Ella Gao, a 2012 Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Michigan, received the 2013 Best Dissertation Award in Urban Politics from the American Political Science Association Organized Section for Urban Politics, for her dissertation, "Diverse but Not Divisive: Tribal Diversity and Public Goods Provision in Jordan."  Her proud committee was chaired by Mark Tessler with Allen Hicken, Robert Mickey, and Andrew Shyrock (Anthropology) as committee members.

Dr. Gao’s dissertation examines the influence of social diversity or social structure on local public goods provision.  For this project, she investigated how tribal diversity and tribal cohesion impact municipal services, patronage, and electoral competition in Jordan.  Her project used both quantitative and qualitative data to demonstrate that tribal heterogeneity and the lack of intra-tribal cohesion can enhance local public goods provision.  Her current research focuses 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.

Dr. Gao is currently a Lecturer in Middle Eastern Politics at Exeter University's Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies.

Please join us in congratulating Ella on this outstanding achievement!