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GLD Newsletter
November 2020

In This Newsletter

  • Governance Uncovered: Rapid Urbanization in Ghana
  • Working Paper on Stereotypes and Covid-19
  • Call for Working Papers
  • Jordan's Parliamentary Elections and Covid-19
  • Congratulations STG Fall Recipients
  • and much more! 

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New Governance Uncovered Podcast

Jeffrey W. Paller on Rapid Urbanization and Politics in Ghana


Episode 22: This month, we talk to Jeffrey Paller about African politics and sustainable urban development. Jeffrey recently published a book on the subject called Democracy in Ghana: Everyday Politics in Urban Africa.

Jeffrey is an Assistant Professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco and the curator of the weekly news bulletin “This Week in Africa.” He has conducted fieldwork in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa, and specializes in African politics and sustainable urban development, focusing on democracy and accountability in urban Africa.

Selected work:
Jeffrey Paller. (2019) Democracy in Ghana: Everyday Politics in Urban Africa. Cambridge University Press, Available here.


New Working Paper

Disease Threat, Stereotypes, and Covid–19: An Early View from Malawi and Zambia

A growing literature documents Covid–19’s health and economic effects, but can Covid–19 also exacerbate identity divisions? Psychologists argue that contagious disease increases threat perception, provoking policing of group boundaries and discrimination against perceived outsiders. This paper focuses on a mechanism underlying this work - the emergence of disease-based stereotypes. Employing survey experiments administered over the phone in Malawi (N=4,641) and Zambia (N=2,198) in May-August 2020, we explore how insider/outsider status and symptoms of illness shape perceptions of infection, reported willingness to help, and desires to restrict movement. We find mixed evidence for outsider stereotypes: Malawians associate the disease more with outsiders while Zambians do not. Moreover, symptoms more strongly shape perceptions and hypothetical behaviour than insider/outsider status in both countries, suggesting that objective risk matters more than identities in shaping responses to the illness.

Read the full working paper. 



Project Updates 

Locally Rooted Approach to Covid-19 Response


  • On November 4, GLD, SAIPAR, and Zambart held a webinar to present the health and stigma results from the First GLD-SAIPAR Covid-19 Survey in Zambia. We want to thank everyone who participated in the webinar, especially our expert panellists, Musonda Simwinga and Ginny Bond, for contributing to a great discussion with many interesting insights!

Opportunities: Call for Working Papers

Call for Working Papers 

Would you like to increase your audience and have your papers read by other scholars through a wide network?  We hereby invite you to submit a working paper to The Program on Governance and Local Development for publication on our website and in our SSRN eJournal series. GLD has a wide readership network, and we disseminate our findings both in Sweden and around the globe. Articles submitted for consideration in this working paper series will undergo a standard review process. Each working paper is sent to at least one expert for a friendly but critical review. Accepted manuscripts are also given a careful edit prior to publication.

Submission Guidelines
The series aims to disseminate research on local governance and development issues to scholars and policymakers. We therefore advise that manuscripts (exclusive of appendices) should not exceed 12000 words unless by exception. Your manuscript should also be submitted in editable Word format. The series also aims to support authors as they work to publish their paper in peer-reviewed journals. Manuscripts published elsewhere will not be accepted, but papers selected for publication can be removed from the Working Paper Series before journal publication, should the journal require it.
Please consult the GLD Working Papers style guide prior to publication. All manuscripts should be submitted to
We welcome your submission and encourage you to circulate this call for papers amongst your own network.
If you have any questions, please contact

Publications, Presentations, and Press


Sylvia I. Bergh and Francesco Colin, "Citizen Petitions to Moroccan Municipalities: A Case of Asymmetrical Inclusion?" 3 November.
Steven Brooke and Monica Komer, "Local Variation in Mosque-based Governance: Evidence From Tunisia," Fall 2020 Weekly Seminar Series for the GLD in the MENA Edited Volume, 17 November.

Prisca Jöst and Ellen Lust, "Neighborhood Social Context and Compliance among the Poor," African Science Association (ASA), Virtual Conference 2020, 20 November.

Prisca Jöst, "Recruitment Networks for Neighborhood Clean-ups in Tunisia," Fall 2020 Weekly Seminar Series for the GLD in the MENA Edited Volume, 10 November.
Christiana Parreira, "Local Elections and Public Goods Provision Under Party Cartel Rule: Evidence from Lebanon’s Municipalities," Fall 2020 Weekly Seminar Series for the GLD in the MENA Edited Volume, 10 November.

