The Scientist

My current research focuses on how and why democracy is eroding in many countries across the world and what we can do to stop it. Furthermore, I lead V-Dem’s Pandemic Backsliding project, which investigates how government responses to Covid-19 affect democracy. I also contribute to the Failing and Successful Sequences of Democratization- Project.

I am the Deputy Director of the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Institute and Associate Professor at the University of Gothenburg. Prior to turning to academia, I was a Member of Parliament in the German National Parliament (Bundestag; 2002- 2009) and later worked in Sudan for two years.

I received my PhD in 2015 from Humboldt University (Berlin) with a thesis on United Nation’s electoral assistance. I hold a M.A. degree in “Research Training in Social Sciences” from Humboldt University (Berlin), a M.Sc. degree in Gender and Peace Studies from Ahfad University (Sudan) and a B.A. in Political Sciences from FernUniversität Hagen (Germany).

My research interests are autocratization/democratic backsliding, democratization, elections, autocracies, regime legitimacy, democracy aid and the United Nations. My award-winning research has been published among others in the American Political Science Review, Democratization, Journal of Democracy, Electoral Studies and International Political Science Review.

I lead a number of V-Dem outreach, policy and fundraising activities, and contribute to the administration of the institute and our flagship dataset. I served as a consultant for UNDP, the World Bank, USAID and others.

Academic Publications

Lührmann, Anna, Kyle Marquardt and Valeriya Mechkova. 2020. Constraining Governments: New Indices of Vertical, Horizontal and Diagonal Accountability. American Political Science Review. (OPEN ACCESS)

Lührmann, Anna and Bryan Rooney. Forthcoming. Autocratization by Decree: States of Emergency and Democratic Decline. Comparative Politics. (OPEN ACCESS)

Maerz, Seraphine, Lührmann, Anna, Sandra Grahn, Sebastian Hellmeier, and Staffan I. Lindberg. 2020. State of the World 2019: Autocratization Surges, Resistance Grows. Democratization 27. (OPEN ACCESS)

Lührmann, Anna and Staffan I. Lindberg. 2019. A Third Wave of Autocratization is Here: What is New About It? Democratization 26 (7), 1095-1113. (OPEN ACCESS)

Lührmann, Anna, Sandra Grahn, Richard Morgan, Shreeya Pillai and Staffan I. Lindberg. 2019. State of the world 2018: democracy facing global challenges. Democratization 26 (6), 895-915. (OPEN ACCESS)

Lührmann, Anna. 2019. United Nations’ Electoral Assistance: More than a Fig Leaf? International Political Science Review 40(2), 181-196.

Mechkova, Valeriya, Anna Lührmann and Staffan I. Lindberg. 2019. The Accountability Sequence: From De-jure to De-facto Constraints on Governments. Studies in Comparative International Development 54(1), 40–70 (OPEN ACCESS).

Lührmann, Anna, Valeriya Mechkova, Sirianne Dahlum, Laura Maxwell, Moa Ohlin, Constanza Sanhuza Petrarca, Rachel Sigman, Matthew Wilson and Staffan I. Lindberg. 2018. State of the World 2017: Autocratization and Exclusion? Democratization 25 (8), 1321-1340. (OPEN ACCESS)

Lührmann, Anna, Tannenberg, Markus, Lindberg, Staffan I. 2018. Regimes of the World (RoW): Opening New Avenues for the Comparative Study of Political Regimes. Politics and Governance 6(1) (OPEN ACCESS).

Mechkova, Valeriya, Anna Lührmann and Staffan I. Lindberg. 2017. How much Backsliding? Journal of Democracy 28 (4), 162-169.

Kerr, Nicholas and Anna Lührmann. 2017. Public Trust in Manipulated Elections: The Role of Election Administration and Media Freedom. Electoral Studies 50, 50-67.

Working Papers

Wilson, Matthew C., Richard Morgan, Juraj Medzihorsky, Laura Maxwell, Seraphine F. Maerz, Anna Lührmann, Patrik Lindenfors, Amanda B. Edgell, Vanessa Boese, Staffan I. Lindberg. 2020. Successful and Failed Episodes of Democratization: Conceptualization, Identification, and Description. V-Dem Working Paper Series No. 97.

Lührmann Anna and Sebastian Hellmeier. 2020. Populism, Nationalism and Illiberalism: A Challenge for Democracy and Civil Society. Heinrich Böll Foundation E-Paper. (deutsche Version).

Grahn, Sandra and Anna Lührmann. 2020. Civil Society and Post-Independence Democracy Levels, V-Dem Working Paper Series No.94.

Ruth-Lovell, Saskia P., Anna Lührmann and Sandra Grahn. 2019. Democracy and Populism: Testing a Contentious Relationship, V-Dem Working Paper Series No. 91.

Leininger, Julia, Lührmann, Anna and Rachel Sigman. 2019. The relevance of social policies for democracy: preventing autocratisation through synergies between SDG 10 and SDG 16. DIE Discussion Paper.

Tannenberg, Marcus, Bernhard, Michael, Gerschewski, Johannes and Von Soest, Christian. 2019. Regime Legitimation Strategies (RLS) 1900 to 2018, V-Dem Working Paper Series No. 86.

Lührmann, Anna and Bryan Rooney. 2019. When Democracy has a Fever: States of Emergency as a Symptom and Accelerator of Autocratization.V-Dem Working Paper Series No. 85.

