Conference program

What Our Alumni Say

Akop Gabrielyan (MA 2012-2014)

Executive Assistant to Founder & CEO at Teach For Armenia Foundation "Today I visited CEU, where a Master's degree was received some years ago. Referring to the years of my study here, I always remember these years with satisfaction and the feeling of pride, as I didn't betrayed my views, remained loyal to the idea of academic impartiality..."

Hani Sulastri Hamid & Marko Kukec (MA 2012-2013)

Hani is Planning, Learning and Accountability Coordinator at Rikolto Indonesia & Marko is Post-doctoral researcher at Helmut Schmidt Universität, Hamburg "When we first met as colleagues at the Department of Political Science, we could not have imagined how profoundly the year spent at the CEU will shape our professional and private lives."

Bruno Castanho Silva (PhD 2012-2017)

Post-doctoral researcher, Cologne Center for Comparative Politics, University of Cologne "Pursuing a PhD in political science at CEU was one of the best decisions I took in my academic career. The department is incredibly diverse in both methodological and substantive interests, with world class scholars."

Gergo Zavecz (MA 2010-2011, PhD 2011-2017)

Junior Research Fellow, Central Bank of Hungary "My time at CEU was remarkable in so many aspects: I was a CEU student when I did my first empirical research, when I first received a research grant, when I first published in a journal, when I was first asked to write a book chapter..."

Imre Szabo (MA 2009-2010, PhD 2011-2016)

Post-doctoral fellow at University College Dublin "The single best decision in my professional life was when I applied to CEU’s Political Science MA program in 2009. I had an experience at CEU that shaped who I am in fundamental ways. I have learnt how to process complex information about the functioning of political systems and societies."

Bogdana Buzarnescu (MA 2009-2010)

Principal Assistant - Parliamentary Assembly, Council of Europe "CEU, and in particular, it’s political science department, has been an enriching and truly formative period for me. Firstly, it has been a year of intensely demanding yet intellectually stimulating studies."

Constantin Manuel Bosancianu (MA 2008-2009, PhD 2011-2017)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, “Institutions and Political Inequality”, Political Economy of Development research area, WZB Berlin Social Science Center, Germany. "I have pursued both my MA and my PhD degrees at CEU, and I consider it to have been an excellent choice. The programs have allowed me to gain the skills that are indispensable on an increasingly competitive European academic job market."

Maria Fedorova (MA 2013-2014)

Data Analyst at International Organization for Migration "Few years in my life so far were as intense, challenging, and rewarding as the year I spent at CEU. The academic excellence combined with a great variety of classes was truly impressive. The knowledge I got proved to be useful years later and helped me substantially in my work."

Sharon S. Belli (MA 2014-2016)

PhD Researcher, Political Science Dpt., University of Antwerp, Belgium "CEU made me fully understand my potential. Each student is treated individually and professors make sure that everyone develops a critical mind along with valuable skills. I would never have gone on with the research if it were not for the mentors, professors and colleagues who challenged me."

Ivan Nikolovski (MA 2015-2017)

Junior researcher at the Institute for Democracy ‘Societas Civilis’ – Skopje and President of JEF Macedonia – Macedonian national section of the Young European Federalists movement "The primary reason for choosing the 2-year master program in Political Science at CEU was to upgrade my knowledge of the state-of-the-art and gain the necessary research skills. But CEU offered me more than that."

Martin Molder (PhD 2012-2017)

Researcher, Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies at the University of Tartu "I will always look back at CEU with fondness and gratitude. By now I have been working and studying at different universities for around 15 years. From all that, my time at the Department of Political Science at CEU clearly stands out."

Zainiddin Karaev (PhD 2001-2004)

Trust Funds management - Fragility, Conflict and Violence (FCV) Group, The World Bank "For me, experience at CEU and Budapest has been transformative in every way. CEU offered enabling learning environment, backed by a strong group of professors, who were friendly yet demanding."

Maximilian Spinner (2007, PhD)

Foreign Policy Department of the Federal Chancellery, Berlin “For me CEU was a very intense and enriching experience, both academically and personally. Academically in terms of a demanding but intellectually very rewarding environment, personally through the great variety of students’ nationalities, academic and professional backgrounds.”

