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University of Gothenburg research on corruption and democracy is excellent

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During 2020–2021, the Swedish Research Council carried out a pilot evaluation of political science research in Sweden. In the expert panel’s report, the research on corruption and democracy conducted at the University of Gothenburg was assessed as excellent in terms of its originality, significance and rigour.

The Swedish Research Council’s new evaluation model aims to assess the quality of Swedish research and its impact internationally, and this model has now been tested on the subject area of political science. The model takes into account both the quality of the research and the significance of the research to society. The evaluation covers 14 Swedish higher education institutions, all of which received high scores from the experts.

The research that the experts looked at in detail at the University of Gothenburg was research carried out within the Centre for Collective Action Research (CeCAR), the Program on Governance and Local Development (GLD), the Quality of Government Institute (QoG), the Swedish National Election Studies Program, and the Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-DEM).

Both QoG, which researches corruption and the quality of government, and V-Dem, which researches democracy and democratisation, were assessed as excellent when their research was reviewed.

“It is, of course, very gratifying to receive yet further proof that excellent and world-leading research is being conducted here at the Department of Political Science,” says Head of Department Mikael Gilljam. “The most recent proof we had was the big RED19 evaluation, where we were described as one of the leading political science departments in Europe based on our research.”

The evaluation was carried out by an independent panel of experts composed of six international subject area experts and two national experts. They assessed the quality of the research based on external reading of a selection of publications, and its significance outside academia based on case studies.

Below are the scores for what was evaluated in the field of political science research at the University of Gothenburg:

  • Centre for Collective Action Research (CeCAR)
    Impact: Good/ Contributing Research: Good (2/2)
  • The Project on Gender, Governance and Representation – Malawi, 2016 at the Program on Governance and Local Development (GLD)
    Impact: Very Good/ Contributing Research: Excellent (3/4)
  • Quality of Government Institute (QoG)
    Impact: Excellent / Contributing Research: Excellent (4/4)
  • Swedish National Election Studies Program
    Impact: Very good/ Contributing Research: Very Good (3/3
  • Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
    Impact: Excellent / Contributing Research: Excellent (4/4).

An interesting conclusion in the report was that the quality of research and significance for society are closely linked. The higher education institutions whose quality of research in political science is high are also successful in communicating their research widely as well as to particularly relevant groups.