Anna Grzymala-Busse, director of the Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia and Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies, is the Ronald and Eileen Weiser Professor of European and Eurasian Studies and professor of political science at the University of Michigan. A graduate of Princeton (A.B.), Cambridge (M.Phil.), and Harvard (Ph.D.) Universities, she joined the Department of Political Science at U-M in 2005.
She focuses on religion and politics, informal politics, and post-communist state development. Her first book, Redeeming the Communist Past: The Regeneration of the Communist Successor Parties in East Central Europe (Cambridge, 2002), examined how discredited communist parties reinvented themselves as successful democrats. Her second book, Rebuilding Leviathan: Party Competition and State Exploitation in Post-Communist Democracies (Cambridge, 2007) won the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies Ed A. Hewett Prize for best publication on the political economy of the former Soviet Union and East Central Europe. The book analyzed why some governing parties, constrained by strong political competition, limited their opportunistic behavior in rebuilding the post-communist state. Her latest book, Nations under God: How Churches Use Moral Authority to Influence Policy (Princeton, 2015) asks why and how organized religion influences public policy, and why we see differences in church influence among countries that are otherwise similar in their religious profiles.
Grzymala-Busse’s 2000 doctoral dissertation won the Gabriel Almond Award for Best Dissertation in Comparative Politics from the American Political Science Association. Rebuilding Leviathan, an analysis of how post-communist political parties rebuilt the state and how strong political competition limited the corrupt behavior and abuse of state resources by opportunistic political parties, received the 2008 Ed A. Hewett Prize for Best Publication on the Political Economy of the Former Soviet Union and East Central Europe.