Armin Haeberle (MA 2004-2005)

Head of Corporate Development Frankfurt Business Media - Part of the F.A.Z. Publishing Group, Frankfurt, Germany "CEU was a great experience for me. While the academic level was really demanding, the atmosphere was always friendly and the support and interaction with the professors and university staff a real pleasure. I wouldn’t have thought that a Master’s Degree can be so intense and intellectually stimulating and so much fun at the same time."

Juliane Sophie Stein (MA 2012-2014)

Researcher, Institute for Political Science - Centre for Political Science, Hungarian Academy of Science "One of my major motivations for choosing CEU's Department of Political Science was the attractive combination of excellence in teaching and research on the one hand, and the good range of scholarships on the other. "

Olga Victorovna Smirnova (MA 2001-2002)

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, East Carolina University "My life can be divided into before and after CEU. This was a truly transformative year for me as a student of Political Science. Coming from one of the far most regions of Russia, I have experienced new cultures, met new life-long friends..."

Anna and Dave McKeever (MA 2011-2012)

Anna is Research Associate at Ulster University, while Dave is Part-Time Lecturer at Ulster University "We studied together on the Political Science MA program and married two years after meeting for the first time. CEU education, the outstanding staff, the resources at the department, and the intense workload (there is no point in pretending otherwise) change people."

Benedek Kurdi (MA 2012-2013)

Doctoral Candidate, Social Psychology, Harvard University "The curriculum of the Political Science MA program at CEU offers a reasonably broad and, at the same time, in-depth introduction to the social sciences. The Department of Political Science is very special in the sense that whereas each professor has their own preferred methods..."

Aliya Abbasi (MA 2012-2013)

PhD candidate, University of Queensland "Every day spent at CEU was full of learning, challenges, opportunities, motivation and a sense of achievement. I came to the Political Science Department with a particular aim to study research methodology but my whole conception about knowledge has changed."

Batlang Seabo (MA 2012-2013)

Lecturer in Political Science, University of Botswana "Studying at CEU, in the Political Science department, is indeed a rare privilege that will potentially open up opportunities for me in the future, particularly for my career in research. It is a life-changing experience, an investment in my future."

Andrej Nosko (IRES MA 2005-2006, PhD 2013)

Director for Europe at PILnet: The Global Network for Public Interest Law "To succeed in the current world, you need transferable skills, which will enable you to succeed in many walks of life. CEU provided me with intellectually stimulating environment to acquire them and head start my career."

Stela Garaz (MA 2004-2005, PhD 2005-2012)

Consortium Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist at Habitat for Humanity EMEA "CEU contributed greatly to my professional growth due to its committed faculty, access to a great variety of resources, and high quality of teaching. But most of all I have benefited of the enriching multi-cultural environment of the university with its unique body of students..."

Daniel Horn (MA 2003-2004, PhD 2004-2010)

Senior Fellow, Institute of Economics, Center for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences "CEU is a true academic and intellectual community. Meeting people from all around the world and contrasting approaches from all around the scientific spectrum helped me to develop personally..."

Grigorii Golosov (MA 1993-1994)

Professor of Political Science, Project Director, Center for Democracy and Human Rights Helix, St. Petersburg "I spent the 1993-1994 academic year at CEU Pol Sci Department, then newly formed. Academically, the time spent was more than worth it. The variety of different subjects within political science that the relatively small academic staff was able to offer was simply astounding."

Annamaria Orban (PhD 1999-2003)

Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Communication, Budapest University of Technology and Economics "The CEU PhD program helped a mother of two kids near 40 to speed up her academic carrier… "

Evgeni Evgeniev (MA 2000-2001, PhD 2001-2007)

First Secretary at Permanent Representation of Bulgaria to the European Union “CEU is a meeting place for people of different cultures, knowledge and experience. "

Mano Toth (MA 2010-2011)

PhD, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge "My time at CEU was very rewarding. Engaging in thought-provoking debates expanded my vision and allowed me to go beyond the rather top-down learning experience of my undergraduate years"

Jennifer Yip (MA 2010-2011)

Supervisor, Survivors of Trafficking Empowerment Program (STEP), Refugee Services of Texas "CEU has allowed me develop my capacity in many ways. The activities organized on and off campus made me more socially active and the courses more academically-driven. "

Miles Maftean (MA 2010-2011, PhD 2012)

Lecturer, Eotvos Lorand University "My experience at CEU led me to develop a whole different idea of what learning actually is - it isn't simply obtaining and retaining truth and justifying this truth, but understanding what truth means to all different groups of people around the world"

