Universität Wien

210124 SE M9: East European Studies (2020W)

Political economy of Eastern Europe: theories and methods

9.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 21 - Politikwissenschaft
Continuous assessment of course work

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Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 40 participants
Language: English



FR 14-tg von 16.10.2020 bis 22.01.2021 15.00-18.15 Ort: Hörsaal 2 (H2), NIG 2.Stock; FR 27.11.2020, 08.01.2021 und 22.01.2021 15.00-18.15 Ort: ONLINE

This week session on the Political Economy of Eastern Europe that will now take place next week, Friday 18 December at 3pm, instead of this Friday, 11 December.


Aims, contents and method of the course

In contemporary International Relations and Political Economy (IPE), especially the debates on the European integration, the economies from Eastern and South-Eastern Europe (ESEE) are rather marginalized with a slight exception of the Viségrad group. However, there are many interesting politico-economic processes and transformations taking place in ESEE that provide new insights on the construction and current transformations of the European core-periphery divides, i.e. a subject that came at the forefront of scholarly and public debates after the 2007/08 outbreak of the global financial crisis. In addition, the political, economic and institutional trajectories of the ESEE economies offer a particularly rich terrain for debating some of the core concerns of contemporary IPE, like agency-structure relationships, change and continuity, (re)making of spaces of production and reproduction and multi-level governance, the role of geopolitics and the uneven patterns of development etc. These subjects will be discussed through the following themes: the methodology and epistemology of a political economy approach; theoretical approaches to diverging trajectories on the ESEE peripheries; the role of international institutions and the character of states in the ESEE; economic policy and the right parties in ESEE.

The aim of this course is to introduce students to political economy debates on the ESEE region. The seminar does not require any prior formal training in economics or macroeconomic evolution of ESEE economies. The students will acquire step-by-step a sound knowledge on key methods, theoretical and empirical insights and arguments advanced by the studies interested in specific and common characteristics of the ESEE economies, like foreign ownership; de-industrialisation and migration; indebtedness; uneven crisis exposure and manifestations, authoritarianism, European integration and role of international multilateral organizations, like International Monetary Fund, World Bank). In addition, the seminars aim to foster students’ skills in three areas: analysis, research design, and oral and written communication.

- Reading of texts and discussion
- Formulations of questions and answers on the assigned texts
- Group seminar work

Assessment and permitted materials

1) Regular presence and active participation in class discussions (10%)
2) Regular fulfilment of and a full engagement with the article question homework (25%)
Before the class, a student should read the assigned text and send one question to professor, one day until the midday before the class at the latest. The question will be discussed in the course and other students will be required to answer them. The questions should not be all-encompassing but should focus on one aspect of the article (theoretical framework, argument, methods and methodology, contributions to academic debates etc.).
3) Research paper (50%)
The students should write a research paper in a group of max three people. The research topic should be about some aspect of the political economy of ESEE and it should have sufficient recent empirical content (without downsizing the theoretical discussion).
The students should respect the following deadlines and assignments:
• By 30 October 2020, students should submit a topic statement – max 1/2 page.
The topic statement is a brief summary of the topic students intend to research. The purpose of the topic statement is to make sure that students have a topic that is doable, and that fits course themes. The following should be included in the topic statement: a tentative title, the topic, and how the research paper plans to contribute to relevant discussion.
• By 20 November, students should submit the research proposal – max 2 pages.
The research proposal is a more developed plan for your paper. In the proposal, students should restate their topic and indicate how they intend to contribute to the existing academic literature on this topic. The research proposal should contain a clear “why question” and some kind of answer to this question or an argument, and indicate why students’ arguments or analysis are of interest (for instance, that they challenge the prevailing view or that they reveal an important and hitherto unrecognized relationship between social actors or phenomena). Students should provide evidence (a bibliography of at least five scholarly works) showing that they have checked the relevant sources of information in order to ascertain the availability of information on your topic.
• By 20 December 2020, students should submit their final research paper – max 3000 words plus references.
In grading the research paper, the following criteria of an academic quality of the paper will be evaluated: (a) a clear statement of the »why question« and argument in the introduction; (b) a clear structure, i.e. exposition of the argument in the following chapters; (c) a clear theoretical exposition and conceptual discussion; (d) the variety and quality of scholarly and non-scholarly resources engaged; (e) a clear identification of the contributions of the paper to the existing relevant debates; (f) an engaging and adequately proofread writing; and (g) team collaboration, if applies.
4) Research paper presentation and engagement with received comments (5%)
5) Research paper feedbacks (10%)
Students will be required to engage with other students’ research paper work. They will be required to provide feedback on the research paper proposals of other students. They should also read the final research papers and provide feedbacks in the form of comments or questions. The students will not be required to provide feedback on all the research papers from their peers, but only on the assigned ones. The feedbacks on the final paper research paper should be uploaded by 07 January 2021. The author(s) of the paper will be required to provide answers to the received questions and comments during the presentation.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

The seminars will be based on a combination of on-line and in-class teaching:
- in-class teaching will take place on the following dates: 16.10.2020; 27.11.2020; 08.01.2021; 22.01.2021
For the in-class sessions the students will be divided in smaller groups in order to fulfill the distance requirements and to allow for a more intense communication between the lecturer and students. If the in-class teaching will not be possible at all, the meetings will take place on-line.

- on-line sessions will take place on the following dates: 30.10.2020; 13.11.2020; 11.12.2020; 08.01.2021.
The online sessions should be attended by all students. For assuring better teaching process, the students will be divided in several groups for on-line classes.

Examination topics

Reading list

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 11.01.2021 16:48