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Staffan I. Lindberg


Professor, Dept. of Political Science, U of Gothenburg
Principal Investigator, Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem)
Wallenberg Academy Fellow
Member, Young Academy of Sweden
Member, Board of U of Gothenburg



Assistant Professors

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Vanessa Boese

Vanessa A. Boese is Assistant Professor at the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Institute at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. She obtained her PhD in economics summer 2019 at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany. She has worked on the measurement of political institutions, on democratic resilience, on processes of regime transformation (democratization and autocratization) and on how these processes interact with conflict, or socio-economic outcomes. The findings from her research are published among others in journals such as the British Journal of Political Science, Political Science Research and Methods, Democratization, and the Journal of Political Institutions and Political Economy.



Postdoctoral Researchers

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Yuko Sato

Yuko Sato was a visiting scholar at the Center for Inter-American Policy and Research (CIPR) at Tulane University and has a PhD in political science from the University of Missouri. Her research has focused on popular protests, voting behavior, democratization, and democratic backsliding seeking to increase our understanding of how political protest affects increasing polarization and thus contribute to democratic backsliding. Her work is top-class and closely related to the main questions of the FASDEM project, as well as other projects at the institute. She has several articles published including in Democratization and Electoral Studies. Yuko come with very strong technical skills in various regression techniques, field and survey work including experiments.



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Kelly Morrison

Kelly Morrison has a Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh. Focusing on international relations and comparative politics, Kelly’s research has examined the intersection between democratic institutions, human rights, and political violence. She has several publications, including forthcoming in Journal of Politics. Her work is top-class and much of it situated thematically at the heart of V-Dem’s research programs: not only FASDEM but also the emerging Business Case for Democracy among others. She has very strong technical skills in text analysis and Bayesian statistics as well as regular time-series, cross-sectional regressions and developed strong programming abilities in R, Stata, and Python. Kelly also has extensive experience working collaboratively on a team in a lab-setting.


Research Assistants

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Martin Lundstedt 

Research Assistant

Martin works with the Pandemic Backsliding Project. He received both his Bachelor's and Master’s degrees in Political Science from the University of Gothenburg. In his MA thesis, he focuses on the relationship between electoral management bodies and clientelism.




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Anisha Maulida


Anisha Maulida is a master's student in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Oslo. She holds a Bachelor's degree in International Relations from Universitas Brawijaya, Indonesia. Her main research interests include contentious politics, democratisation, nuclear disarmament, jihadism and terrorism, and the dynamics of peace and conflict in MENA, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

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Anastasiia Andreeva


Anastasiia Andreeva is a Master's student at the Department of Political Science at Central European University in Vienna. She is particularly interested in research methodology, experimental designs and voting behavior.

PhD students, University of Gothenburg

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Valeriya Mechkova

Doctoral Research Assistant

Valeriya is a PhD candidate at the Department of Political Science as part of the V-Dem project. She joined the V-Dem Institute in May 2013 and worked as analyst and data operations manager until August 2016. She holds a master degree in International Administration and Global Governance from the University of Gothenburg.

Her research interests include accountability building; sequence analysis; democracy, governance and human development; democracy and inequality. Valeriya is actively involved in the V-Dem policy and outreach work. In particular, she is engaged in the V-Dem input to the Post-2015 development agenda and measurement of Sustainable Development Goal 16, as well as organizing and conducting capacity building trainings.



Yaman Berker Kavasoglu

Doctoral Research Assistant

Berker is a PhD student at the Department of Political Science since the fall of 2017. He holds a MA degree in Political Science from University of Essex (2015) and Central European University (2017). Berker studies political parties and party systems with a special focus on the variation in the level of institutionalization across new democracies. 




Marcus Tannenberg

Doctoral Research Assistant

Marcus is a PhD student at the Department of Political Science and the V-Dem institute. He holds a MA in International Administration and Global Governance from the University of Gothenburg. His research interests include the political economy of development and institutional transitions. 



Oskar Rydén

Doctoral Research Assistant

Oskar is currently an Associate Researcher in the Department of Political Science, working on projects that are part of a collaboration between the Centre for Collective Action Research (CeCAR) and the V-Dem Institute. His research interests include political consequences to and effects of natural disasters, environmental politics and institutional theory. Other interests also include democracy, corruption, quantitative methodology and R programming. From September 2019, Oskar will start his PhD studies in the Department of Political Science and will continue to be associated with both the CeCAR and the V-Dem Institute.


