Kristen Kao

Kristen Kao received her PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Program on Governance and Local Development (GLD) at the University of Gothenburg, where she contributes her expertise in survey methodology, experimental design, and quantitative analysis to a team of researchers in conducting large-N, locally representative surveys (5,000+) in the developing world. Since 2006 she has been studying Arabic and conducting fieldwork in the Middle East in places as diverse as Syria, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Tunisia, and Egypt. More recent fieldwork in Malawi, Zambia, and Kenya yielded three surveys of 25,000+ respondents examining the interaction of social institutions and local governance across urban and rural settings. Her recently funded projects include a multi-method, comparative study of the integration of Syrian migrants into Jordan, Turkey, and Sweden as well as a study on the drivers of forgiveness versus revenge among diverse groups in Iraq employing surveys and experiments. Kristen’s research has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Fulbright Scholar Program, the Swedish Research Council, the Social Science Research Council, and the American Political Science Association, among others. She has published in Comparative Politics, Survey Practice, The Washington Post, and Carnegie’s Middle East blog Sada, among others. Her recent work on transitional justice has recently been invited for a revise and resubmit at the American Political Science Review.





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.