Photo of Dr Eleanor Gao

Dr Eleanor Gao

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.

Research interests

My main research interests are good governance, local government, identity (especially tribal) politics, politics of the Arab world, and more broadly the politics of semidemocratic and authoritarian countries. 

Research supervision

I am happy to supervise or co-supervise students working on my main research interests (see above), regardless of whether the research will focus on the Arab world.  I am also happy to supervise students working on other comparative politics topics such as democratization, ethnic politics, religion and politics, and so on. 

Research students

Maria Blanco-Palencia, who is working on social movements in Jordan, co-supervised with Bice Maiguashca, Department of Politics

 

Biography

I am a graduate of Wellesley College (USA) where I received a BA in Political Science. I received my PhD in Political Science from the University of Michigan (USA).  In 2012, I joined the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies as Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Middle East Politics.