Head: Dr. Julia Langbein

Political Economy and Integration

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the fifteen successor states and the Central and East European countries that belonged to the former socialist bloc had to reintegrate their economies into transnational markets. They also had to reorganise their domestic political and economic relations. Against this background, this research cluster focuses on two interlinked processes.

Firstly, projects in this research cluster investigate how varieties of domestic political and economic relations shape the way East European economies manage economic integration and disintegration. Projects also explore the extent to which these economies benefit from being integrated into transnational markets and value chains.

Secondly, this research cluster examines different strategies of transnational market integration pursued, for example, by the EU, China, or Russia in Eastern Europe. How do these strategies shape the domestic policy space for development in East European economies? To what extent do these strategies cause economic disintegration, and how do they affect regime stability? Relatedly, the research cluster assesses when and how the economic integration strategies of these external actors compete with or complement each other.

The research combines insights from political science, economics, and sociology. It draws on qualitative and quantitative methods, such as interviews, focus groups, and statistical analysis.


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Einstein Professor for the Comparative Study of Democracy and Authoritarianism at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin