In the first two academic semesters (October-January and February-May), students are required to complete eight courses while, in the third semester (June-October), they must complete a dissertation of min. 20,000 words.
For the academic year 2018-19, the following courses are offered:
AUTUMN TERM (compulsory courses)
Politics and Society in Eastern and Southeastern Europe (7.5 ECTS)
The aim of the course is to introduce the student to some of the main political and social developments in post-communist Europe. By providing an overview of diverse social and political trends and offering historical and theoretical background to key issues the course will help the student develop the necessary skills for a comprehensive understanding of contemporary Eastern and South-East Europe. Based on the historical specificities of the regions and set against the backdrop of the first post-Communist decade the course will elaborate on trends and events at the local, national and regional level. Analysing both the elite and the grass root levels and particularly interested in their interplay, the course will employ multiple teaching methodologies and approaches. Spanning disciplinary fields from political science, sociology and international relations to conflict studies, anthropology and cultural studies, the course will avoid providing students with a set of fixed disciplinary knowledge. Rather the course is intended to provide plentiful ‘food for thought’ on actors, structures and processes. It will encourage students to seek their own understanding of contemporary Eastern Europe and South-East Europe and to think ‘creatively’ about these societies, their characteristics, strengths, weaknesses and prospects.
Economics in Eastern and Southeastern Europe (7.5 ECTS)
The course provides a thorough overview of the economic, business and investment environment of the economies in Eastern and Southeastern Europe. Special attention is given to economic indicators such as growth rates, per capita income, inflation, unemployment rates, fiscal deficit, public debt, imports, exports, wages, taxes, benefits and poverty levels. Also, the course examines in detail the economic freedom, competitiveness and productivity of each economy in Eastern and Southeastern Europe and provides valuable information of how easy is for potential investors and entrepreneurs to do business in the region. The economic and business environment in the region is compared with that in the European Union, USA and China.
ΕU Integration: Eastern and Southeastern Europe (7.5 ECTS)
The course focuses on the processes of transition from authoritarianism and adaptation to the EU multi-level system of governance in countries of Central-East and South-East Europe and the Balkans in light of the recent -latest- EU enlargement. The course critically examines crucial aspects of post-authoritarian transition, such as the condition of institutional demise and/or intentionality and evolution in the processes of institutional design and institution building at large, per country and/or group of countries. Additionally, it assesses, in a comparative perspective, the processes of adjustment and adaptation to the EU system of governance in crucial -both regulatory and redistributive- public policy areas, such as/with emphasis on monetary and economic policy (EMU), competition policy (Single European Market-privatization, de-re-regulation etc.), Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), socio-economic cohesion policies, environmental and social policies etc., in light of the increasing trend towards Europeanization of public policy.
Empirical Methods in Social Sciences (7.5 ECTS)
The aims of this course are to introduce the most common empirical methods used in the analysis of both economic and political data, to give students practice in the use of these methods and so prepare them for undertaking an empirical dissertation. The core material is regression analysis. Emphasis is on application rather than theoretical foundations. Computing classes provide hands-on experience of data analysis with the package Stata. Examples of applications from published papers in economics and political science are discussed. The course covers the following topics: basic univariate statistics; linear regression; qualitative independent variables; and, regression analysis with time series data
SPRING TERM (optional courses – student chooses four)
Parties and party systems in Eastern and Southeastern Europe (7.5 ECTS)
The course presents the itinerary of party development in Eastern Europe as a whole in the post-communist period. After a brief historical introduction to the overall context of post-communist change in Eastern Europe, the course will focus on the process of competitive party formation and the sequence of democratic elections that have structured and shaped the development of the political parties. Special attention will be given to the relation between party organization and the institutional environment (finance and party funding, relations with the media). The course will focus, also, on the character and the different types of party systems that have emerged in the last twenty years, as well as, on the conditions that influence party system change.
Security Problems in Eastern and Southeastern Europe (7.5 ECTS)
During the Cold War period, the Balkan region was one of the frontlines of East-West confrontation. However, one of the main implications of the ending of the Cold War has been the emergence of new regions in the former communist bloc. South-Eastern Europe has become once again a crossroads where great powers and local states seek influence, compete or cooperate with each other over markets and resources. The region presents challenges to global security, as well as opportunities for the overall interests of the international community. For reasons of geographical proximity, those challenges concern first and foremost the European Union. They arise from the region’s demographic situation and migratory pressures, inter-state and ethnic conflicts, terrorism and organized crime.
