Anna Grzymala-Busse

Anna Grzymała-Busse

  • Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
  • Michelle and Kevin Douglas Professor of International Studies
  • Professor of Political Science
  • Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution
  • Director of The Europe Center

Encina Hall
616 Jane Stanford Way
Stanford, CA  94305

 

(650) 723-4270 (voice)

Biography

Anna Grzymała-Busse is a professor in the Department of Political Science, the Michelle and Kevin Douglas Professor of International Studies, senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and the director of The Europe Center. Her research interests include political parties, state development and transformation, informal political institutions, religion and politics, and post-communist politics.

In her first book, Redeeming the Communist Past, she examined the paradox of the communist successor parties in East Central Europe: incompetent as authoritarian rulers of the communist party-state, several then succeeded as democratic competitors after the collapse of these communist regimes in 1989.

Rebuilding Leviathan, her second book project, investigated the role of political parties and party competition in the reconstruction of the post-communist state. Unless checked by a robust competition, democratic governing parties simultaneously rebuilt the state and ensured their own survival by building in enormous discretion into new state institutions.

Anna's third book, Nations Under God, examines why some churches have been able to wield enormous policy influence. Others have failed to do so, even in very religious countries. Where religious and national identities have historically fused, churches gained great moral authority, and subsequently covert and direct access to state institutions. It was this institutional access, rather than either partisan coalitions or electoral mobilization, that allowed some churches to become so powerful.

Anna's most recent book, Sacred Foundations: The Religious and Medieval Roots of the European State argues that the medieval church was a fundamental force in European state formation.

Other areas of interest include informal institutions, the impact of European Union membership on politics in newer member countries, and the role of temporality and causal mechanisms in social science explanations.

publications

Journal Articles
May 2024

How the Popes Helped Luther: Territorial Fragmentation and the Diffusion of Protestant Ideology

Author(s)
cover link How the Popes Helped Luther: Territorial Fragmentation and the Diffusion of Protestant Ideology
Journal Articles
January 2024

How Ukraine Divides Postcommunist Europe

Author(s)
cover link How Ukraine Divides Postcommunist Europe
Books
January 2023

Sacred Foundations: The Religious and Medieval Roots of the European State

Author(s)
cover link Sacred Foundations: The Religious and Medieval Roots of the European State

Current research

In The News

Democracy Day 2023 light up marquee letters
News

Democracy Day sweeps Stanford

Thousands turned out for the student-run, campuswide event, which has grown significantly since launching in 2021.
cover link Democracy Day sweeps Stanford
A delegation from the NATO Parliamentary Assembly visits the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.
News

NATO Parliamentary Delegation Joins FSI Scholars for Discussion on Ukraine and Russia

FSI Director Michael McFaul, Kathryn Stoner, Francis Fukuyama, Scott Sagan, Anna Grzymala-Busse, and Marshall Burke answered questions from the parliamentarians on the conflict and its implications for the future of Ukraine, Russia, and the global community.
cover link NATO Parliamentary Delegation Joins FSI Scholars for Discussion on Ukraine and Russia
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya discusses the future of democracy in Belarus with a roundtable of Stanford scholars.
News

Belarusian Leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya Meets with Stanford Scholars for Roundtable on Democracy in Belarus

Democratic leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and her delegation joined an interdisciplinary panel of Stanford scholars and members of the Belarusian community to discuss the future of democracy in Belarus.
cover link Belarusian Leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya Meets with Stanford Scholars for Roundtable on Democracy in Belarus