Home / Research / Cluster 1 / Theme 7

Transformation of Central and Eastern Europe

Contact Central European University for this project

Andrew Cartwright
Center for Policy Studies

John Earle
Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology
CEU Labour Project earlej@ceu.hu

Central European University

  1. Rural development
    Rural development is a research theme that draws on several disciplines to explain the dynamics and directions of rural change. The end of socialist rule brought about the return of huge amounts of land to former owners, it saw the collapse of rural based industries and the transformation of the size and composition of the rural population. In some parts of the regions, whole areas were abandoned as the inhabitants moved to towns or further field. In their wake many rural regions were left full of older people, and semi-subsistence producers relying on remittances or state benefits. Although there are similarities, the nature of rural changes caused by the transition is arguably distinct from those facing western and northern Europe. There is much more institutional innovation, more rapid market changes and significant social policy challenges for. At the same time, there is growing recognition of the need for integrated development policies to help rural areas adapt and prosper. Through comparative and through policy case studies, the main aim of this research is to understand the nature of this process and the assets and resources that can be mobilized in support.

  2. Social capital
    The aim of this research is to critically engage with the concept of social capital in its application to development in Central and Eastern Europe. If it can be broadly held to refer to the qualities of social structure that enable or disable collective action, that is the presence and quality of norms, trust and networks, there is evidence to say that the concept has been both used and abused in the region. Using ill fitting proxies, there has been a tendency to characterise the region as devoid of social capital and therefore in need of more. As great claims have been made for its ability to promote economic growth and to foster greater citizen participation, social capital has become influential as both an objective and a means for implementing development. Research at CPS contributes to ongoing debates concerning the significance of social capital in social and economic development, engaging with researchers both in the region and wider Europe.

  3. Labour issues and trends
    The CEU Labour Project conducts academic and policy-relevant research on labour markets and other applied microeconomic issues in Central and Eastern Europe. The Project's research agenda is motivated both by a desire to contribute useful analyses of transition economies to the broader scientific literature and by policy concerns and intellectual curiosity about the peculiarities of the transition economies themselves. The research brings together the tools of modern labour economics, microeconomic theory, and econometrics with issues related to the causes of structural and institutional change and the consequences of restructuring for firms and workers. Specific topics have included the following:
    • Foreign-domestic and public-private wage differentials
    • Foreign and state ownership and worker earnings
    • Unemployment duration of displaced workers
    • Public-private sector wage spillovers
    • Wage inequality
    • Effects of privatization on firm performance, employment, and wages
    • Political economy of privatization
    • Industry dynamics and effects on within-firm and aggregate productivity
    • Entrepreneurship: determinants of new firm entry and growth
    • Adjustment costs and labour demand
    • Poverty, social insurance and income support policies

  4. Pathways of property transformation - organisational networks careers
    This research project is about mapping the network dynamics of the largest 2000 firms in Hungary from 1987 to 2006. The sequences of network positions and the local dynamics of networks will be analyzed. We chart the interactions between political network ties and business networks.

  5. Regional governance, civil society, and EU projects This sub-theme is about the impact of EU regional development grant systems on regional governance structures, especially the emergent project organization of civil society, emerging regional identities, new forms of project networks, and the impacts of winning EU grants.

Relevance to future of European societies
This research is important because it focuses on future trends in the labour force that have implications for most economic and political factors

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