Aytug Sasmaz, Julia Clark, and Alexandra Blackman, "Local Political Priorities during Tunisia’s First Democratic Municipal Elections," Fall 2020 Weekly Seminar Series for the GLD in the MENA Edited Volume, 24 November.


Al Bosala 2020. "The Washington Post: The last, least democratic elections in the history of Jordan ... and the 'independent' respond." Al Bosala, 21 November. Read Article

Al-Jazeera 2020. "A Sparring Between the American Washington Post and the Independent Authority for Elections Regarding Jordan's Elections." Al-Jazeera, 21 November. Read Post.

Al-Urdunyya 2020. "The Spokesperson for Independent Elections Commission Deplores Jordanians' Circulation of the Washington Post Article..." Al-Urdunyya, 21 November. Read Post.

EurekAlert! 2020. "Difficult to Implement National Corona Restrictions in Malawi." American Association for the Advancement of Science, 12 November. Read Article.
Medical Xpress 2020. "Difficult to Implement National Corona Restrictions in Malawi." Science X, 12 November. Read Article.

Nabd News 2020. "The Washington Post: The last, least democratic elections in the history of Jordan ... and the 'independent' respond." Nabd News App, 21 November. Read Article.

University of Gothenburg 2020. "Difficult to Implement National Corona Restrictions in Malawi." University of Gothenburg News, 27 October. 

GLD Working Paper eJournal

Don’t forget to subscribe to the GLD SSRN eJournal! This month’s edition is focused on Non-State Governance. To see GLD’s full SSRN series, please click here

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

The Pandemic Compromised Jordan’s Parliamentary Elections

This month, Kristen Kao and Ezra J. Karmel discussed how the Covid-19 pandemic had compromised Jordan's 2020 Parliamentary elections, arguing this year's election was one of the least democratic in Jordan's recent history. The article was originally published in The Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog, but was picked up by Jordanian and Middle Eastern media after it was criticised by Jihad al-Momani, an official from the Independent Electoral Commission, on his personal Facebook page (Al-Bosala). This sparked a healthy discussion in Jordan over what democracy really means (Sama Jordan News).

Find the full article here


Short Term Grant Recipients

This month, GLD awarded grants to five researchers from around the world for a variety of projects. The grants will facilitate their upcoming Covid-19 friendly fieldwork, and we will publish their results in GLD Working Papers. We look forward to seeing all of these projects develop, and offer the recipients our congratulations!

If you are interested in applying for a GLD Short-Term Grant in the future, please visit our website. The next Short-Term Grant application period will run from January 18 - March 31, 2021.
Valesca Lima 
Project Title: Citizen Mobilization for Housing - Struggles to Stay at Home During the Covid-19 Pandemic
Research Countries: Brazil and Portugal
Ngoc Phan
Project Title: Meritocratic Promotion, Corruption at Local Governments, and the Durability of Single-Party Regimes
Research Country: Vietnam
Mulenga Chonzi Mulenga
Project Title: Assessing the Performance of Local Authorities in Zambia During the Covid-19 Pandemic
Research Country: Zambia
Sarah Thompson
Project Title: Roadblocks Remain: Constraints to Women's Political Participation and Mobility in Pakistan
Research Country: Pakistan
Changxin Patrick Xu
Project Title: The Parking Autonomous Committee in Urban China: Evidence from Shenzhen, Xi'an and Nanchang
Research Country: China

Staff Announcements 

Welcoming our New Interns!

Jennifer Bergman is a Research Intern with GLD. She holds a BA in International Relations from Queen Mary, University of London and an MA in Conflict, Security and Development from King’s College London. She is interested in the nexus of conflict and development and how it interacts with global health, migration, and gender from a post-colonial perspective.
Salima Ismayilzada is a Research Intern studying a MaPS at the University of Gothenburg as an SI scholarship holder. She  graduated with a BA in Public Affairs from ADA University. She has also interned at the Quality of Government Institute at the University of Gothenburg, and worked in UN Azerbaijan and ELSA Azerbaijan. Her main career interests center on gender studies, human rights, and democracy. She is specifically interested in pursuing a career in international organizations like the United Nations and Human Rights Watch. She speaks English, Azerbaijani, Russian, and Turkish.

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