Staffan I. Lindberg


Staffan I. Lindberg is Professor of political science and Director of  the V-Dem Institute at the University of Gothenburg. He is also founding Principal Investigator of Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem), Wallenberg Academy Fellow, author of Democracy and Elections in Africa (“Outstanding Academic Title”, Choice 2007) and editor of Democratization by Elections: A New Mode of Transition? His research also appears in over 50 academic publications. Lindberg has extensive experience as consultant on development and democracy, and as advisor to international organizations.

Areas of Expertise: elections and democratization, accountability, egalitarian democracy, clientelism, sequence analysis methods, women’s representation, voting behavior

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Josefine Pernes


Josefine is a Program and Financial Manager at the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Institute, University of Gothenburg. She holds a master degree in International Administration and Global Governance from University of Gothenburg. In her role as Program Manager Josefine has been an instrumental part of building the V-Dem Institute and its operations. Josefine has been in charge of the overall management of the Institute’s activities, including: financial management, donor relations, human resources/recruitments, international partnerships and fundraising, legal contracts/agreements, and capacity building trainings. She has also been overseeing the data collection processes and has been responsible for the full Country Expert-data collection.  

Areas of Expertise: management, partnerships, business development, financial and administrative matters.

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Valeriya Mechkova


Valeriya Mechkova is a Researcher at the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Institute, and PhD candidate at the Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg. Valeriya has published scholarly articles in American Political Science Review, Democratization, Journal of Democracy, Political Research Quarterly among others. She has previously worked as a consultant for USAID, the World Bank, Community of Democracies and International IDEA. From 2013 until 2016 she worked as V-Dem’s analyst and data operations manager.

Areas of Expertise: Democracy and human development; Gender equality and women representation; Democratization and accountability-building; SDG16.

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Jan Teorell

Board member

Jan Teorell is a Professor of Political Science at the Department of Political Science, Lund University. He has twice won of the Lijphart, Przeworski, Verba Award for Best Dataset by the APSA Comparative Politics Section, and is the author of Determinants of Democratization (CUP, 2010). His other published work has appeared in journals such as American Political Science Review, Comparative Political Studies, European Journal of Political Research, Journal of Democracy, Governance, Political Research Quarterly, and Studies in Comparative International Development. His research interests include political methodology, history and comparative politics, comparative democratization, corruption, and state-making.

Key Consultants

Carl-Henrik Knutsen

Carl Henrik Knutsen is a Professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Oslo, and Principle Investigator at the Varieties of Democracy Project. His academic interests are comparative political economy, politics-development relations, the economic effects of political institutions, economic policy, political survival strategies, regime change, democratization and applied statistics.

Brigitte Seim

Brigitte Seim is a scholar of comparative politics, focusing on the political economy of development. She undertakes two related but distinct threads of research: one considers how accountability mechanisms can be perverted or disrupted, and the other considers the methods and data used to study accountability relationships globally. She obtained her PhD in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego. She was subsequently a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow with the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Project, and she is currently faculty at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She also serves as the V-Dem Project Manager of Experiments, a Transparency International Research Correspondent, and an AidData Affiliated Researcher.

Steven L. Wilson

Dr. Steven Lloyd Wilson is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Reno. He earned his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016, and serves as a PI for the Digital Society Project and as the Project Manager of Computational Infrastructure for the Varieties of Democracy Institute at the University of Gothenburg. His research focuses on comparative democratization, cyber-security, and the effect of the Internet on authoritarian regimes. He also works on a variety of projects involving network and content analysis of social media around the world.

Amanda B. Edgell

Dr. Amanda Edgell is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Alabama and a Research Fellow at the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Institute.Her research focuses on political institutions in diverse settings, as well as, international norms, foreign aid, and gender politics. She has conducted fieldwork in D.R. Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, and Uganda. Her work has appeared in the European Journal of Political Research, Democratization, and the African Studies Review. As a consultant, she has provided expertise on democratic governance, program initiation, survey design, and impact assessment for Michigan State University, Princeton University, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). She is a managing partner at 417 Research & Analytics.

Svend-Erik Skaaning

Svend-Erik Skaaning is professor of political science at Aarhus University and project manager (former principal investigator) of V-Dem. His research interests include democratization, rule of law, corruption, and civil liberties. He has extensive experience in consulting – and collaborating with – governments, NGOs, and INGOs. 

Andreas Beger

Andreas Beger is Founder & Data Scientist at Basil Analytics. He has more than 10 years of experience in developing tools to forecast political instability. Past projects he has contributed to include the W-ICEWS geopolitical forecasting system, anticipating coups and similar irregular leadership changes throughout the world, the Hybrid Forecasting Competition on how to combine human and model-driven forecasts, and V-Dem’s own predicting adverse regime transitions (PART) and Democratic Spaces Barometer projects to identify countries at risk of democratic and autocratic backsliding. He earned a Ph.D. in political science from Florida State University in 2012.

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