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GLD Newsletter
June 2020

In This Newsletter

  • GLD Webinar: Covid-19 Insights Malawi
  • Findings from the 1st GLD-IPOR Survey on Covid-19
  • Podcast Special - Summer Edition 
  • New Working Paper
  • Congratulations to Kristen Kao, Adam Harris & Mara Revkin
  • And Much More! 

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This webinar will focus on the results of our First GLD-IPOR Covid-19 survey, and how those results can be translated to actionable change under the new Malawian government.

Sign up for the webinar by sending an email with your name and emails to GLD.

New Project: Developing a Locally Rooted Approach to Covid-19 Response

In March 2020, Zambia and Malawi each reported their first cases of Covid-19, with both governments restricting non-essential travel, banning large public gatherings, and establishing emergency committees to spearhead efforts to contain the pandemic at a national level. These national-level responses are important, but they do not fully reflect how individuals, and the communities in which they reside, respond to Covid-19. The primary objective of this study is to generate a greater understanding of these responses in Zambia and Malawi. We will examine such issues as: knowledge of Covid-19; attitudes and fears surrounding health and economic impacts; social, economic and health vulnerabilities; and social distancing practices and other preventative measures. We pay particular attention to the local variation in concerns over social stigma, levels of enforcement (e.g., curfews, market-place closures, social assistance programs), and engagement of different authorities (e.g., religious leaders, local chiefs).

This study has two primary objectives: 1) To generate information and actionable insights for government officials, CSOs, donors, other stakeholders and the public and 2) To provide insights for academics and practitioners concerned with understanding the relationships between individual, household, and community vulnerabilities and resilience in the face of crises.

We would also like to recognize our project research partners: IPOR Malawi, Ubuntu Research and Rural Development Company (URRDC) and the Southern African Institute for Policy and Research (SAIPAR).

We have disseminated some of our key findings to date through a variety of one-page reports. You can find all of our key findings on the project page under 'Reports'.

Stay Updated

Podcast Special 

Summer has arrived, and we thought that you may have some extra time on your hands! GLD has, therefore, decided to release two episodes per month for June and July. All you need to do is sit back, relax, press play, and enjoy!

Podcast: Outreach International and Community-led Development


Episode 16: In this episode, we talk to Kevin Prine, the President and CEO of Outreach International. Outreach International is a charity that works to eliminate extreme poverty by creating leaders who transform their communities through Participatory Human Development. Kevin tells us about his organization and their approach to working with development, as well as the challenges and rewards they encounter in the field.
Kevin Prine has worked as a professor of new venture creation and business strategy for two decades at Graceland University in Iowa. He has been at Outreach International since 2012, before which he worked as a senior executive at Tradebot Systems.


Podcast: Controlled-hybrid-decentralisation in Oman


Episode 17: This podcast is part of the project: Governance Under Decentralization: Oman And In The Arab Region. This project seeks to better understand the many challenges facing the decentralization process in transitioning states.

We talk to Dr James Worrall, Professor of International Relations and Middle East Studies at University of Leeds. James discusses his latest research into Oman’s controlled-hybrid-decentralization process, so termed for its unique mixture of neo-liberal and technocratic solutions, acting in combination with traditional ruling elements. Further information on his work can be found in GLD Working Paper No. 32 – ‘Power and Process: Decentralisation in Oman.’


Working Paper: Power and Process: Decentralisation in Oman

Decentralisation has been a feature of Omani life since the early 1990s, yet while the Sultanate has been influenced by orthodox thinking around these processes its particular history, culture, circumstances, as well as its strongly centralised state have all meant that it has not simply followed this orthodox thinking. Instead, it has created a system of what this paper terms controlled-hybrid-decentralisation which manifests across four different areas within the state, and for two main purposes: efficiency and legitimacy. Both of which reinforce the power of the central state whilst maximising potential benefits from these processes. In this sense, the Omani experience of decentralisation is hybrid not only in the way it is deployed but it is also a mixture of technocratic and neo-liberal solutions combined with traditional elements of rule. It is ultimately designed to maintain the ruling bargain and uphold the power of the Omani state and dynastic system, thus being more concerned with processes and power than decentralisation itself.

