Implications of COVID-19 in the Western Balkans

Hosted by LSE's public event series - COVID-19: The Policy Response

Online public event


Dr Arjan Gjonça

Dr Arjan Gjonça

Dr Mario Holzner

Dr Mario Holzner

Dr Sanja Vico

Dr Sanja Vico


Dr Vassilis Monastiriotis

Dr Vassilis Monastiriotis

What are the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Western Balkans? What economic, social and democracy issues have arisen from the pandemic? What are the challenges that lie ahead?

The panel will explore how the countries of the region have been tackling this crisis and how they have responded to the challenges in terms of internal policies and their relations with other countries, particularly the EU.

Arjan Gjonça is an Associate Professor of Demography at the Department of International Development. He holds an MSc and a PhD in Demography from LSE and continues to work at LSE as a full member of academic staff. His teaching focuses on demographic methods and on global population health. Arjan started his career as an assistant professor at University of Tirana, Faculty of Economics, Albania. His work experience includes institutions such as Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research; University of Southampton, Department of Social Statistics; University of Bocconi, Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics and Public Policy (as visiting professor), Department of Social Policy at London School of Economics, and finally Department of International Development. Arjan has acted as an adviser to different international organisations and national governments, including the World Bank, UNFPA, UNDP, Albanian Government, Turkish Government and Bosnian Government. His recent contribution includes chairing the Commission on the Reform of Higher Education in Albania (2013-2015), which has resulted in the introduction of new legislation on higher education in the country. Since 2015 he holds the position of Chair of the Accreditation Board of Albania.

Mario Holzner (@MarioHolzner) is Executive Director at wiiw. He is also coordinating economic policy development and communication with a focus on European economic policy. He has recently worked on issues of infrastructure investment in greater Europe, proposing a European Silk Road. Mario Holzner is also a lecturer in applied econometrics at the University of Vienna, Department of Economics. He obtained his PhD in economics at the Vienna University of Economics and Business in 2005.

Sanja Vico (@sanja_vico) is a Research Officer at European Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and an Associate of the LSEE – South Eastern Europe Research Unit at the LSE. She holds an ERC-funded Postdoctoral Research position in Political Science at the LSE on the project Justice Interactions and Peacebuilding. She received her PhD in Media and Communications from Goldsmiths, University of London in 2019, an MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BSc from the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade. Prior to joining the LSE European Institute, she worked as an Associate Lecturer at the Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for the Studies of Global Media and Democracy at Goldsmiths. She also worked as a Research Consultant and Analyst on various projects related to media and politics in the Western Balkans, including at BBC Media Action which led to the launch of BBC New service in Belgrade in 2018.

Vassilis Monastiriotis is an economist and economic geographer by training, specialising in three areas of Labour Economics, Economic Geography and Political Economy. He has significant policy engagement on all three areas, including appointments in Experts Committees (e.g., on Regional Incentives policy and on Minimum Wage policy in Greece) and work with international bodies such as the European Commission (DG Regio, DG EMPL, DG EAC), the CEFTA Secretariat and the EBRD. He has published widely in economics and regional science journals, including Oxford Economic Papers, the British Journal of Industrial Relations, Journal of Regional Science, Regional Studies, Urban Studies, and others; while he has co-authored a number of policy reports and edited books. He is Director of the LSE Research Unit on South Eastern Europe and holds affiliations with LSE’s Department of Geography and Environment and the Hellenic Observatory. He is Co-Editor of Spatial Economic Analysis, Committee Member of the British and Irish Section of the Regional Science Association, and member in various professional bodies.

This event is part of LSE's public event series - COVID-19: The Policy Response.

COVID-19 represents an enormous challenge for the social sciences to help governments and non-governmental organisations respond to the economic and societal consequences of the pandemic. Part of LSE's response to this challenge is a series of online public events that will take place over the Summer Term.

Why not visit the School of Public Policy COVID-19 Resource Centre.

This event in the series has been organised by LSEE Research on South Eastern Europe.

Over the last several years LSEE (@LSEE_LSE) has developed the School's expertise on South East Europe, drawing on the strength of existing and new academic expertise at the LSE. Bringing together and further developing the School's expertise on South Eastern Europe, LSEE provides a significant platform on which to build high quality, independent research and facilitate public dialogue, while disseminating information on the region.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSECOVID19

Podcasts and Videos

A podcast of this event is available to download from Implications of COVID-19 in the Western Balkans.

A video of this event is available to watch at Implications of COVID-19 in the Western Balkans.

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