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QoG News
April 2020



Are you looking for a measure of global peacefulness?

With our 2020 update, @GlobPeaceIndex is available in the QoG Datasets. The complete version of the GPI covers 99.7% of the world's population, using 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources.




Bågenholm, Andreas (2020). "Öst är öst och väst är väst? En jämförande studie av partisystemens stabilitet i Europa 2008–2019." Nordisk Østforum.

This article compares trends in party system stability in Central/ Eastern Europe (CEE) and Western Europe, to see if recent studies indicating that the two regions have become more similar hold when the results of outcomes of several post-financial-crisis elections are taken into consideration. Further, it enquires into the underlying causes of electoral volatility and whether they differ between the two regions. In all, 82 parliamentary elections in 25 EU countries 2008–2019 are analyzed as regards electoral volatility (Pedersen’s Index) and support for new parties (‘volatility type A’). The results show that, when the most likely confounding variables are controlled for, a significant difference between the two regions remains, but also that there is a converging trend on both indicators. Moreover, whereas electoral volatility in the West is driven by the level of corruption together with the effective number of parties, unemployment and economic growth as well as the number of effective parties are the main factors explaining the same phenomenon in CEE. There is also evidence that volatility in CEE, unlike in Western Europe, is also driven by a path-dependent logic, where previous volatility scores explain subsequent ones. That finding may have implications for the prospects of future party system stabilization.

Cornell, Agnes, Carl-Henrik Knutsen & Jan Teorell (2020). "Bureaucracy and Growth." Comparative Political Studies.

We revisit the hypothesis that a Weberian bureaucracy enhances economic growth. Theoretically, we develop arguments for why such a bureaucracy may enhance growth and discuss plausible counterarguments. Empirically, we use new measures capturing various Weberian features in countries across the world, with some time series extending back to 1789. The evidence base from previous large-N studies is surprisingly thin, but our extensive data enable us to move beyond the problematic cross-country correlations used in previous studies. Hence, we conduct tests that control for country-specific characteristics while ensuring sufficient variation on the slow-moving bureaucracy variables to enable precise estimation. Our analysis suggests that previous cross-country regressions have vastly overstated the strength of the relationship. While this casts uncertainty on the proposition that there is an effect of Weberian bureaucracy on growth, our further analysis suggests that—if an effect exists—it may operate in the short term and be stronger in recent decades.

Dawson, Stephen (2020). "Electoral fraud and the paradox of political competition." Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties.

Why are some elections more fraudulent than others? While much work has been devoted to understanding the structural conditions under which election quality can suffer, little is currently understood about election-specific dynamics that shape the conduct of polling day. This study assesses the impact of a more proximate determinant of election day fraud: the anticipated closeness of the race. In doing so, the paper sheds light on a potential paradox of political competition; highly competitive elections are seen as a healthy sign of democratic functioning, yet they may also lead to a reduction in the integrity of the process. Using novel pre-election polling data for 109 presidential elections around the world between 1996 and 2016, results suggest that ex ante closeness incites electoral fraud. In democratic contexts, closer elections – and elections in which the incumbent’s prospects are ambiguous – are associated with greater levels of ballot box manipulation as attempts are made to get over the finish line. This is the case largely irrespective of whether the incumbent is marginally ahead or behind in the race, suggesting that it is the mere uncertainty of the election result that can encourage election day fraud.

Lapuente, Victor & Kohei Suzuki (2020). "Politicization, Bureaucratic Legalism, and Innovative Attitudes in the Public Sector." Public Administration Review.

Previous studies have identified institutional, organizational, and individual factors that promote innovation in public organizations. Yet they have overlooked how the type of public administration—and the type of administrators—is associated with innovative attitudes. Using two large, unique comparative data sets on public bureaucracies and public managers, this article examines how bureaucratic politicization and legalistic features are associated with senior public managers’ attitudes toward innovation in 19 European countries. Results of multilevel analysis indicate that the bureaucratic politicization of an administration and the law background of public managers matter. Public managers working in politicized administrations and those whose education includes a law degree exhibit lower pro‐innovation attitudes (i.e., receptiveness to new ideas and creative solutions and change orientation).