Winne Ko (MA 2010-2011)

Project and Policy Officer at International Diabetes Federation Europe "CEU is truly global and the 10 month experience not only filled up my intellectual capacity, but also changed my way of thinking about the wider world"

Yuliana Palagnyuk (MA 2003-2004)

Head of the Jean Monnet Department, Senior Lecturer, Department of Public Policy and Management, Institute of Public Administration, Black Sea Petro Mohyla State University in consortium with “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy” "CEU was a wonderful experience as it helped me to grow both professionally and personally. "

Endre Danyi (MA 2002-2003)

Lecturer and Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Sociology, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main "The Central European University is all about transformation and movement. It is about the fascination with the ways in which societies, places and practices transform – sometimes slowly, sometimes overnight."

Emilia Lubenova (MA 2007-2008)

Business Development Expert at New - I JSC, Bulgaria "CEU and my Budapest experience are very precious to me, I will always keep them in my heart. You helped me to be what I am now - I feel young and successful and it is sure that you contributed a lot to this feeling of mine"

Sule Chousein (MA 2006-2007)

PhD Candidate, Atatürk Institute on Modern Turkish Studies, Bogazici University "I regard my one year MA experience at the CEU as the best experience of my life. CEU is indeed a unique home which blends academic excellence with her truly dedicated, friendly and professional academic staff with equally exceptional students from all over the world."

Mariana Sireteanu Gustavsson (MA 2000-2001)

Postdoc in Political Science, Linköping University, Sweden "Looking back I can describe CEU as a great meeting place for people, for different cultures, knowledge and experience"

Hairong Lai (PhD 2003-2008)

Executive Director, China Center for Overseas Social and Philosophical Theories "Central European University opened up a new world of research in political science to me."

Peter Stamatov (MA 1995-96)

Associate Professor of Social Research and Public Policy and Distinguished Researcher and Santander Endowed Chair at the Carlos III-Juan March Institute for the Social Sciences (Madrid) "I remember the year I spent at CEU as an exciting time of exposure to ideas and people new to me"

Peter Vagi (MA 2002-2003)

Senior Adviser, Policy Making, Strategy and Reform at OECD - OCDE / SIGMA, Paris, France "Studying at Central European University was one of the greatest journeys of my life. Being a Hungarian myself, it was also a great experience to explore my home city, Budapest together with foreigners from all over the World"

All panels will take place at CEU downtown campus:

Popper Room (Monument Building)

Central European University

Nádor utca 9

Budapest, 1051 Hungary


For info on individual panels please look below summary table








Arrival / Registration


Panel V: Challenges of Integration


Panel VII: Building a Home, Building an Identity


Welcome address






Panel I: Securitization I: Speech Acts & Identity


Panel VI: Nationalism, the Rise of the Far Right, and the Role of Parties


Panel VIII: Looking beyond the European Union








Panel II: Securitization II: Biopolitics & Borders


Trip to Szentendre






Welcome to CEU: Campus tour and information about our programs and scholarships


Panel III: EU Coherence & Migration Governance




Panel IV: Immigration & Labour


Conference welcome reception in Japanese Garden



August 15

8:45-9:00              ARRIVAL & Registration at CEU

9:00-9:30              Welcome Words by Robert Sata and Jenna Althoff

9:30-11:00           Panel I: Securitization I: Speech Acts & Identity

  • Samuel Hyravý (Slovakia) – Who are “we”
  • Stevan Tatalovic (Serbia) – Securitization of Migration: European ban-opticon and the new border identity
  • Bahar Albayrak (Turkey) – Pursuing Ontological Security: A Critical Analysis on the Issue of Migration to Europe
  • Bienvenue Gracia Tiendrebeogo (Burkina Faso/Canada) – Refugee crisis: do we choose to fear or fight courageously against the sources of immigration?
  • Discussant: Dagmar Kusa, Professor, BISLA, Project: APVV-​15-0682 FIANS 

11:00-11:30         Coffee break

11:30-13:00         Panel II: Securitization II: Biopolitics & Borders

  • Margaret Kerry Gasser (USA) – National Security Risks Incited by the Refugee Crisis in Europe
  • Krisztina Borbála Zálnoky (Hungary) – Refugee crisis: Lack of interdependency in Europe
  • Lora Yordanova (Bulgaria) – Securitization of Borders and the need of a common policy
  • Discussant: Celine Cantat, Post-Doctoral Researcher, Center for Policy Studies 

