Newsletter - April, 2018

What Our Alumni Say

Bruno Castanho Silva (PhD 2012-2017)

Post-doctoral researcher, Cologne Center for Comparative Politics, University of Cologne

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

Junior Research Fellow, Central Bank of Hungary

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

Post-doctoral fellow at University College Dublin

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.

Maria Fedorova (MA 2013-2014)

Data Analyst at International Organization for Migration

Sharon S. Belli (MA 2014-2016)

PhD Researcher, Political Science Dpt., University of Antwerp, Belgium

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

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)

Operations Officer, State and Peacebuilding Fund, the World Bank "For me, experience at CEU and Budapest has been transformative in every way. CEU offered enabling learning environment"

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. "

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. "

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."

Anna and Dave McKeever (MA 2011-2012)

Anna is Research Associate at Ulster University, while Dave is PhD candidate at University of Ulster "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. "

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"

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. "

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."

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 as well as academically."

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"

Peter Bajomi-Lazar (MA 1995-1996, PhD 1997-2004)

Professor of Mass Communication, Budapest Business School University of Applied Sciences "My years as an MA and a PhD student at CEU's Department of Political Science have taught me that social scientists have a certain responsibility toward society, and they have to do their best to help open and free societies develop in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe."

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"

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Warm greetings from your Political Science Department at CEU. I am not going to write you about CEU’s ongoing struggle with the political situation in Hungary as you have received the news from the Rector, I rather send you some more personalized news about the department.

Let me thank you for your support and help in attracting the next generation of talented PolSci students – I am happy to report that although we feared a drop in our application numbers due to the turbulent times CEU experiences, we have had a good pool of applicants from more than 50 countries. We are still in the midst of the application cycle, yet we have already 45 new students – representing more than 20 countries – who confirmed their place in our programs.

2018 is also the year when our colleague Anton Pelinka retires. Anton has been an integral part of the department for many years and we celebrate him with a workshop organized to honor him. Mark your calendars and join us if you can, the event takes place on May 28 and just follow our website for more news. We are also hiring a junior faculty to join and teach at Nationalism and PolSci, specializing in the politics of ethnically divided societies and another faculty in Political Communication so we look forward to some exciting news on the hires soon.

On June 28-29, the department will host an undergraduate conference on Social Media – Threat or Opportunity for Democracy in the Post-truth Era? Please share our call to your students if you are in a teaching position, just followthis link.

Last but not least, we are excited about the upcoming Alumni weekend at CEU. We hope to see many of you at the events, so let me just draw your attention to our departmental Alumni Coffee House – we have booked the roof terrace, the best place on Campus to have an informal chat on May 4, 2018, 17:30. Just follow this link to register.

Thank you very much for everything – and, please, do not forget: we always love to hear from you.

With warmest regards,

Zoltan Miklosi
Associate Professor of Political Science
Head of Department

It is our tradition to forward you messages of our faculty members. This time, 'meet again' János Kis, founder of the CEU Political Science Department, and its Head between 1992 and 2000.

"Dear Friends,

In the ’90s, I taught core MA courses, and so those of you who are alumni from that distant period, certainly know me. After the Ph.D. program in Political Science was launched, I began to focus on Ph.D. courses; therefore, most of you who graduated in the 2000s haven’t met me.

In the last couple of years, many changes, small and big, occurred in and around our Department. Last year we elected Zoltán Miklósi for Head of the Department. For those who don’t know him, Zoltán is a political philosopher affiliated with CEU for about 10 years. He is an excellent leader, with a clear understanding for how an academic community as diverse as ours can flourish. He is also someone with much empathy and with a capacity to exercise authority in a mild and amicable manner. Parallel to his election for Head of the Department, our colleague Andrés Moles was appointed as Director of the Doctoral School. The leadership change occurred precisely when we realized that it is time to revisit our teaching programs with a fresh eye. This is a fortunate coincidence, and I am sure that the Political Science curriculum will be significantly renewed in the coming years.

Let me report you on a university-wide series of events that you can follow on CEU’s YouTube website. Since the beginning of the previous academic year, a series of President’s lectures on the open society and its present troubles is going on at the CEU. Among the speakers, there are some CEU professors, such as Michael Ignatieff himself, Tim Crane, a philosopher who gave up his position as a Department Head in Cambridge, UK in order to join the CEU, and András Sajó, a legal scholar and former Vice-Chair of the European Court of Human Rights. But we have regular guest speakers, too, including Jan-Werner Müller and Cas Mudde, leading researchers of contemporary populism, the historian and expert on freedom of expression, Timothy Garton Ash, or Thomas Piketty, the economist and author of Capital in the 21st Century, a celebrated (and controversial) work on economic inequality. All these talks raise important topical issues, and their echo reverberates through the Budapest academic and wider intellectual community. But their single most important role is to contribute to common university-wide thinking and to the development of a shared cultural capital, distinctive of our university.

You may want to hear about the future of CEU in Budapest. I guess you are aware of the main facts: an agreement has been reached between the Hungarian government and the Education Authorities of the State of New York which is waiting for the PM to sign and table it to Parliament for ratification.

Currently, CEU is in negotiations with the City of Vienna to enable us to open a satellite campus there. The academic profile of that campus is a work-in-progress, the Rector just has called on the CEU community to contribute to common thinking on what university activities are appropriate to pursue there. At the same time, he assured the students and the faculty that “our commitment to Budapest does not change, and we continue to hope to secure our long-term future in Hungary through the New York State-Government of Hungary draft agreement”.

These are not vain hopes. As you probably know, the European Commission filed a lawsuit against the government of Hungary at the European Court of Justice on ‘lex CEU’. It takes some time until the EJC meets a decision, but we have the determination to continue our activities in Budapest, so that the decision will find us here, whatever.

All my best,

Janos"