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Adea Gafuri

Doctoral Research Assistant

Adea Gafuri is a PhD student at the Department of Political Science at Gothenburg University. She holds a Master degree in Political Science from Sabanci University. Her main research interests include democratization, democracy aid, illiberal regimes, European studies, and political methodology.




V-Dem Research Associates (previously Post-Docs)

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Amanda Edgell

Amanda B. Edgell is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Alabama and a V-Dem Research Associate. Her research focuses on political institutions in diverse settings, as well as, international norms, foreign aid, and gender politics. She is a Principal Investigator for the Pandemic Backsliding Project. Dr. Edgell has conducted fieldwork in D.R. Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, and Uganda. Her work has appeared in the European Journal of Political Research, Democratization, and the African Studies Review. Dr. Edgell received a PhD in Political Science at the University of Florida in May 2019 and also hold a Master’s in International Affairs from Texas A&M University (2011) and a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Appalachian State University (2008).


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Sebastian Hellmeier

Sebastian Hellmeier is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Transformations of Democracy Unit at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center. His research interests include contentious politics and political protest, regime transformations, and the comparative study of authoritarian regimes. Findings from his research have been published in Comparative Political Studies, Political Communication, the European Journal of Political Research, and Democratization. At V-Dem, he was part of the Varieties of Autocracy (V-Aut) project, and he continues his work on civil society and mass mobilization using V-Dem data.Before joining the V-Dem Institute, Sebastian was a junior researcher at the University of Konstanz, where he was involved in collecting data for the Mass Mobilization in Autocracies Database (MMAD).


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Juraj Medzihorsky

Juraj is a Research Fellow at the Department of Methodology, London School of Economics. His expertise in Bayesian modeling of mixture models where he is the author of several R packages, some written in pistar for general application to comparative politics, is quite unique and highly relevant for rater aggregation of the type we do in V-Dem, as well as for differential item functioning diagnostics of the kind we have yet to explore. Importantly, he is also very experienced with Bayesian inference models, modeling floor and ceiling associations and exploring this from the perspective of stochastic dominance. This area is highly and directly relevant to solving the key methodological challenges in the FASDEM-project.


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Matthew Wilson

Matthew's research focuses on the timing and success of political institutions in non-democracies.  His methodological focus includes time-series and models of sequencing, influenced in part by sequence analysis and methods outside of political science.  Matthew received his PhD in Political Science from Pennsylvania State University in 2015 and comes to V-Dem as an Assistant Professor at West Virginia University.  At V-Dem, Matthew is developing methods for characterizing and comparing sequences of political development, one of the central themes of the FASDEM project.





Yi-ting Wang

National Cheng Kung University

Yi-ting Wang is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan. Prior to joining NCKU, Yi-ting was a postdoctoral Research Fellow at the V-Dem Institute.

As part of the measurement model team, she was working on developing statistical models that aggregate ordinal ratings provided by country experts to continuous country-level estimates for various indicators. Yi-ting is also working on a number of research projects involving V-Dem data. Yi-ting received her PhD in Political Science from Duke University (2013). Her research interests include party politics, legislative
institutions, democratization, and quantitative methodology.



Eitan Tzelgov

University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich

As a part of the measurement model team in the V-Dem Institute, he was in charge of developing statistical models that convert multiple ordinal rankings given by country experts on various aspects of democracy into one, continuous scale. 

Eitan received his PhD in Comparative Politics and Quantitative Methodology at Pennsylvania State University (2013). His research interests are in legislative and party politics, as well as quantitative methodology.



Constanza Sanhueza Petrarca

WZB Berlin Social Science Center

Constanza is a Research Fellow at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center working on the project “Political Legitimacy in Times of Crisis” (PolLegKris) funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. 

Since August 2016, she has served as a Research Fellow with the V-Dem Institute at the University of Gothenburg and, since 2017, as an Associate Editor of Representation, a Journal of Representative Democracy.

Constanza has conducted research in the field of political and social research. Among other things, she has written on the roles of electoral systems, party system characteristics, elections, ethnic and religious fractionalization and women’s inclusion on democratic developments.

For her thesis “Voters, Parties and Representation in European Multicultural Democracies” at the University of Mannheim she created an original dataset including more than 300,000 parliamentary questions.


