The Performance of Democracies is a research project that will start in May 2014. The project is funded by the European Research Council, the budget is 4.2 mil. Euro. The problems this project will address are the following. While more countries than ever are now considered to be democratic, there is only a very weak, or none, correlation between standard measures of human well-being and measures of democracy. A second problem is that a large number of democracies turn out to have severe difficulties managing their public finances in a sustainable way. The third problem is that democracy seems not to be a cure against pervasive corruption. Empirical research shows that these problems have severe consequences for citizens’ perception of the legitimacy of their political system. The project intends to use an institutional approach to answer the question why some democracies perform better than others.
Bo Rothstein holds the August Röhss Chair in Political Science at University of Gothenburg in Sweden where he is head of the Quality of Government (QoG) Institute. The QoG Institute consists of about twenty researchers studying the importance of trustworthy, reliable, competent and non-corrupt government institutions.
Rothstein took is PhD at Lund University in 1986 and served as assistant and associate professor at Uppsala University 1986 to 1994. He has been a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York, Cornell University, Harvard University, Collegium Budapest Institute for Advanced Study, the Australian National University and the University of Washington in Seattle. In 2006, he served as Visiting Professor at Harvard University.