Bo Rothstein

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Bo Rothstein in 2010.

Bo Rothstein (born 12 June 1954) is an internationally acclaimed Swedish political scientist who holds the August Röhss Chair in Political Science at University of Gothenburg, Sweden. The August Röhss Chair was established in 1902 by a generous donation from August Röhss, a leading merchant in Gothenburg. He is also a professor at University of Oxford, England.

Rothstein received his Ph.D. in political science from Lund University in 1986. Between 1986 and 1995 he was assistant and in 1992 became associate professor at the Department of Government at Uppsala University. He took up his current position at University of Gothenburg in 1995. He has been a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, Cornell University, Harvard University, Collegium Budapest Center for Advanced Study, the Swedish Center for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences, the Australian National University, Stanford University and at the University of Washington in Seattle. In 2006 he served as Visiting Professor at Harvard University. His books in English include: The Quality of Government: Corruption, Social Trust and Inequality in International Perspective; (University of Chicago Press 2011); "The Social Democratic State: the Swedish model and the bureaucratic problem of social reforms" (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996), "Just Institutions Matter: The Moral and Political Logic of the Universal Welfare State" (Cambridge Univ. Press 1998); "Restructuring the welfare state: Political Institutions and Social Change" (Palgrave/Macmillan 2002, co-editor: Sven Steinmo), "Creating social trust in post-socialist transition" (Palgrave/Macmillan 2004, co-editors: János Kornai and Susan Rose-Ackerman), and "Social Traps and the Problem of Trust" (Cambridge University Press 2005). He has published more than twenty articles in international scholarly journals.

Rothstein is a regular contributor in the Swedish public debate about politics and academic freedom. He has been especially critical of what he perceives as politicized research at some universities in Sweden. In 2003 he received the Swedish Association of University Teachers' prize for academic freedom. Rothstein received the prize for having "in the public debate argued for the importance of independent university teaching and research".

In 2004 he was awarded a six years research grant for "long term support to leading scholars" from the Swedish Research Council. In 2009 he received a similar five year grant from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the largest private research fund in Sweden. Together with professor Sören Holmberg, he is in charge of the The Quality of Government Institute at University of Gothenburg. His current research interests are comparative quality of government institutions, social capital, and political corruption. Since 2011 he is a member of the Swedish Government's Advisory Board for Research Policy.

Bo Rothstein was born in Malmö, Sweden, to an Austrian-born Jewish father who fled from Germany to Sweden in 1939. Rothstein's paternal grandparents (Rosa and Samuel R.) were murdered by the Germans in Chełmno in 1942. His maternal grandparents came to Sweden around 1910 from Ukraine and Lithuania.

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Preceded by
Bo Särlvik
August Röhss Professor in Political Science