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Richard Morgan

Richard completed his PhD from Emory University (USA) with a focus on International Relations and Research Methods. He serves as the Project Manager for the V-Forecast project, V-Dem's forecasting initiative. He currently works as a Social Science Analyst of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, where is developing risk forecast models. 



Laura Maxwell

Laura's research focuses on political parties and elections with an emphasis on European states. Her dissertation looks at how and why political parties across Europe strategically create brands for themselves through their political messaging. 

Aside from her dissertation, Laura has conducted research on mass ideology in Europe, electoral fraud in Uganda, pre-electoral coalition formation, and the determinants of roll call votes in parliaments in Europe. She relies on the use of Item Response Theory and Bayesian Statistics, among other quantitative methods to conduct her research.

At V-Dem, Lauraworked for the FASDEM project, focusing on understanding the dynamic dependencies between democratic institutions over time.



Sirianne Dahlum

Prio, Norway

Sirianne has a PhD in political science from University of Oslo with a focus on socio-economic and educational explanations to autocratic breakdown and democratization. She has very strong technical skills in the area time-series, cross-sectional analysis. Sirianne has ben involved with V-Dem indirectly as research assistant and co-authored with Carl Henrik Knutsen, knows the project well and her suggested research project on gender and democratization is an important area to expand on. She also has a background as a journalist, and working for the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and an interest to invest part of her time in V-Dem’s outreach activities. 



V-Dem Research Associates



Aksel Sundström

University of Gothenburg

Aksel works as a postdoctoral researcher in a VR-funded project together with Sverker C. Jagers (PI) and Martin Sjöstedt, that will examine corruption in transnational reserves - protected areas in sub-Saharan Africa, governed by more than one country.

Sundström's PhD thesis (2015) examines corruption in government authorities that enforce environmental regulations. It studies the impact from corruption on the enforcement of such rules, explores the role of violence as sustaining corruption and investigates the challenge of reducing bribery through bureaucratic reforms. 


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Carolien van Ham

UNSW Australia

Carolien van Ham is a Lecturer in Comparative Politics at the University of New South Wales and an ARC Discovery Early Career Research Award recipient (2015-2017). Prior to coming to UNSW, Dr. van Ham worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Twente for a Netherlands Royal Academy of Sciences research project on democratic legitimacy, and as a research fellow at the Electoral Integrity Project and the Varieties of Democracy Project. Dr. van Ham received her PhD from the European University Institute in 2012.

Her research focuses on democratization and authoritarianism, election integrity, and political representation and legitimacy. 



Abdalhadi Alijla

Abdalhadi  Alijla is a Palestinian- Swedish academic and writer. Abdalhadi is the V-Dem Regional Manager for Gulf countries, as well as being researcher associate on MENA studies. He has a PhD in political studies from state university of Milan. He holds a M.A. degree in Public Policy and Governance from Zeppelin University- Friedrichshafen, Germany.

During his studies, Abdalhadi was awarded a two years DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) scholarship. He is DAAD fellow of Public Policy and Good Governance, and a fellow of Royal Society of Art and Science, UK.  He worked as a sessional lecturer at Alazhar University- Gaza. Abdalhadi was a fellow of Soliya network for dialogue and selected as a junior scientist at the 3oth Alternative Noble Prize by Right Livelihood College.

His main research interests are divided societies, democracy and democratization, social capital, Middle East studies, comparative politics and philosophy of religions





Marina Povitkina

University of Gothenburg

Marina Povitkina is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Collective Action Research at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Her research interests include comparative environmental politics, collective action, corruption, democratization, political organization of small island states and quantitative methodology.

At the V-Dem institute, Marina helped with index generation, data cleaning and has continuously been working on a number of research projects involving V-Dem data. In particular, in her dissertation "Necessary but not Sustainable? The Limits of Democracy is Achieving Environmental Sustainability" Marina used  V-Dem data to investigate how democratic governments achieve environmental sustainability goals depending on their levels of corruption. Marina received her PhD in Political Science from the University of Gothenburg (2018). 



Petrus Sundin

Lund University

Petrus holds a MA in political science and a BA in international relations from the university of Gothenburg. He is currently a PhD candidate in at the University of Gothenburg. His research interests include institutional transitions, economic growth, election law, and 19th century American politics.