Newsletter - December, 2015

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Greetings from your Department of Political Science at CEU. I am writing to share some exciting news.

This is a very special year for CEU. Your University is celebrating its 25th Anniversary, with events in Budapest and beyond. CEU is also making strides with its campus redevelopment, and has raised a new building at Nador u. 15 which, when completed, will serve as the hub of our new, integrated campus.

These is also a noteworthy time for your Department. Last time you heard about our new initiative to establish a network of departmental alumni ambassadors, and we already have the first ambassadors. We also hope many of you take this opportunity and join now. Please reply to this email if you are interested.

We are also happy to announce that this year, the PolSci Alumni Fund Scholarship has been awarded to two students: Weronika Koralewska from our one-year program and Nikola Kosovic, who is a second year student in our two-year program. We would like to thank all our alumni donors who made this award possible. Thank you very much for continuing to be part of our department's life. See more Department news. 

Unfortunately, we have sad news to share as well. As some of you already know, one of our last year graduates, Josip Pesic passed away very suddenly. Josip was a very promising young scholar, who has just started a PhD program at the EUI in Florence. We are grateful to all those members of our community who shared their thoughts in the book of condolences that we prepared for Josip's family.

We would also like you to 'meet' Zsolt Enyedi. Many of you will remember him from your years in Budapest. His greetings kick off a tradition that we want to establish: each Newsletter, one of your former professors will share some thoughts about our department and his current work.

"When ex-students ask me what's going on at CEU, often my answer is, "nothing special", which means, for those who remember the place, constant change. This is reflected even at the level of physical locations: in the last years I changed office two times and I will move soon into a new place (btw. campus-redevelopment: you should come and see the new buildings!). A constant 'reconstruction' is going on in teaching too, the ever-changing student body guarantees that. I have also altered, slightly, my portfolio: I teach more on methods and institutions than in the past. But, whenever possible, I return to parties and political attitudes.

The last year I spent in Washington D.C., at the Johns Hopkins University, where I was exposed to many new stimuli. After returning (and after not seeing students for a year) I also realized that I enjoy teaching - something that was not so obvious to me right before the break...

In terms of research, in the last three years I continued to work on European party politics and I published two articles on this topic in the, appropriately named, Party Politics journal. I did some work on Voting Advice Applications (see the online-first section of Political Studies) and on the topic of political representation (Journal of Legislative Studies).

I got interested, not entirely independently of the developments in Hungary, in populism. This interest led, so far, to three studies (Journal of Political Ideologies, Problems of Post-Communism and a chapter in a Kriesi and Pappas edited book on the topic), but some more is under preparation.

Looking at my recent publications what strikes me is that I work more intensively than ever before with ex- or current CEU students: three of my recent articles were co-authored with them. (OK, perhaps I shouldn't count the piece with Bojan Todosijevic in Psiholoska istrazivanja, given that Bojan is primarily a long-time friend and the text was actually written by us several years ago.)

While most of the above is, in some ways, a continuation of my previous interests, I also do some genuinely new stuff. Right now I am working, as part of Bert Klandermans's ERC project, on "how citizens try to influence politics and why", using focus-groups as primary method.

What is constant, despite all these changes, is that wherever I go I hear about our excellent alumni. This is even a factor in social life: I realized that it simply makes a good impression in company to claim that I know them. So, I claim just that..."

Again, these are exciting developments, of which we can all be proud. However, we must ask your support to enable your program to continue its work - and further its reputation for academic excellence.

You may designate your gift to support your department, plus new student scholarships, campus redevelopment and more. Whichever you choose, your contribution provides critical support for the future of CEU and its greatly appreciated. If you have already made your gift, please accept our heartfelt thanks. 

On behalf of CEU and the entire Department, I thank you for your support and invite you join us in celebrating your University's Silver Anniversary Weekend in Budapest this May (see the full list of events, including our special Alumni Coffeehouse, to which you're invited).

Also, if you haven't yet, please make your reservation and join your fellow alumni and friends at CEU's 25th Anniversary Alumni Reception and Party on Saturday, May 7 at Budapest's Marriott Hotel.

With warmest regards, 

Carsten Q. Schneider
Professor of Political Science 
Head of Department 
Department of Political Science 
Central European University