork comprises several interrelated dimensions. In addition to the physical safety of research participants and researchers, research in politically sensitive settings may require additional measures to ensure the confidentiality of data. Contact details, field notes, interview transcripts and other forms of research-related information needs to be stored, transmitted, and handled in a responsible way, balancing concerns about safety and confidentiality with transparency norms in the discipline.
The SAFEResearch Handbook: Gothenburg Workshop is supported by the Program on Governance and Local Development (GLD) and the School of Global Studies (SGS). This event is aimed at presenting key findings from the Handbook, spreading awareness of the project, and targeting research practitioners from academia, as well as key administrative professionals from academic institutions and bodies funding academic research.