Read the full working paper.

GLD in the News

We are happy to announce that our recent research on local responses to Covid-19 in Malawi has generated a lot of attention in local and international media channels. For more news articles citing GLD’s research, please see our new webpage GLD in the News.
Read the full article 

APSA Award for Kristen Kao and Mara R. Revkin 

Congratulations Kristen Kao (Senior GLD Research Fellow) and Mara R. Revkin (Georgetown University Law Center) on being awarded the 2020 Franklin L. Burdette Pi Sigma Alpha Award for the best paper presented at the 2020 American Political Science Association Annual Meeting. GLD is proud to have supported this research with a GLD Short-Term Grant!
The paper is titled: “Retribution or Reconciliation? Attitudes Toward Rebel Collaborators in Iraq.”
Rebel groups require the cooperation of many civilians who are commonly perceived as “collaborators” after conflict ends. The limited empirical work in this area focuses on fighters, ignoring the need for more nuanced understandings of proportional justice for civilian collaborators. Through a survey experiment in an Iraqi city that experienced governance by the Islamic State, we find that social identity—expected to trigger in- group favoritism—is a weak determinant of preferences for punishment and forgiveness compared to the type of collaboration itself. Our results also fail to provide support for the hypothesis that exposure to violence drives a desire for revenge. Instead, the perceived volition behind an act is important, although its effect varies depending on the type of collaboration. Our research offers uniquely fine-grained data and insights into the factors that shape perceptions of individual rebel culpability, with important policy implications for balancing accountability with the need for reconciliation.

The paper is available at SSRN or here. Other funders of this research include the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and the Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS).

New Funding for Senior Research Fellow Kristen Kao

Kristen Kao and Professor Peter Esaiasson (University of Gothenburg) have been awarded a grant from Lundgrens Vetenskapsfond to study the return of Islamic State collaborators to Europe. The project is entitled : ‘To Punish or to Pardon? Attitudes Towards Justice and Reintegration for Europeans who Cooperated with the Islamic State.’ It will explore the drivers of reconciliation with and reintegration of former IS collaborators and the legitimacy of the state in its process across different subnational populations within Sweden. The grant is worth 66,000 SEK  (approx. $7000 USD) and will involve a survey experiment at the Gothenburg Annual Science Festival (if permitted to run in October), as well as an online survey of 2000 Swedes.

Find out more

Congratulations Adam Harris! 

Adam Harris has been promoted to Associate Professor of Development Politics at the Department of Political science at University College London, starting in Autumn 2020. He received his Ph.D. from NYU in August, 2015 and specializes in ethnic and African politics. Adam is a former GLD postdoc and is currently a member of GLD’s Steering Committee.

We would like to congratulate you, Adam, on your success!  
Reports & Presentations


Metheney, Erica; Lust, Ellen; Dulani, Boniface. “Covid-19 Vulnerabilities.” 2020, Data drawn from Lust, Ellen (PI); Dulani, Boniface; Harris, Adam; Ferree, Karen; Kao, Kristen; Metheney, Erica. 2020. The First GLD-IPOR Covid-19 Survey in Malawi. Key Findings

Metheney, Erica; Lust, Ellen; Dulani, Boniface. “Covid-19 Fears.” 2020, Data drawn from Lust, Ellen (PI); Dulani, Boniface; Harris, Adam; Ferree, Karen; Kao, Kristen; Metheney, Erica. 2020. The First GLD-IPOR Covid-19 Survey in Malawi. Key Findings

Metheney, Erica; Lust, Ellen; Dulani, Boniface. “Covid-19 Trust in Authorities.” 2020, Data drawn from Lust, Ellen (PI); Dulani, Boniface; Harris, Adam; Ferree, Karen; Kao, Kristen; Metheney, Erica. 2020. The First GLD-IPOR Covid-19 Survey in Malawi. Key Findings

