Kristen Kao is a Senior Research Fellow with the Program on Governance and Local Development (GLD) at the University of Gothenburg. She holds a Ph.D. and master's degree in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles. Kristen is an expert in survey methodology and experimental design in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa contexts, where she has many years of fieldwork experience. Her most recently funded projects include a multi-method, 6-year comparative study of the integration of Syrian migrants into Jordan, Turkey, and Sweden; a study on the drivers of forgiveness versus revenge among diverse groups in Iraq and Sweden employing 4 large-N surveys and experiments; and surveys in East Africa examining the interaction between social institutions and local governance across issues of authority and legitimacy, vote-buying and clientelism, as well as stereotypes and inequalities. In 2019, her research on post-conflict reconciliation in Iraq with Mara Revkin received the Franklin L. Burdette Pi Sigma Alpha Award for the best paper presented at the American Political Science Association (APSA) annual meeting and it is now forthcoming at The American Journal of Political Science. She has also published work on clientelism, ethnic politics, non-state authorities, and electoral institutions in Comparative Politics, World Development, Mediterranean Politics, Journal of Elections, Public Opinion, and Parties, Survey Practice, the Oxford Handbook of Politics in Muslim Societies, The Washington Post, and Carnegie’s Sada, among others. Kristen was also a 2007 Fulbright Scholar to Egypt.
Mina Ghassaban Kjellén
Mina Ghassaban Kjellén is Associate Researcher at GLD. She graduated from the Master’s Programme in Political Science at the University of Gothenburg in January 2020. Her MA thesis, supervised by Kristen Kao, explored perceptions of democracy among supporters of AKP and CHP, the two largest political parties in Turkey. During her studies, Mina did an internship at GLD in 2017. Before joining GLD again in November 2020, Mina worked as an asylum case officer at the Swedish Migration Agency.