Bo Petersson is since 2010 Professor of Political Science and IMER at the Department of Global Political Studies (GPS). Since 2016, together with Professor Karina Vamling, he has been the director of the research platform RUCARR - Russia and the Caucasus Regional Research at the Faculty of Culture and Society. Among ongoing external assignments, Petersson is a member of the board of the Swedish Network for European Research in Political Science (SNES) and of the Society for Studies of Russia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Central Asia (“Östsällskapet”). He is a member of the editorial board for the journal Communist and Post-Communist Studies, the editorial council of Nordisk Östforum, the international advisory board for Public Policy (St. Petersburg), member of the Advisory Council for the European Centre for Minority Issues, (ECMI, Flensburg), and member of the review college of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) and is chair of the editorial council of Malmö University Press.
In 2017-2020, Petersson had several management assignments at Malmö University as Advisor of the Vice Chancellor on Postgraduate Education and Research Issues. Among other things, he was project manager for the external review of all research at Malmö University, ERA19. During the years 2012-2017, he was pro-dean at the Faculty of Culture and Society, and from February 2021, he is chair of the Hiring and Recruitment Board at this faculty. Previously, he worked for a total of 20 years at Lund University, where he defended his Ph. D. in political science in 1990, became an associate professor in 1999, was promoted to full professor in political science in 2006, and was, among other things, deputy director at the Center for European Studies (2005-2009).
In research, his areas of expertise include contemporary Russian politics, area studies, political myth, political language, legitimacy and legitimation strategies, authoritarian systems, and the spread of non-democratic and illiberal norms. His major publications include The Putin Predicament: Problems of Legitimacy and Succession in Russia (Ibidem Verlag, Stuttgart 2021), Stories about Strangers: Swedish Media Constructions of Socio-Cultural Risk (University Press of America, Lanham, 2006); National Self-Images and Regional Identities in Russia (Routledge Revivals 2018/2001); Bo Petersson & Katharine Tyler (eds): Majority Cultures and the Everyday Politics of Difference, (London: Palgrave 2008), Bo Petersson & Karina Vamling (eds): The Sochi Predicament: Contexts, Characteristics and Challenges of the Olympic Winter Games in 2014 (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2013); Hans-Åke Persson, Bo Petersson & Cecilie Stokholm Banke (eds): Playing Second Fiddle? Contending Visions of Europe’s Future Development (Malmö: Universus Academic Press, 2015); Christofer Berglund, Katrine Gotfredsen, Jean Hudson & Bo Petersson (eds): Language and Society in the Caucasus (Malmö: Universus Academic Press, 2021). In recent years he has published articles in journals such as Demokratizatsiya, East European Politics, Europe-Asia Studies, Forum for EthnoGeopolitics, International Journal of Cultural Studies, NordeuropaForum, Problems of Post-Communism, Post-Soviet Affairs, and Sport in Society. Ongoing projects concern the interplay between political myth and national identity in today's Russia, legitimation strategies in non-democratic systems, and (together with Derek Hutcheson) investigations of local legitimacy in community planning in Russia and Sweden. In a newly started project, supported by the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies on and with Olena Podolian, Södertörn University, as PI, he studies, together with colleagues in Sweden and abroad, the diffusion of authoritarian policies and legislative measures between Russia and the former Soviet republics in Eurasia.