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GLD Newsletter
February 2020

In This Newsletter

  • IPOR Malawi at GLD
  • Podcast: What Affects Host Communities' Acceptance of Migrants? 
  • New Working Paper on Choice Sets in Elections
  • R-Ladies Launched in Gothenburg!
  • Hiring and Other Opportunities
  • And Much More! 

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Working Paper: Choice and Choice Set in African Elections

This note argues for a reorientation of how we think about ethnic voting, away from an exclusive focus on voters to one that links voter behavior to the supply side of candidates.  It introduces the concept of choice set, or the set of choices a voter sees on the ballot on election day, and shows that the modal choice set in three legislative elections – Kenya (2007), Ghana (2008), and Uganda (2011) – is not the mixed co-ethnic/non-co-ethnic set assumed in much of the literature on ethnic voting in Africa.  Most African voters in fact see ballots that consist of either all co-ethnics or no co-ethnics.  These uniform choice sets constrain choice in ways that predetermine behavior.  Moreover, breaking behavior into choice and choice set reveals that differences in prevalence rates of co-ethnic voting across cases is driven as much by the choices voters see on their ballots as the choices they make in the voting booth.  Shifting from choice to choice set thus induces us to identify and theorize factors shaping electoral outcomes in Africa beyond those rooted in individual voter psychology: the entry decisions of candidates and parties, constituency boundaries, and the distribution of groups across geography.

Read the full working paper.

Podcast: What Affects Host Communities Acceptance of Migrants? 


Episode 12: This month's podcast is the third in our special series on migration. This episode features Claire Adida's (University of California, San Diego) research on mass migration, focusing particularly on the challenges faced by host communities as they adapt to their changing environments.

Claire Adida uses quantitative methods to study how countries manage new and existing forms of diversity. She has applied this question to the study of immigrant exclusion and ethnic politics in urban West Africa, France, and the United States. Her current research investigates the conditions that reduce out-group discrimination, and the strategies vulnerable minorities employ to navigate discriminatory environments. Her work is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Hellman Foundation, and the Evidence in Governance and Politics Group.

Selected Work:

Adida, Claire L. 2014. Immigrant Exclusion and Insecurity in Africa; Coethnic Strangers. Cambridge University Press. Link
Adida, Claire L., Laitin, David D., Valfort, Marie-Anne 2016. Why Muslim Integration Fails in Christian-Heritatge Societies. Harvard University Press. Link


Visiting Researchers from IPOR Malawi!

(Left Picture: GLD staff and IPOR Malawi researchers; Right Picture: Visiting researchers Witness Alfonso, Michael Chasukwa, Maria Chunga and John Tengatenga)
During the first two weeks of February, GLD hosted a 4-person team from the Institute of Public Opinion and Research (IPOR) in Malawi to kick-off the LGPI 2019 report writing process. The IPOR team participated in data analysis workshops to develop and expand their skills in preparation for writing the first reports on the LGPI 2019 data. They contributed invaluable insights into Malawian life and governance which shaped the analyses for the reports. These reports will serve as the first communication of the results of the LGPI 2019 survey in Malawi, going out to NGOs, media outlets, and government officials.

Thank you, Witness Alfonso, Michael Chasukwa, Maria Chunga and John Tengatenga, for two weeks of excellent work. We hope to see you back soon!

To learn more about IPOR and the work they are engaged in, visit their website.

Kristen Kao at the Folke Bernadotte Academy

This month GLD Senior Research Fellow Kristen Kao was invited to present her research at the Folke Bernadotte Academy, the Swedish government agency for peace, security and development. She discussed post-conflict justice and the reintegration of former Islamic State collaborators, based on past research in Iraq with Dr. Mara Revkin, on-going research on Iraq with Dr. Michael Bang Petersen and Dr. Kristin Fabbe, and an upcoming project in Sweden with Dr. Peter Esaiasson. She also met with practitioners and researchers at the academy to discuss potential future collaborations.

R-Ladies @ GU

The first Gothenburg R-Ladies event was held this month at the Department of Politcal Science, University of Gothenburg. The first meeting was held on February 26th, with approximately 40 participants, both men and women. We would like to congratulate those responsible for organazing this excellent initiative:

Jana Schwenk, PhD Student in Political Science at GU
Natalia Alvarado, Database Supervisor at QoG
Sofia Axelsson, Deputy Chief Analyst at QoG
Nina Ilchenko, Database Supervisor at V-Dem
Erica Metheney, Statisician at GLD

About R-Ladies
R-Ladies is a world-wide organization to promote gender diversity in the R community. R-Ladies welcomes members of all R proficiency levels, whether you are a new or aspiring R user, or an experienced R programmer interested in mentoring, networking and expert upskilling. Our community is designed to develop our members' R skills and knowledge through social, collaborative learning and sharing. Supporting minority identity access to STEM skills and careers, the Free Software Movement, and contributing to the global R community!
Presentations, Publications, Press, & Events


Ellen Lust, Columbia Comparative Politics Seminar, Poverty and Clientelism: Do the Poor Embrace Handouts?, Columbia University, New York, US, Feb 12.