13:00-14:00         Lunch (for conference participants)

14:00-15:00         Welcome to CEU: Campus tour and information about our programs and scholarships

15:00-16:30         Panel III: EU Coherence & Migration Governance

  • Anna Hornakova (Slovakia) – The Asylum Crisis in Europe: Designed Dysfunction
  • Barbara Kelemen (Slovakia) – Refugee crisis facing Europe vs. Europe facing refugee crisis
  • Inva Nela (Albania) – The Challenge of The Refugee Crisis And Its Consequences for the European Continent
  • Vesa Bashota (Kosovo) – The Refugee Crisis: A Turning Point for Europe
  • Discussant: Jenna Althoff, PhD Candidate

16:30-17:00         Coffee break

17:00-18:30         Panel IV: Immigration & Labour

  • Brittany Ebeling (USA) – Gracias a los Inmigrantes: The New Economics of Labor Migration and Human Rights at the Margins of Southern Spain
  • Jonas Goldman (USA) – A New Deal for Migrants
  • Francesco Tassi/Dante Goffredo (Italy) – Fulfilling Mutual Interest: European Civil Society Integration Capacity and the Redefinition of Indefinite Encampment
  • Discussant: Imre Szabo, PhD Candidate 

 19:00-         Conference Welcome Reception in the Japanese Garden

August 16

9:00-10:30           Panel V: Challenges of Integration

  • Charlotte Marie Kurz (Germany) – In what way do governments and voluntary organisations communicate with each other in terms of investing and operating integration programs for refugees with a focus on Germany and Sweden?
  • Iana Geidrovich (Russia) – Unexpected challenges of Europe
  • Pavol Fukatsch (Slovakia) – Towards a Common European migration policy
  • Jessica Topper (USA) – The Politics of Refugees: A Comparative Study on Receiving Syrian Immigrants from Conflict
  • Discussant: Magdalena Ulceluse, PhD Candidate 

10:30-11:00         Coffee break

11:00-12:30         Panel VI: Nationalism, the Rise of the Far Right, and the Role of Parties

  • Michael Nawrocki (Poland) – Cognitive Biases in Social Knowledge about the Migrants and the Refugee Crisis
  • Giorgi Chapizde (Georgia) – Refugee crisis and reawakening of nationalism across the European Union
  • Breandán Ó Conchúir (Ireland) – The Enemy at the Gates: the Migrant Crisis and the Re-Entrenchment of European Ideas of the Other
  • Selna Bilibashi (Albania) – Migration and the rise of the far right in Europe
  • Discussant: Martin Mölder, PhD Candidate 

12:30-13:30         Lunch

13:30-20:00         Boat trip to Szentendre


August 17

9:00-10:30           Panel VII: Building a Home, Building an Identity

  • Daniel Gardijan/Mateja Horvath (Croatia) – From Nearby vs. Faraway: Media Representation of Syrian Refugees in Croatia
  • Tomáš Badin (Slovakia) – Behavioural study of Greece’s refugee camps
  • Sara Abdel-Rahim (USA) – Egyptian immigrant Integration in Italian Society
  • Thomas Jackson (USA) – The European Refugee crisis: Can We change the Image?
  • Discussant: Felix Bender, PhD Candidate 

10:30-11:00         Coffee break

11:00-12:30         Panel VIII: Looking beyond the European Union

  • Biliana Popova (Bulgaria) – The Responsibility Towards the "Other" in Post Arab Spring Europe
  • Mónika Márton (Romania) – Turkey as a safe third country
  • Petr Pespišil (Czech Republic) – The Legal Imbroglio Explored: How can migrants enter the EU?
  • Zoe Beynon-MacKinnon (Canada) – Global Responsibilities to Regional Conflict: Analysis of the European Refugee Crisis
  • Guram Ptskialadze (Georgia) – Turkey`s role in Migrant crisis and its policy on the issue
  • Discussant: Magdalena Smieszek, PhD Candidate (confirmed)


Tabled presentations

  • Islam Ahmed (Egypt) – Migration and Security: In Search of Reconciliation [Poster Presentation – during lunch break?]
  • Roman Manukyan (Georgia) – Construction of Identity of refugees [Poster Presentation]
  • Bjorn Kamberi – The migration challenge to the European Community - Integration and Enlargment as possible strategies [Poster Presentation]