Metheney, Erica; Lust, Ellen; Dulani, Boniface. “Covid-19 Response to Illness.” 2020, Data drawn from Lust, Ellen (PI); Dulani, Boniface; Harris, Adam; Ferree, Karen; Kao, Kristen; Metheney, Erica. 2020. The First GLD-IPOR Covid-19 Survey in Malawi. Findings

Metheney, Erica; Lust, Ellen; Dulani, Boniface. “Covid-19 Social Reactions.” 2020, Data drawn from Lust, Ellen (PI); Dulani, Boniface; Harris, Adam; Ferree, Karen; Kao, Kristen; Metheney, Erica. 2020. The First GLD-IPOR Covid-19 Survey in Malawi. Key Findings

Metheney, Erica; Lust, Ellen; Dulani, Boniface. “Covid-19 Economic Impact.” 2020, Data drawn from Lust, Ellen (PI); Dulani, Boniface; Harris, Adam; Ferree, Karen; Kao, Kristen; Metheney, Erica. 2020. The First GLD-IPOR Covid-19 Survey in Malawi. Key Findings


Ellen Lust, Moderator; Panel 7, Women in Public Engagement, EPSA 2020 Virtual Diversity Network Meeting, June 19.

Ilyas Saliba, Online Workshop Researching Conflict: Methodological Challenges and Opportunities, Safer Research in the Social Sciences, ECPR Standing Group, 2-3 July.

Jannis Grimm and Ilyas Saliba, Closed Presentation, Safer Research Handbook, Scholars at Risk, July 15.



Staff Announcement 

We’re pleased to introduce our new Communications Officer, Olivia Östlin.
Olivia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Lund. She was formerly a GLD Management and Communications intern, and we are delighted to be able to keep her as part of our team.


GLD Fall Internships

Here at GLD we are already preparing for an exciting fall semester at the University of Gothenburg. If you are thinking about pursuing an internship as part of your studies, or want to gain work experience with a research program, we are currently accepting applications for three different internships: ResearchData Science and Project Management/Communications. Click here to learn more about these positions.

Benefits of a GLD Internship
  • Gain valuable work experience in a research environment
  • Learn new skills
  • Apply knowledge from academic studies to real-world situations
  • Enhance your employability

Start Date: August 2020
Length of Internship: 10 or 20 weeks
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Working Language: English

To apply, please send your CV, writing sample, and a cover letter describing which track you are applying for and why you want to do an internship at GLD to If you have any questions, please contact us via email. We ask that you submit all documents in English.

International Applicants
While we prioritise applications from University of Gothenburg students, we welcome submissions from around the world. In special circumstances, GLD can pay the cost of transportation to our Swedish offices for international applicants. Unfortunately, we are unable to pay for any living expenses during your internship.

Arabic-Speaking Interns for our SIPGI Project
We are also looking for Arabic-speaking interns for our SIPGI project. Tasks will vary, and may include: learning about the situation on the ground for migrants in Adana, Turkey, Irbid, Jordan, and Gothenburg, Sweden; creating tables or graphs comparing the political institutions and policies governing migrants; writing background reports and internal memorandums; drafting literature reviews; translating questions and other documents; assisting researchers with the logistics of experimental design and implementation; carrying out some light administrative tasks, etc. Click here to learn more about this position. 

SIPGI Qualifications
  • Great organisational skills 
  • Spoken and written Arabic are requirements  
  • Good command of English (both written and verbal) 
  • Demonstrable interest in migration or governance/development issues more broadly 
  • Ability to multitask

GLD Working Paper eJournal

The GLD working paper series is now available as an eJournal on SSRN. Our first issue is a compilation of GLD working papers focusing on Non-State Actors and Peace Building. Find our new eJournal here

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

Thank you and Farewell, Clancy and Lali!

Clancy Karlsson has worked as an Associate Researcher at GLD for the past year. We would like to thank him for all of his excellent work here at GLD, and we wish him all the best in his new adventures.
Lali Dvali has been a research intern at GLD since January, and we would like to thank her for all of her excellent work in her time at GLD. We wish her all the best going forward.

And Finally...

... GLD will be back in August!

The team at GLD wishes you all a great and restuful summer. We'll be back with more of the same in August.

Ha en fin sommar!



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