Dr. ALBANA SHEHAJ

Welcome! Bienvenue! Mirësevini!

I hold a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan. Prior to my doctoral education, I acquired an A.S. (with high distinction) in Computer Science & Engineering, a  B.A (with high distinction) and an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan.

My research and teaching interests span the scope of comparative political economy, democratic governance, formal and empirical methods, post-socialist politics, and the impact of fiscal programs of international organizations, including the EU, IMF, and the World Bank on patterns of corruption, migration, and democratic performance in recipient states. I systematically examine broad trends in these dynamics by combining cross-national analysis with a geographical expertise in the developing states of Eastern and Southeastern Europe. My research crosses disciplinary lines and employs various methodological approaches including qualitative, formal, and empirical.

My book manuscript analyzes variation in patterns of democratic governance and electoral accountability across Europe’s post-socialist states by zooming in on the link between political corruption, distributive policies and the political economy of fiscal lending by international organizations. I develop and systematically examine a novel theory of “Corruption Compensation” which assesses the interaction of these factors, by analyzing the ways, extent and conditions under which incumbent political parties (mis)allocate domestic fiscal resources and development funds granted by international organizations to strategically form distributive policies that compromise electoral accountability, reshape voter-party alignments and bolster their political power at the cost of economic development and public trust in democratic institutions. Ultimately, I examine how the strategic interplay of these factors induces support for corrupt and populist incumbents in ways that impede economic growth, hinder democratic developments, and provoke authoritarian backsliding in developing and transitioning states.