Lindberg, Staffan I., Patrik Lindenfors, Anna Lührmann, Laura Maxwell, Juraj Medzihorsky, Richard Morgan and Matthew C. Wilson. 2018. Successful and Failed Episodes of Democratization: Conceptualization, Identification, and Description. V-Dem Working Paper Series No. 79.

Lührmann, Anna and Staffan I. Lindberg. 2018. Keeping the Democratic Façade: Contemporary Autocratization as a Game of Deception. V-Dem Working Paper Series No. 75.

Mechkova, Valeriya, Anna Lührmann and Staffan I. Lindberg. 2017. From de-jure to de-facto: Mapping Dimensions and Sequences of Accountability. World Bank. Background Paper for the World Development Report 2017.

Lührmann, Anna, Kyle Marquardt and Valeriya Mechkova. 2017. Constraining Governments: New Indices of Vertical, Horizontal and Diagonal Accountability, V-Dem Working Paper Series, No. 46.

Lührmann, Anna, Kelly McMann and Carolien van Ham. 2017. The Effectiveness of Democracy Aid to Different Regime Types and Democracy Sectors, V-Dem Working Paper Series, No 40.

Lührmann, Anna. 2016. The Paradox of Democracy Aid to Closed Autocracies, APSA-CD, Newsletter of the American Political Science Association’s Comparative Democratization section, 14(3).

Lührmann, Anna. 2016. UN Electoral Assistance: Does it Matter for the Quality of Elections?, V-Dem Working Paper Series, No 27.

Reports and Briefs

Edgell, Amanda B., Sandra Grahn, Jean Lachapelle, Anna Lührmann, and Seraphine F. Maerz. 2020. An Update on Pandemic Backsliding: Democracy Four Months After the Beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic, V-Dem Policy Brief, No. 24. V-Dem Institute, University of Gothenburg.

Lührmann, Anna, Lisa Gastaldi, Dominik Hirndorf and Staffan I. Lindberg (Eds). 2020. Defending Democracy against Illiberal Challengers: A Resource Guide. Varieties of Democracy Institute/University of Gothenburg.

Lührmann, Anna, Amanda B. Edgell, Seraphine F. Maerz. 2020. Pandemic Backsliding: Does Covid-19 Put Democracy at Risk? V-Dem Policy Brief, No. 23. V-Dem Institute, University of Gothenburg.

Lührmann, Anna, Seraphine Maerz, Sandra Grahn, Lisa Gastaldi, Sebastian Hellmeier, Nazifa Alizada, Garry Hindle, Staffan I. Lindberg. 2020. V-Dem Democracy Report 2020. Autocratization Surges – Resistance Grows. V-Dem Institute, University of Gothenburg.

Lührmann, Anna, Lisa Gastaldi, Sandra Grahn, Staffan I. Lindberg, Laura Maxwell, Valeriya Mechkova, Richard Morgan, Natalia Stepanova, Shreeya Pillai. 2019. V-Dem Annual Democracy Report 2019​. Democracy Facing Global Challenges.V-Dem Institute, Universtity of Gothenburg.

Lührmann, Anna, Valeriya Mechkova, Siranne Dahlum, Laura Maxwell, Moa Ohlin, Constanza Sanhuza Petrarca, Rachel Sigman, Matthew Wilson, Staffan I. Lindberg. 2018. Democracy for All? V-Dem Annual Democracy Report 2018. V-Dem Institute, Universtity of Gothenburg.

Lührmann, Anna, Staffan I. Lindberg, Valeriya Mechkova, Moa Olin, Francesco Piccinelli Casagrande, Constanza Sanhueza Petrarca and Laura Saxer. 2017. Democracy at Dusk? V-Dem Annual Report 2017​. V-Dem Institute, University of Gothenburg.

Kräuchi, Thomas and Anna Lührmann. 2017. Elections and Democratization, V-Dem Policy Brief, No. 15.

Bader, Eric and Anna Lührmann. 2017. Democratic Institutions at Local and National Levels: Drivers for Economic Development? V-Dem Policy Brief, No. 9.

Lührmann, Anna and Janina Schlecht. 2017. Measuring Public Access to Information and Protection of Fundamental Freedoms in Sustainable Development Target 16.10 with V-Dem Data, V-Dem Policy Brief, No. 7.

Cassel, Sophie and Anna Lührmann. 2016. Democracy and Civil War, Policy Brief No. 6, V-Dem Institute.

Lührmann, Anna and Arthur Chisanga. 2016. The Role of Legislative Powers for Executive Corruption. Policy Brief No. 3, V-Dem Institute.

Lührmann, Anna. 2015. Civil Society and Political Parties Revisited. Policy Brief No. 2, V-Dem Institute.

Lührmann, Anna. 2015. Elections and Peace in Africa: Perspectives for 2015. Opinión CIDOB, No. 295.

Andersson, Frida, Lührmann, Anna and Valeriya Mechkova 2015. Measuring Accountability in Sustainable Development Target 16.6 with V-Dem Data. Policy Brief No. 1, V-Dem Institute.

Lührmann, Anna. 2014. Vom Zentrum des Protests zur Politischen Randgruppe? Die Politische Bedeutung der libyschen Jugend während und nach der Revolution. Berliner Debatte Initial 25, 4.

Lührmann, Anna. 2013. Jordan’s Elections: Transparent but not Democratic. Heinrich-Böll-Foundation Palestine & Jordan.

Lührmann, Anna. 2013. Enhancing Youth Political Participation throughout the Electoral Cycle – A Good Practice Guide. UNDP.

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