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GLD Newsletter
January 2021

In This Newsletter

  • Stigma, trust, and procedural integrity: Covid-19 testing in Malawi
  • Kristen Kao on post-conflict reconciliation in Iraq
  • Steven Brooke and Monica C. Komer on the use of the mosques
  • GLD workshop series
  • GLD in the MENA
  • Opportunity: GLD short-term grants
  • ... and much more! 

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In the Spotlight:

Stigma, Trust, and Procedural Integrity: Covid-19 Testing in Malawi

An emerging consensus in public health views Covid–19 testing as key to managing the pandemic. It is often assumed that citizens have a strong desire to know their Covid–19 status, and will therefore take advantage of testing opportunities. This article explores willingness to receive a free Covid–19 test via a vignette experiment (conjoint design) embedded in a phone survey conducted in Malawi in May 2020. We find that Malawians expect higher uptake of testing in their community when the international health organization offered the test rather than a public clinic, an effect we attribute to higher trust in the organization and/or perceptions of greater capacity to ensure procedural integrity. The confidentiality reassurance did not substantially alter beliefs about the privacy of results but did increase doubts about the willingness of community members to get tested in a public health clinic. Our findings suggest the importance of considering the demand side of testing in addition to well-known challenges of supply.

Authors: Karen E. Ferree, Adam S. Harris, Boniface Dulani, Kristen Kao, Ellen Lust, and Erica Metheney.

Find the full publication in World Development

New Governance Uncovered Podcast

Kristen Kao on Post-Conflict Reconciliation in Iraq 


Episode 23: This month, we talk to GLD's Senior Research Fellow Kristen Kao about her work on post-conflict reconciliation in Iraq. Kristen tells us about her study on the drivers of forgiveness versus revenge among diverse groups in Iraq and how her research could help promote long-term peace.

Selected work:
Kao, Kristen and Revkin, Mara Redlich. (2018). “To punish or to pardon?” The Program on Governance and Local Development Working Paper No. 17, University of Gothenburg. Read.

Kao, Kristen and Revkin, Mara. (2019). "How the Iraqi crackdown on the Islamic State may actually increase support for the Islamic State," The Washington Post Monkey Cage.


New Working Paper

How Gender and Local State Capacity Shape Citizens’ Use of the Mosque

There is a well-documented gender gap in mosque use in the Islamic World, with men attending Friday prayer more frequently than women. However, we know little about whether a gender gap exists among those who use the mosque for non-religious purposes. Using original survey data from Tunisia, we find that men are generally more likely than women to use mosques for non-religious reasons. However, in areas further from the coast—where communities face considerably more social and economic disparities—the gender gap dissipates. In areas above the 60th percentile in terms of distance from the coast, there is no gender gap in citizen preferences for mosque-based services. Our findings build upon existing work in two notable ways. First, our results suggest that individual and community-level factors jointly shape preferences for mosque-based services. Second, they suggest that mosques may be particularly important places for women in marginalized areas to address personal and community problems.

This paper is part of the larger Governance and Local Development in the MENA project, funded by the Hicham Alaoui Foundation.

Read the full working paper. 



GLD Events 

Upcoming: GLD's Spring Workshop Series 

We are excited to announce the new GLD Spring Workshop Series. The series is aimed at sharing findings based on GLD data, and workshopping papers findings into well-crafted articles. The seminar series will start on February 4 and continue until the end of April.

For more information about the seminar series, or if you wish to attend, please contact

GLD Workshop Series 
Spring 2021 
16.00-17.00 CET 


Date Topic
4 February  Adam Harris: "Covid-19 and Elections" (co-authored with Ellen Lust, Boniface Dulani, Karen Ferree, Kristen Kao, Cecilia Ahsan Jansson, and Erica Metheney)
11 February  Prisca Jöst and Ellen Lust: "Neighborhood Social Ties and Compliance among the Poor" 
18 February  "Disease Threat, Stereotypes and Covid-19: An Early View from Malawi and Zambia" (co-authored with Ellen Lust, Adam Harris, Boniface Dulani, Karen Ferree, Kristen Kao, Cecilia Ahsan Jansson, and Erica Metheney)
25 February  Kristen Kao and Ellen Lust: "Signal of Strength? Clientelism and Voters’ Expectations of Politicians’ Performance in Malawi and Zambia"
4 March  Marcia Grimes and Frida Boräng: "The Effect of State Presence (or Absence) on Political Behavior"  
11 March  Pierre Landry: "Importance of Contextual Variables on the Analysis of Survey Data"
18 March  Adam Harris, Kristen Kao, Erica Metheney and Ellen Lust: "ESI Paper" 
25 March  Ellen Lust: "Clientelism, Credibility and Context" 
8 April  Kate Baldwin, Kristen Kao and Ellen Lust: "How Leaders Gain Compliance Across Different Realms: Evidence from Cross-National Survey Experiments"

