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Kristen Kao


Kristen Kao
+46 31 786 3353

Room number: A110D
Postal Address: Box 711, 40530 Göteborg
Visiting Address: Sprängkullsgatan 19 , 41123 Göteborg

Department of Political Science (More Information)
Box 711
405 30 Göteborg
Visiting Address: Sprängkullsgatan 19 , 411 23 Göteborg

About Kristen Kao

Kristen Kao is a Senior Research Fellow with the Program on Governance and Local Development (GLD) at the University of Gothenburg. She received her PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

She first traveled to the Middle East on a Fulbright grant to Egypt in 2006. Since then, she has spent summers in Oman, Syria, Tunisia, and Kuwait as well as more than three years in Jordan during which she gained proficiency in Arabic. She has served as a program consultant and election monitor for a variety of international organizations including The Carter Center, Freedom House, and the National Democratic Institute. In 2014, she ran a nationwide survey in Jordan in collaboration with Ellen Lust and Lindsay Benstead funded by the GLD program at Yale University.

Kristen’s broader research interestsinclude the study of vote buying and clientelism, social identity politics, post-conflict reconciliation, survey methodology, experimental design, politics of the Middle East and North Africa, traditional governance, and voter behavior. Most recently, she has won grants to carry out work on the reconciliation with and reintegration of former Islamic State collaborators as well as a comparative study on the integration of forced migrants from Syria into Turkish, Jordanian, and Swedish societies. 

Her research has received funding from the Swedish Research Council, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the American Center of Oriental Research, the National Security Education Program, and the Project on Middle East Political Science, among others. With the GLD program at the University of Gothenburg Kristen helps manage the fielding of surveys, including one carried out in Malawi (N=7,500) in 2016 and three others in Kenya, Zambia, and Malawi in 2019 (N=25,000), as well as organize and analyze the resulting data for publication in reports and academic papers. She has published in Comparative Politics, Survey Practice, and The Washington Post among others.

Please see her CV for more information.

Showing 1 - 6 of 6



Governance and Service Delivery in the Middle East and North Africa
Adam Harris, Kristen Kao, Ellen Lust, Jens Ewald, Petter Holmgren
The Program on Governance and Local Development (GLD), Working paper 2017
Working paper

Money Machine: Do the Poor Demand Clientelism?
Kristen Kao, Ellen Lust, Lise Rakner
The Program on Governance and Local Development (GLD), Working paper 2017
Working paper


Use of Tablet Computers to Implement the Local Governance Performance Index (LGPI) in Tunisia. Working Paper No. 6, November 2015
Lindsay Benstead, Kristen Kao, Pierre Landry, Ellen Lust, Dhafer Malouche
The Program on Governance and Local Development (GLD), Working paper 2015
Working paper

Showing 1 - 6 of 6

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