Minorities, human rights and ethnic conflicts in Eastern and Southeastern Europe (7.5 ECTS)
From the 1980s onwards, minority issues and ethnic tensions emerged as politically salient, advancing strong demands towards states. In state socialist countries, they contributed to regime disintegration and in the cases of federal systems to state break-up. The emergence of ethnic divisions took place in a European environment, where human rights were increasingly extended to issues of minority protection and both explicitly advanced as fundamental features of a democratic polity. The course examines the nature and causes of ethnic conflicts in SEE, the historical legacies, the role of communism and the Cold War, as well as their consequences for regime change, political stability and democratic consolidation. It also explores the emergence the European human rights and minority protection regime. This regime both provided countenance to minority claims, while it has itself been significantly influenced in the process of addressing ethnic conflicts in Central-East and Southeast Europe. In approaching the subject, the course draws from political science, international relations and human rights law.
Industry and Public Policy in Eastern and Southeastern Europe (7.5 ECTS)
The course aims to introduce students to economic decision-making in the business environment. More specifically, students will develop and understand microeconomic principles and industrial policy issues in relation to Eastern and SE Europe. Students will be strongly encouraged to use the Internet as a learning resource. The main topics that will be analyzed are: The economics of regulating the market; collusive and competitive behaviour; dominant firm and implications for economic welfare; traditional oligopolies and economic welfare; mixed oligopolies and economic welfare. We will look at case studies of a number of countries in Eastern and SE Europe, focusing on privatization and regulation.
International Business and Regional Integration in Eastern and Southeastern Europe (7.5 ECTS)
The scope of the course is to investigate the state of economic cooperation in the region. During the first decade of transition, the region suffered from fragmentation and conflicts both frustrating any effort for regional integration. However, the countries of the region have embarked on a process of intra-regional integration as a step towards integrating with the European Union and the world economy at large. The aim of the course is first, to set the theoretical framework for analyzing regional integration, e.g. methods, benefits, policies, etc.; second, to analyze both individual country and collective policies towards economic cooperation examining the structures and directions of international trade, factor mobility, and regional cooperation strategies and policies, e.g. trade and investment policies, institutional arrangements, etc. of the region in conjunction, of course, with the European Union’s policies aiming at facilitating the region’s aspiration to integrate with the European Union; and third, to point out the achievements so far, existing and potential problems and risks and ways to mitigate them.
Law for Business and Trade in Eastern and Southeastern Europe (7.5 ECTS)
The course is intended to provide an analytical examination of the legal framework governing business transactions in Eastern and Southeastern Europe, thereby enabling students to master the fundamental rules and principles thereof. At the outset, it presents the current trends of a modern international economic environment and their impact on cross-border business transactions in Eastern and Southeastern European countries. Subsequently, the course deals with the legal aspects of regional economic integration (free trade areas, customs unions, common markets and other forms of economic cooperation). Closely to this, it provides an analysis of trade policy instruments (such as customs tariffs, taxes, quantitative restrictions, dumping, subsidies). A considerable part of the course is devoted to the examination of the main international economic organizations, namely WTO, IMF and the World Bank. To the extent that EU law plays a significant role in trade relations of the area, the course examines the core elements of European economic law with particular emphasis in the internal market and external relations. Finally, the course also addresses specific topics such as European Energy Policy and Energy Charter.
Financial Markets in Eastern and Southeastern Europe (7.5 ECTS)
This course provides an introduction to the theory and the concerns of Financial markets in Eastern and Southeastern Europe. It proceeds to study the segments of the financial markets, i.e. capital and money markets (such as foreign exchange, stock and bonds markets, pricing of bonds, etc). Particular focus is given to the Banking systems, the International financial Institutions, and their banking activities. The role of the Central Banks in terms of regulation and supervisions as well as the role of Commercial Banks. We will close with the anatomy of the financial crisis is Eastern and South Eastern Europe.
Political Anthropology in Eastern and SEE (7.5 ECTS)
The purpose of this course is to introduce MA students to the disciplinary area of Political Anthropology, as a particular branch of the discipline of Social Anthropology with an emphasis on the Regions of Eastern and South Eastern Europe. The focus of the course is on the regional particularities of theory and research in the regions. Emphasis is placed on the familiarization with the relevant ethnographic texts that constitute the basis for the corpus of Balkan and East European Anthropology. The course also addresses the relations between Ethnography (fieldwork research) and Social Anthropology (analysis) The syllabus is based on ethnographic texts, films, and documentaries.
Note: Not all elective courses are guaranteed to run in any one year. A minimum of four students is required for a course to run.
Course attendance is compulsory. Students sit exams at the end of every (teaching) semester. If a student fails more than two courses in total, she is dismissed from the program. A student who fails one or two courses (and no more than two in total) may repeat the exams in September. In case the student fails only one exam in September and her average mark (including the latter course) is at least 6.00, then she can proceed to write her thesis in order to graduate. In case the average is smaller than 6.00, the student is dismissed from the program. Failure in more than one exam in September constitutes a failure of the degree.
In addition to normal coursework, students have the option to take an Eastern European language at the introductory, intermediate or advanced level, selecting from the pool of languages offered by the Department’s undergraduate program. There is no extra fee for the language course but the Department’s and respective language tutor’s approval is required.