2020 Fall Virtual Seminar Series: GLD in the MENA Volume

The Governance and Local Development in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) project aims to create a better understanding of local governance in the region. It brings together scholars from Europe, the MENA region and the US to explore a diverse set of issues including why some communities do better at providing services, resolving conflict, or engaging in environmental issues than others, as well as how authority and governance procedures vary across space and time. Read more on here.

In the fall of 2020, GLD arranged a weekly seminar series that brought together collaborators on the forthcoming Governance and Local Development in the MENA edited volume. The series included twelve sessions starting in September with a brief presentation of each paper, and the majority of time devoted to comments, feedback, and questions. The volume explored subjects such as comparative decentralization, state-building and power, gender, service provision and social cohesion in the MENA.

We thank all the presenters and are looking forward to the special MENA volume!

GLD in the MENA Presentations
Fall 2020

Presenters Titles
Lindsay Benstead Gendered Pathways of Local Governance Engagement in Algeria
Prisca Jöst and Kristen Kao The Translation of Social Norms into Civic Action
Among the Poor in Tunisia
Marika Sosnowski Outposts of the state: local governance in war and peacetime in Syria’s south
Intissar Kherigi Territory, identity and local governance in Tunisia: How do changes to municipal boundaries shape conflicts within and between municipalities?
Marwa Shalaby
Decentralization and Women’s Political Inclusion in Morocco
Kristen Kao and Salma Mousa Building Bridges? Intergroup Contact, Power Status, and Coexistence in Jordan
Sylvia I. Bergh and Francesco Colin Citizen Petitions to Moroccan Municipalities: A Case of Asymmetrical Inclusion?
Christiana Parreira Local Elections and Public Goods Provision Under Party Cartel Rule: Evidence from Lebanon’s Municipalities
Steven Brooke and Monica Komer Local Variation in Mosque-based Governance: Evidence From Tunisia
Aytug Sasmaz, Julia Clark and Alexandra Blackman Local Political Priorities during Tunisia’s First Democratic Municipal Elections
Matt Buehler Beards, Mustaches, and Power: The Traits of Masculine Leadership in the Middle East
Ahmed Al Mukheini How prerogatives of local governments shift over time, state building and local authority in Oman

Opportunities: Short Term Grants

GLD Short Term Grants 

**Applications must be submitted by March 31**
GLD is offering a limited number of research fellowships for scholars for short-term research projects in the areas of governance and local development. Awards averaging 25,000 SEK will be offered to support projects related to critical governance issues. Themes include, but are not limited to:
  • Local governance challenges
  • Service delivery as it varies across local contexts
  • Relationship between state and non-state actors
  • Level of corruption and citizens’ perceptions of it
  • How citizens solve disputes with officials, families, and friends and how state or non-state actors are involved
  • Participation in local elections and political campaigns
  • How security services are provided in transitional periods and/or under weak central states

Due to the current circumstances, we will only consider Covid-19-friendly projects at the moment. Please keep this in mind when submitting your research proposal.

To apply, please submit your CV, research proposal (including detailed budget), and an English writing sample to NOTE – all documents must be submitted in English to be considered. Applications close 31 March 2020.

For further information, please click here. If you have any questions, please contact  
Publications and Presentations


Benstead, Lindsay J. (2021). “Taking One for the Team: Islamist Parties and Women’s Representation in Morocco,” Melani Cammett and Pauline Jones Luong (eds.) Oxford Handbook on Politics in Muslim Societies.

Dulani, Boniface, Lindsay Benstead, Ragnhild L. Muriaas, and Vibeke Wang. (Forthcoming). “Does Gender Matter in Evaluations of Chiefs’ Performance?” Kim Dionne and Asiyati Chiweza (eds) Traditional Governance in Malawi.

Ferree, Karen E., Adam S. Harris, Boniface Dulani, Ellen Lust, Kristen Kao, and Erica Metheney. (2021). “Stigma, Trust, and Procedural Integrity: Covid-19 Testing in Malawi,” World Development.

Irgil, Ezgi and Zahed Mukayed. (2020). "Case Report: Carsamba, Bursa, Turkey – Integration Concerns of Parents about Syrian Children," Refugees in Towns, Feinstein International Center at Tufts University.

