Bio

A native of Poland, Anna Grzymala-Busse is the Weiser Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan. She is an expert on religion and politics, post-communist politics, party competition and elections in Europe, and corruption.

She is the author of three books:
•Redeeming the Communist Past (Cambridge University Press, 2002), which examines how some incompetent autocratic ruling parties reinvented themselves as successful democrats;
•Rebuilding Leviathan (Cambridge University Press, 2007) which traces how political parties in new democracies built the state by seeking rents—and how their competition constrained this despoliation;
•Nations Under God (Princeton University Press, 2015), which analyzes how churches influence public policy in both authoritarian and democratic settings—and how they find political parties to be both very risky and very costly allies.

Grzymala-Busse has also published widely on state-building, nationalism, informal institutions, democratization, and the role of religious doctrine.

She is the President-Elect of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, as well as the Chair of the Comparative Democratization Section of the American Political Science Association. Grzymala-Busse is the recipient of the Ferdinand Braudel Fellowship at the European University Award, the Alexander George Award, the George Luebbert Award, and the Gabriel Almond Award from the American Political Science Association, and the Ed A Hewett Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. She is a Senior Fellow at the Center for European Studies, Harvard University, and has previously been taught at Yale University.

Grzymala-Busse received her PhD with distinction from Harvard University, her MPhil from Cambridge University, and her BA cum laude from Princeton University.

She has appeared on PRI, Irish Radio, Radio France, and has written for the New Republic, The Irish Times, The Guardian, Chronicle of Higher Education, Current History, and the Mischiefs of Faction blog.

 

Sub-specialities: 

Post-communist politics: political parties, elections, authoritarian tendencies, religion and politics
Church and state: how religious groups influence public policy, especially in sensitive areas such as abortion, divorce, education, stem cell research, and same sex marriage (US, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Eastern Europe)
Populism in Europe and the anti-democratic backsliding in new democracies
Democratic competition and corruption/ patronage/ clientelism: when democratic competition curbs corruption and when it does not.
Authoritarian reinvention: how and why some authoritarian ruling parties and autocrats can become good democrats.
The importance of the state: why we need government to provide the public goods that the market fails to.

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