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Anna Persson

Senior lecturer

Anna Persson
Senior lecturer
+46 31 786 4947

Room number: A403
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 Anna Persson


Anna Persson is associate professor and senior lecturer at the Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg. She is also a member of the management collegium of the Quality of Government (QoG) Institute, a member of the steering committee of Gothenburg Centre of Globalization and Development (GCGD), as well as a reviewer for the Swedish Research Council's Panel on Political science, Peace and conflict research, and Media and communications. She holds her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Gothenburg, and has a Master’s degree in Political Science from Lund University and McGill University, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the School of Economics and Management at Lund University. She has previously been a visiting scholar at the Department of Political Science at UCLA and at the Department of Business and Politics at Copenhagen Business School.

Persson’s primary fields of interest concern the comparative politics and comparative political economy of development and democratization. Especially, her research focuses on the relationship between formal and informal institutions, individual and collective behavior, and the willingness and capacity of political elites to provide goods that serve the broader public, as well as the factors that influence the likeliness that citizens will collectively mobilize to demand such goods. She has written extensively on corruption and anti-corruption reform, the role of political will in reform efforts, taxation as a source of accountable government, and the role of state capacity in fostering democratic governance. Together with Frida Boräng and Ruth Carlitz, Persson currently runs the project The Power of Ideas: New Perspectives on State Capacity and Public Goods Provision in Emerging Democracies (financed by the Swedish Research Council).

Persson’s research appears in, among other venues, Governance, Perspectives on Politics, Comparative Politics, and at Palgrave Macmillan and Oxford University Press. In addition to her academic research, Persson has served as an advisor and consultant to such organizations as the OECD/DAC, EBA (The Expert Group for Aid Studies), UNCDF, Sida (The Swedish Agency for Development Cooperation), ICLD (Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy), the Swedish National Audit Office, and the Swedish Mapping, Cadastral, and Land Registration Authority.

Teaching and tutoring
Persson teaches both at the undergraduate and graduate level and is also the course coordinator of the undergraduate course Democracy and Democratization in a Comparative Perspective (SK1214). She teaches research design and qualitative methods at the two method courses Metod och Uppsatssamordning (SK1313) and Applied Qualitative Research Methods, Problems and Design (SF2323), as well as serves as a supervisor at the undergraduate as well as graduate level.

Selected publications

Persson, Anna. Forthcoming 2020. “Bringing Politics Back In: Ethnic Fractionalization, Quality of Government, and Public Goods Provision Revisited.” In Grimes, Marcia et al. (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Quality of Government. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Persson, Anna, and Rothstein, Bo. 2019. "Lost in Transition: A Bottom-Up Perspective on Hybrid Regimes." Annals of Comparative Democratization 17(3): 10-12. 

Persson, Anna, Rothstein, Bo, and Teorell Jan. 2019. “Getting the Basic Nature of Systemic Corruption Right.” Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions 32 (4): 799-810.

Persson, Anna, and Sjöstedt, Martin. 2018. “Den svaga staten: demokrati och förvaltning i utvecklingsländer.” In Carl Dahlström (Ed.), Politik som organisation: förvaltningens grundproblem, 6th edition, Lund: Studentlitteratur.

Persson, Anna. 2017. “The Modern State: Characteristics, Capabilities, and Consequences.” In Burnell, Peter, Rakner, Lise, and Randall, Vicky (Eds.), Politics in the Developing World, 5th edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Persson, Anna, and Sjöstedt, Martin. 2015. “The Political and Historical Origins of Good Government: How Social Contracts Shape Elite Behavior.” In Carl Dahlström and Lena Wängnerud (Eds.), Elites, Institutions, and the Quality of Government, Palgrave MacMillan.

Persson, Anna, and Rothstein Bo. 2015. “It’s My Money: Why Big Government May Be Good Government.” Comparative Politics 47(2): 231-249.

Persson, Anna, Rothstein, Bo, and Teorell, Jan. 2013. “Why Anti-Corruption Reforms Fail – Systemic Corruption as a Collective Action Problem.” Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions 26(3): 449-471.

Persson, Anna, and Sjöstedt, Martin. 2012. “Responsive and Responsible Leaders: A Matter of Political Will?Perspectives on Politics 10(3): 617-632.