Carl Dahlström, Erik Lundberg  & Kira ProninConflict-resolvers or tools of electoral struggle? Swedish commissions of inquiry 1990-2016 (2020:3).

Many countries face growing challenges of democratic governance from political polarizationand the increasingly complex nature of policy problems. The question is then how can governments build consensus and confer legitimacy on policy proposals in an environment where negotiating agreement among competing interests is increasingly difficult? In the past, many governments have dealt with these types of challenges by appointing ad hoc, independent commissions of experts and stakeholders from both sides of the political aisle to provide independent policy advice and to serve as an arena for political negotiation. Such commissions have been especially prevalent in Sweden, known for its rational and consensus-oriented policy making process. Drawing on a unique database, we investigate whether Swedish commissions can still fulfill their role as the cornerstone of the Swedish policymak-ing process. We analyze commissions with regard to their membership, political independence, and resources. We find that broadly representative commissions with policy stakeholders and parliamen-tary politicians, which havehistorically constituted about 50 percent of Swedish commissions of in-quiry, are now only a small fraction of commissions. The government is also exerting more control over commission outcomes by giving a greater number of directives. However, commission resources have stayed about the same, and commission do not appear to be used as a tactical electoral tool.

Gissur Ó Erlingsson, Emanuel Wittberg & Markus Lindström: Municipally owned enterprises and heightened corruption risks (2020:2)

Some scholars argue that there are unattractive, unintended side-effects of the ‘quasi-privatizations’ that have been associated with New Public Management(NPM). One aspect of this question is the international trend towards an increased use of municipally owned enterprises (MOEs) in the deliverance of public services.Since it has been hypothesized that NPM may, for instance,deteriorate integrity systems of public organizations,we analyse if the increased use of MOEs is associated with heightened corruptions risks. To test this proposition, we focus on a setting that has witnessed a burgeoning growth of MOEs the past two decades: Sweden. A local government corruption index is employed, developed for each Swedish municipality, and weak if the drive towards creating, owning and operating MOEs correlates with perceived presence of corruption. Our findings indicate that such an association is present and that the impact of MOEs indeed is more significant than ‘usual suspect’-variables highlighted as important in the corruption literature. Our findings confirm theories on the hazards and unintended consequences of ‘quasi-privatization’ and corroborate widespread political worries expressed by, for instance,the World Bank, OECD and UNDP on the risks of not keeping politicians at arm’s length from the operations of publicly owned enterprises



In God we trust? Identity, institutions and international solidarity in Europe. The Journal of Common Market Studies Blog.


Associate Researcher to the Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg

We are searching for an assistant researcher fulltime during 18 months (or partime during 23 months) to work in the project “Why are some civil servants more committed to professional norms than others?” funded by Vetenskapsrådet, (Swedish Research Center). The project is headed by Prof. Victor Lapuente (University of Gothenburg) and Ass. Prof. Kohei Suzuki (Leiden University).

Full job description and application

The QoG institute regularly organizes activities, such as, conferences, workshops and open lectures. Up-to-date information on upcoming events is available on our website:

Best regards,
The QoG team


The QoG Institute is an independent research institute within the Department of Political Science at the University of Gothenburg. We are 30 researchers who conduct and promote research on the causes, consequences and nature of Good Governance and the Quality of Government (QoG) – that is, trustworthy, reliable, impartial, uncorrupted and competent government institutions.

The QoG Institute 
P.O. Box 711, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
Visiting address: Sprängkullsgatan 19, Gothenburg


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The Quality of Government Institute · Sprängkullsgatan 19 · P.O. Box 711 · Göteborg SE 405 30 · Sweden

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