Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Anna Persson is a researcher and an assistant professor at the Department of Political Science and the Quality of Government (QoG) Institute. Persson was awarded her Ph.D. in political science in 2008 from Gothenburg University on a doctoral thesis titled “The Institutional Sources of Statehood - Assimilation, Multiculturalism, and Taxation in Sub-Saharan Africa”. The thesis explores the relationship between official manifestations of ethnic diversity, patterns of ethnic cooperation and conflict, and the ability of states to solve the collective action dilemma of taxation.
Persson has a M.A. in Political Science and B.A. in Economics from Lund University. Part of her undergraduate studies she spent at McGill University in Montréal, Canada (2000-2001). During her doctoral studies, Persson was a visiting scholar at the International Center for Business and Politics at Copenhagen Business School (Fall 2006). After she defended her Ph.D., she spent one year (2008-2009) as a visiting scholar at the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Persson’s primary fields of interest concern the comparative politics and comparative political economy of development. Especially, her research focuses on the relationship between formal and informal institutions, individual and collective behavior, and state development and capacity in relation to key areas of development (including corruption, taxation, and the capacity of states to prevent the spread of HIV).
Persson is currently involved in several research projects related to her main fields of interest. Together with Martin Sjöstedt she runs two projects financed by the Swedish Research Council; “Messages and Messengers in the Politics of HIV/AIDS” and “Development at Risk - Investigating the Institutional Sources of Resilience and Successful Adaptation to Climate Change”. In collaboration with Martin Sjöstedt and Bo Rothstein, Persson in addition runs a project called “Determinants of Institutions - How Leaders' Perceived Threat of Losing Power Without Compensation Affects Economic Development” (financed by the Swedish Research Council). This project is partly part of a project titled “Global Development and Poverty Reduction: The Role of Institutions and Policies”, conducted in collaboration with researchers at the Department of Economics at Gothenburg University (financed by Sida/Sarec). All research projects were initiated in 2009.
Persson teaches mainly at the Department of Political Science and within the master programme ”International Administration and Global Governance” (the IAGG programme). At the Department of Political Science, Persson is currently a teacher at the two advanced courses ”Statsvetenskapliga perspektiv” (SK2111) och ”The Quality of Government in a Comparative Perspective” (SK2212). Within the IAGG programme, she teaches ”Research Methods” (AG2340/EU2340). Persson is moreover a teacher and supervisor at the graduate level at the Department of Political Science. She is in addition a member of the MFS committee (information about the MFS scholarships is available here).
The Institutional Sources of Statehood – Assimilation, Multiculturalism, and Taxation in Sub-Saharan Africa (2008). 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.
Articles in peer-reviewed journals
”Why Anticorruption Reforms Fail - Systemic Corruption as a Collective Action Problem" [with Bo Rothstein & Jan Teorell] (forthcoming). Governance. Pdf in early view available here.
"Responsive and Responsible Leaders: A Matter of Political Will?" [with Martin Sjöstedt]. 2012. Perspectives on Politics 10 (3): 617-632. Pdf available here.
”Den svaga staten: demokrati och förvaltning i utvecklingsländer” [with Martin Sjöstedt] (2010). In Rothstein, Bo (Ed.), Politik som organisation: förvaltningens grundproblem, 4th edition, Stockholm: SNS Förlag.
”State Legitimacy and the Corruptibility of Leaders” [with Martin Sjöstedt] (forthcoming 2012). In B. Rothstein & S. Holmberg (Eds.), Good Government: The Relevance of Political Science. Cheltenham, U.K.: Edwar Elgar Publishing Ltd.
”Rethinking the Nature of the Grabbing Hand” [with Bo Rothstein & Jan Teorell] (forthcoming 2012). In B. Rothstein & S. Holmberg (Eds.), Good Government: The Relevance of Political Science. Cheltenham, U.K.: Edwar Elgar Publishing Ltd.
”The Failure of Anti-Corruption Policies – A Theoretical Mischaracterization of the Problem” [with Bo Rothstein & Jan Teorell] (2010). QoG Working Paper Series 2010: 19, Göteborg, Sweden: The Quality of Government Institute.
”Perceptions of Corruption in Sweden” [with Monika Bauhr, Naghmeh Nasiritousi, & Henrik Oscarsson] (2010). QoG working paper series 2010:8. Göteborg, Sweden: The Quality of Government Institute.
”A deadly mismatch? The problem of HIV/AIDS in research and policy” [with Martin Sjöstedt] (2010). QoG working paper series 2010:7. Göteborg, Sweden: The Quality of Government Institute.
”The Sources of Variation in Empirical Statehood – The Impact of Assimilation and Ethnic Group Rights on Patterns of Taxation in a Sub-Saharan African” (2008). Qog Working Paper Series 2008: 15. Göteborg, Sweden: The Quality of Government Institute.
”Government Structures and Behavior Change in the Politics of HIV/AIDS” [with Martin Sjöstedt], QoG Working Paper Series 2008: 10. Göteborg, Sweden: The Quality of Government Institute.
Conference proceedings (selected)
"The Power of the Vote Reconsidered - Democracy and the Progressivity of Taxation in Sub-Saharan Africa" [with Michelle D'Arcy & Rasmus Broms] (2012). QoG internal conference, Rönnäng, June 18-20, 2012.
"State-Building in Ethnically Diverse Societies" (2012). Presented at the workshop Building State Capacity: The Other Side of Political Development, The Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, May 4-5, 2012.
Why Big Government is Good Government [with Bo Rothstein] (2011). QoG internal conference, Prague, December 13-16, 2010 & APSA, Seattle, September 1-4, 2011.
Beyond Political Will and Leadership [with Martin Sjöstedt] (2010). QoG internal conference, Prague, December 13-16, 2010.
Development or Decay? How Threats During Formative Periods of State Development Affect Institutional Quality Today [with Martin Sjöstedt] (2010). APSA, Washington D.C., September 2-5, 2010; SWEPSA, Göteborg, October 30 – September 2, 2010 & OPF, Göteborg, October 13, 2010.
Reviewing and Reassessing the Problem of HIV/AIDS [with Martin Sjöstedt] (2010). QoG internal conference, Berlin, January 12-14, 2009.
The Deadly Mismatch Between Research and Policy – Or: Why HIV Continues to spread [with Martin Sjöstedt] (2009). APSA, Toronto, September 3-6, 2009.
The Determinants of Institutional Quality [with Martin Sjöstedt] (2009). ISA, New York, February 15-18, 2009.
Government Structures and HIV/AIDS – A Comparative Study [with Martin Sjöstedt] (2007-2009). ISA, New York, February 15-18, 2009; APSA, Boston, August 28-31, 2008; ISA, San Francisco, March 26-29, 2008; ASA, New York, October 18-21, 2007 & NFU, Bergen November 6-7, 2007.
The Comparative Political Economy of Citizenship, Identity and Taxation (2007). Presented at the workshop ”The Thunder of History: Taxation in Comparative and Historical Perspective”. Chicago: Northwestern University, May 3-5, 2007.
Ethnic Diversity and Tax Compliance in a Comparative Perspective (2006). IPSA, Fukuoka, Japan, July 9-14, 2006 & ISA San Diego, March 22-25, 2006.
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