Anna Grzymala-Busse will spend her year at CASBS working on a book about the medieval and religious origins of the modern state in Europe. The book advances two arguments: the critical moment for state formation came considerably earlier than the conventional wisdom would have it, and the influence of the Christian church was more important than inter-state rivalry. The church provided trained personnel, institutional templates, and new legal and political concepts, all of which made the European path of state development so unusual.
Grzymala-Busse is the Michelle and Kevin Douglas Professor of International Studies in the department of political science at Stanford University, where she is also a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute and the director of the Europe Center. Her research focuses on religion and politics, populism and democratic erosion, and state formation, and she has published numerous article as well as three books: Redeeming the Communist Past (Cambridge University Press, 2002), Rebuilding Leviathan (Cambridge University Press, 2007), and Nations Under God (Princeton University Press, 2015).