Tengs, Elise. (2020). "Taxation as a Social Contract. Public Goods and Collective Action in Sub-Saharan Africa," Quality of Government Institute Working Paper Series 2020:10, University of Gothenburg.


Ahmed Al Mukheini, "How Prerogatives of Local Governments Shift over Time, State-Building and Local authority in Oman," Fall 2020 Weekly Seminar Series for the GLD in the MENA Edited Volume, 8 December.

Lindsay J. Benstead, "Do Islamist Parties Reach Marginalized Citizens,” Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Middle East and North Africa (ASMEA), 18-20 November.

Matt Buehler, "Beards, Mustaches, and Power: The Traits of Masculine Leadership in the Middle East," Fall 2020 Weekly Seminar Series for the GLD in the MENA Edited Volume, 1 December.

Felix Dwinger, "Democratic Check? Incumbent Parties and Democratic Backsliding," SPSA (Virtual), 6-9 January.

Ezgi Irgil, "Everyday Regulations and Syrian Refugees’ Encounters with State Authorities in Turkey," Nordic Migration Conference (Virtual), 11-14 January.

Ezgi Irgil, "Forced Migration and Intergroup Relations in Everyday Life: Natives, Refugees, and Local Authorities," 80% Seminar, General Research Seminar, University of Gothenburg, 19 November.

Prisca Jöst, “The Political Participation of the Poor, Presentation,” 80% Seminar, General Research Seminar, University of Gothenburg, 17 December.

Kristen Kao, "Retribution or Reconciliation? Post-Conflict Attitudes Toward Enemy Collaborators," Comparative Politics Working Group, University of California, San Diego, 2 December.

Kristen Kao, "How Does Punishment Affect Reintegration? Attitudes Toward Islamic State 'Collaborators' in Iraq," From Armed to Non-Armed Politics: A Series of Virtual Seminars Initiating a Research-Policy Dialogue on the Political Dynamics of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration, Peace After War - Folke Bernadotte - DDR Workshop, 16 December.

Ellen Lust, “Interventions on the Current State and Future Trends of Governance," Reimagining Governance Nordic Roundtable (Virtual), UNDP, 27 January.

GLD Working Paper eJournal

Don’t forget to subscribe to the GLD SSRN eJournal! This month’s edition is focused on Diversity and Social Cohesion. To see GLD’s full SSRN series, please click here

Click the button below to subscribe to GLD’s new eJournal!


Lindsay Benstead was awarded the ASMEA Annual Conference Best Paper Prize

Associate professor Lindsay Benstead (Portland State University) was awarded ASMEA Annual Conference Best Paper Prize for her paper "Do Islamist Parties Reach Marginalized Citizens? Evidence from Algeria." The paper examines the electoral success of Islamist Parties by showing Islamists’ effectiveness in reaching female constituents. GLD is proud to have supported this research.

See the full article here.

Staff Announcements 

Welcoming our New Interns!

Adilhan Adil is joining our team as the Communications and Management Intern. He is studying in the IAGG program at the University of Gothenburg and received his Bachelor's degree in International Relations from Bilkent University in Turkey. Before GLD, Adilhan interned in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, as well as  several research institutes. He is interested in political communication, foreign policy analysis, and likes to sail to remote areas of Swedish archipelago in his free time.
Daniela Völp is a Research Intern at GLD and studying in the IAGG program at the University of Gothenburg. She completed her Bachelor's degree in International Relations and European Languages at the University of Dundee and Sciences Po Grenoble. She is interested in sustainable development with a focus on environmental issues, and the affects of Covid-19 on governance and ideology. She enjoys learning foreign languages, travelling, and doing sports. 
Katelyn Nutley is a Research Intern at GLD and studying the double degree program in the IAGG program with the University of Konstanz and the University of Gothenburg. She holds a joint Bachelors degrees in International Relations from the College of William & Mary and the University of St Andrews. She is interested in globalization and identity politics and writing her thesis on the effect of militias on American governance. 
Samuel Larsson is a Research Intern at GLD. He is currently enrolled in the IAGG program at the University of Gothenburg. He studied Peace and Development at Linnaeus University and Political Philosophy at the University of Hull in the UK. He is interested in the politics of development in Sub-Saharan Africa, development cooperation, and global inequality. In his free time, he enjoys playing the drums.

Thank you and Farewell, Salima!

Salima concluded her a research internship in mid-January, and we would like to thank her for all of her excellent work at GLD. We wish Salima all the best going forward!

And Finally...

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