Persson, Anna, and Sjöstedt, Martin. 2012. “State Legitimacy and the Corruptibility of Leaders.” In Bo Rothstein and Sören Holmberg (Eds.), Good Government: The Relevance of Political Science. Cheltenham, U.K.: Edwar Elgar Publishing Ltd.

Persson, Anna, Rothstein, Bo, and Teorell Jan. 2012. “Rethinking the Nature of the Grabbing Hand: The Collective Action Problem of Systemic Corruption.” In Bo Rothstein and Sören Holmberg (Eds.), Good Government: The Relevance of Political Science. Cheltenham, U.K.: Edwar Elgar Publishing Ltd.

Persson, Anna. 2008. The Institutional Sources of Statehood – Assimilation, Multiculturalism, and Taxation in Sub-Saharan Africa, Doctoral dissertation in political science, included as number 111 in the Series Göteborg Studies in Politics, edited by Bo Rothstein, Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg (ISBN: 978-91-89246-36-2, ISSN: 0346-5942).

Articles and opinion pieces in newspapers and magazines
Esaiasson, Peter, Persson, Anna, and Winqvist, Johanna. 2019. "Gårdstensmodellen är ingen mirakelkur." GP Debatt, March 1st, 2019.

Persson, Anna. 2012. "Vässa åtgärder mot korruption." Sydsvenskan Opinion, Aktuella frågor, December 5th, 2012.

Outreach (consultancies, seminars, lectures, talks, etc.)

Transparency International in Bosnia and Herzegovina, panel discussion on "Rethinking Anti-Corruption Reform: Diagnosis v. Remedy" (with Paul Heywood, Senada Selo Sabic, Jasmin Mujanovic and Aleksandar Brezar), conference "Time to Act: Reality of Anti-corruption Policies," Sarajevo, November 2019.

Transparency International in Bosnia and Herzegovina. TI School of Integrity, "The Electoral Roots of Corruption: A Dynamic Approach to Hybrid Regimes," Sarajevo, November 2019. 

Stockholm Senior University, "The Problem of Corruption (Korruption som samhällsproblem)," Stockholm, November 2019.

University of Gothenburg, panel discussion on "Global Cooperation in a Polarized Time" (with Ulrika Modéer, Eva Ekelund, Efraim Gomez, Annica Kronsell, and Per Nordlund), Gothenburg, October 2019.

Peru's Supreme Audit Institution, "CAII 2018, Preventing Corruption: From a Reactive to a Proactive State," Lima, December 2018.

Policy Dialogue Day at the University of Gothenburg, "The Democratic Roots of Corruption,” Gothenburg, May 2018.

The Swedish Mapping, Cadastral, and Land Registration Authority & Sida, Lectures within International Training Programme (ITP) on "Applied Land Governance", Gävle, September, 2017.

Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, "Systemic Corruption as a Social Dilemma (Utbredd korruption som ett socialt dilemma)," Stockholm, May 2015.

ICLD & UNCDF, Programme planning, lectures, and mentoring within International Training Programme (ITP) on "Towards Local Democracy and Local Development Through Local Government," Gothenburg, Lusaka, Kigali, and Kampala, 2011-2013.

ICLD, Lectures and mentoring within International Training Programme (ITP) on "Decentralization and Good Governance with a Gender Perspective," Gothenburg, 2010-2012.

Samhällsvetenskapens dag at the University of Gothenburg, "The State and the (Very) Private Sphere: HIV as a Political Problem(Staten och den (väldigt) privata sfären: HIV som ett statsvetenskapligt problem), (with Martin Sjöstedt), Gothenburg, October 2011.

Göteborg Book Fair, Panel discussion on "Foreign Aid and Corruption" (with Molly Lien, Martin Sjöstedt, Nicholas Charron, and Monica Bauhr), Gothenburg, September 2011.

The Swedish National Audit Office, "The Logic of Corruption in Sweden and in the Developing World (Korruptionens logik i Sverige och i utvecklingsländer)," Stockholm, January 2011. 

The Swedish National Audit Office, "The Drivers of Corruption: Why Some Countries Are More Corrupt than Others (Korruptionens drivkrafter: Varför är vissa länder mer korrupta än andra?)," Stockholm, April 2011.    

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• The Institutional Sources of Tax State Development – Multiculturalism versus Assimilation
Anna Persson
Department of Political Science, Göteborg University, Conference contribution 2006
Conference contribution

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Utskriftsdatum: 2020-07-07