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Dr Eleanor Gao

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Lecturer in Middle Eastern Politics

My research interests are good governance, local government, identity (especially tribal) politics, and more broadly the politics of semidemocratic and authoritarian countries.  My dissertation, which won the 2013 American Political Science Association’s Best Dissertation in Urban Politics award, examined the influence of social diversity or social structure on local public goods provision.  For this project, I investigated how tribal diversity and tribal cohesion impact municipal services, patronage, and electoral competition in Jordan.  This project uses both quantitative and qualitative data to demonstrate that tribal heterogeneity and the lack of intra-tribal cohesion can enhance local public goods provision.

Currently, I am also working on a number of other projects including understanding tribal coordination under the single non transferable vote system, generational differences in attitudes toward democracy in the Arab world, and the impact of the women's quota on female political participation in Jordan.

I am also a member of the research cluster for social sciences within the Institute.

For office hours and research leave go here.