Benstead, Lindsay; Kao, Kristen; Lust, Ellen. "Does It Matter What Observers Say? The impact of international election monitoring on legitimacy." 2020, Mediterranean Politics.


Boni Dulani and Adam Harris featured in The Economist, Conscious Coupling, Feb 6, 2020. Read.  


Ellen Lust, Renaissance Weekend at Amelia Island, Florida, Feb 16-17.




Upcoming Workshop on the Dynamics of Decentralization in the MENA: Comparative Lessons for Oman 

During the 2 - 3 March, GLD will hold a workshop at the Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg. The workshop "The Dynamics of Decentralization in the MENA: Comparative Lessons for Oman"  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 sub-national variation in governance that may affect the effective implementation of decentralization processes in Oman.

Venue? Lilla Skansen, Gothenburg University 
When? 2/3 between 08:30 - 16:30 and 3/3 between 08:30 - 15:00

If you wish to attend, please send an email specifying the day and time, to 
*** Please note that space for this event is limited and we cannot guarantee you a seat. ***

We are Hiring a Data Manager!

The main assignment is to implement an organizational system for the content (datasets, working papers, maps, code scripts, forms, photos) created and used by GLD. Other assignments include assisting with formatting and modification of datasets.

The job is performed in close collaboration with the GLD team including the program director, project coordinator, program statistician, post-doctoral research fellows, PhD students, interns, and affiliated faculty around the world.

We are looking for one with the right skillset to successfully carry out the above described job assignments. The following qualifications are required:
  • Degree in Library Science, Information Management, Information Technology, Computer Science or related field.
  • Proficiency in at least one programming language, preferably R or Python.
  • Experience working with databases and meta data

The following qualifications, while not necessary, are advantageous:
  • Experience with relational databases
  • Experience with geographic and survey data
  • Experience working with sensitive data
  • Experience working with multiple data types (e.g. csv, xml, kml)
  • Experience in data visualization

Type of employment: Fixed term 6 months
Extent: 100 %
Location: Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg
First day of employment:  As soon as possible.

Read more about eligibility, job assignments and how to apply here.

Advancing Research on Conflict (ARC) Consortium Summer Program

The program is designed to provide rigorous academic instruction in conflict field methods, in addition to facilitating the development of professional support networks that include faculty and peers engaged in similar work. The program links practical skills training in risk assessment, first aid, and data security with the methodological and ethical considerations of rigorous social science research design. Instruction is provided by faculty at the London School of Economics, Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, and the University of Maryland, as well as by trauma experts, and risk, security, travel and emergency first aid specialists.
Who is it for?
The ARC Summer Program is primarily designed for PhD students, post-doctoral research fellows, and junior faculty in comparative politics, peace and conflict studies, and international relations who are preparing to embark on research in volatile, conflict-affected, or otherwise challenging field sites.  However, applications from scholars at all career stages and from all subfields will be considered.
When is it?
The summer program is scheduled for August 29th-September 3rd, 2020 in Harrisonburg, VA. The program will be followed by a two-day workshop in Washington DC on September 4th and 5th. The program is fully residential and students are expected to be onsite for the duration.

Follow the link for more information: 
***Applications must be submitted  by 11:59pm PST on Sunday, 8th March 2020***

And Finally...

Invitation to the SGroup Think Tank in June 

The University of Gothenburg has been a member of the European network SGroup since 1993 (former Santander-group). Within SGroup there are close collaborations with countries and regions outside of Europe. SGroup Think Tank is a platform for knowledge-sharing with a regional focus for researchers within the network.
SGroup is arranging its next Think Tank meeting with focus on sustainable development in China, Latin America and Africa on the 16th and 17th of June 2020.
Venue: University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
The call for submission of topics for the SGroup Think Tank Workshop now open here until March 6.
Registrations will remain open here until May 15.
The session on the 16th afternoon, Conceptualizing Sustainable Internationalization, will encourage the discussion about SGroup initiatives for sustainable internationalisation and include a presentation about the SUCTI Academia project and the European report on systemic university changes towards internationalisation for academic staff in European HEIs.

On the 17th, SGroup members and external guests are invited to present topics on Sustainable Development regarding China, Latin America and Africa. In the late afternoon, a networking event will take place, together with participants from the second international conference on regional integration: Enabling tourism to integrate AME economies to cope with climate change: special focus on the African societies, which will take place from 18 to 19 June (call for papers and deadlines here).
Please inform Sarah Blichfeldt, if you are planning on presenting or participating at the Think Tank meeting.
The International Centre may offer funding of travel-costs up to 10 000 SEK/participants (+OH).
Read more about SGroup here: 



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