Professor Ellen Lust will discuss her book Everyday Choices: The Role of Competing Authorities and Social Institutions in Politics and Development with MEI Faculty Chair Professor Tarek Masoud

Scholars and practitioners seek development solutions through the engineering and strengthening of state institutions. Yet, the state is not the only or the primary arena shaping how citizens, service providers and state officials engage in actions that constitute politics and development. These individuals are members of religious orders, ethnic communities, and other groups that make claims on them, creating incentives that shape their actions. Recognizing how individuals experience these claims and view the choices before them is essential to understanding political processes and development outcomes. This Element establishes a framework elucidating these forces, which is key to knowledge accumulation, designing future research and effective programming. Taking an institutional approach, this Element explains how the salience of arenas of authority associated with various communities and the nature of social institutions within them affect politics and development. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.

Professor Lust is the Founding Director of the Governance and Local Development Institute at Yale University (est. 2013), at the University of Gothenburg (est. 2015), and Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Gothenburg. She has conducted fieldwork and implemented surveys in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Malawi, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, and Zambia. She is a co-founder of the Transitional Governance Project, a founding associate editor of Middle East Law and Governance, and has served as an advisor and consultant to organizations including the Carter Center, Freedom House, NDI, UNDEF, UNDP, USAID, and the World Bank