The University of Michigan Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia (WCEE) is delighted to announce that Anna Grzymala-Busse, U-M professor of political science, assumes the Ronald and Eileen Weiser Professorship of European and Eurasian Studies and the directorship of the WCEE and the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies (WCED), effective July 1, 2010. The missions of WCEE and WCED are to advance and disseminate knowledge about European and Eurasian contextual expertise and a broad thematic focusing on emerging democracies.

A graduate of Princeton (A.B.), Cambridge (M.Phil), and Harvard (Ph.D.) Universities, Grzymala-Busse joined the U-M Department of Political Science in 2005. Her principal interests include political parties and political competition, state development and transformation, and post-communist politics. Other research interests include informal institutions as well as temporality and causality in social science explanations. She has written about the paradoxical comeback of communist successor parties, party competition and its impact on constraining rent-seeking, state theory, and the unintended consequences of EU enlargement. Her most recent research project examines why organized religions influence the public politics of some countries more than others. She has written numerous articles and chapters in edited volumes and is the author of Rebuilding Leviathan: Party Competition and State Exploitation in Post-Communist Democracies (Cambridge, 2007), and Redeeming the Communist Past: The Regeneration of the Communist Successor Parties in East Central Europe (Cambridge, 2002).

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.

The appointment of Anna Grzymala-Busse to lead WCEE and WCED bolsters the University as a premier site for the study of Europe and Eurasia, Russia and East Europe, and the politics of transitional democracies.

The Ronald and Eileen Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia (WCEE) supports faculty and student research, teaching, collaboration, and public engagement in studying the institutions, cultures, and histories of these regions. WCEE is housed in the University of Michigan International Institute with the Center for European Studies-European Union Center (CES-EUC); the Center for Russian, East European, & Eurasian Studies (CREES); and the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies (WCED). Named in honor of Ronald and Eileen Weiser and inspired by their time in Slovakia during Ambassador Weiser’s service as U.S. ambassador from 2001-04, WCEE began operations in September 2008. For more information, visit