The Central and South-East Europe Programme

An academic hub promoting dialogue and cooperation on Central and South-East European studies: CSEEP is a new programme within LSE IDEAS that focuses on the connectivity between the states of this region, their history, and the interaction with present day wider trends and global phenomena.

A heady mix of first-class scholarship, exciting international visitors and lectures, joint programs to train promising young foreign policy specialists from around the world, high-profile and off-the-record events, and astute publicity.

Dr Priscilla Roberts, University of Hong Kong, on LSE IDEAS

The Central and South-East Europe Programme (CSEEP) at LSE IDEAS organises events, publications and collaborations with partners from Central and South-East Europe in order to generate a richer understanding of the region’s history, geopolitics and current affairs.

CSEEP works closely with the Ratiu Forum, based in Romania. The Ratiu Forum supports researchers who focus on Romania and the wider region of Central and South-East Europe. Scholars receive funding in order to conduct their research and spend time in London and Transylvania. The Forum also facilitates CSEEP conferences, workshops and other events, with the support of the Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation (London).

CSEEP has two regional desks, based in Krakow, Poland, and Cluj-Napoca, Romania, creating an extensive scholarly network in the political sciences, sociology, history and international relations. Through the Desks we organise an annual academic conference in Cluj-Napoca and Krakow, and visiting Fellowships at our universities in London, Romania and Poland.

The Programme’s network also includes several prominent regional NGOs and governmental policy makers with whom we cooperate in order to bring together academic and practitioner knowledge into our output. This enables us to facilitate deeper and fresher perspectives on the challenges face by countries across the region.


From Russia With Love? Serbia’s Lukewarm Reception of Russian Aid and Its Geopolitical Implications
June 2020

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic reached the Balkans, Serbia has energetically taken its partnership with China to the next level. However, while Russia has supplied aid to Serbia to combat the pandemic, it has not received the same attention from the Serbian leadership and public the way China did. Vuk Vuksanovic examines Serbo-Russian relations during the coronavirus pandemic and its geopolitical implications.

Axis of Convenience? Israel and China in a multipolar world
February 2020

Despite being one of the most important allies of the United States in the Middle East, Israel has been building a new partnership with China since 2013. Vuk Vusanovic explores the new partnership between Israel and China in this Strategic Update, and what this means alongside Israel's alliance with the United States.

Europe 30 Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall
June 2019

This report follows the first annual workshop which was hosted by the Central and South-East Europe Programme Desk on 17 and 18 June 2019 at the Political Science Faculty of Babeş-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Events and Podcasts

Cluj Napoca sq2

Immigration into Eastern Europe: new challenges
Monday 27 July

Central and Eastern Europe must address a new phenomenon: it is now a place of immigration. How is the region responding?

Geopolitics Balkans event sq

Geopolitics in the Balkans
Co-hosted with the Ratiu Forum
Monday 29 June

The COVID-19 outbreak, shifts in the global order, and rising tensions between great powers have brought new geopolitical dynamics into the Balkans. Against this backdrop, we will discuss these ongoing changes with a special focus on Serbia.

Malign Foreign Influences Black Sea Panel sq

Malign Foreign Influences in the Black Sea Region
Co-hosted with the UK Romania Group
Monday 22 June

What threatens the Black Sea region? From border security to cyber intrusion, our panel examine current and future malign foreign influences in the Black Sea security environment.

Democracy Ratiu 2020

Will Democracy Survive in Poland, Hungary and Serbia?
Co-hosted with the Ratiu Forum
Monday 8 June

A recent Freedom House report singled out Poland, Hungary and Serbia for their alarming rate of democratic disintegration. The COVID-19 pandemic has provided these countries with an unusual opportunity to interfere with constitutional powers and scheduled elections. How have these three countries exploited this opportunity? And what longer-term impact will this have in these precarious times for democracy?



Mladena and Dianko Sotirov Visiting Fellowship - Applications Open Now

LSE IDEAS is pleased to host the Mladena and Dianko Sotirov Visiting Fellowship thanks to the generous endowment by Mrs Mladena Sotirov.

Sotirov Fellows study Bulgaria and the Balkan region, working to understand its recent history, international affairs, the challenges it faces today and the prospects of tomorrow.

The Visiting Fellowship amounts to £6,400 and covers a one- to two-month research stay in London any time between June and September 2021.

It is intended primarily, but not exclusively, for scholars in the early stages of their career, namely doctoral candidates and post-doctoral fellows whose work and research focuses primarily on a topic related to the history of international affairs of Bulgaria and the Balkans in the twentieth century. Exceptionally, research of distinct quality focused on current issues may also be taken into consideration.

Click here for more information about the Fellowship and applications.

The deadline for applications is 22 April 2021.


Professor Christopher Coker is Co-ordinator of CSEEP. He is Director of LSE IDEAS. He was Professor of International Relations at LSE, retiring in 2019. He is a regular lecturer at the Royal College of Defence Studies (London); the NATO Defence College (Rome), the Centre for International Security (Geneva) and the National Institute for Defence Studies (Tokyo). He is also Adjunct Professor at the Swedish Staff College. He is the Director of the School of Civic Education. His most recent book is The Rise of the Civilizational State (Polity, 2019). His next book is Why War? (2020).

Megan Palmer is Programme Manager of CSEEP. Prior to joining LSE IDEAS, Megan worked for over a decade in academic and trade publishing and administration, before undertaking graduate studies at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at University College London. Alongside the Programme, she is conducting ESRC-funded doctoral research into late-Habsburg urban social organisation.

Sarah Coolican is the Project and Research Associate for this programme. She has a BA in Politics and Eastern European Studies from UCL, and an MSc in International Relations from LSE. Her research interests include modern Russian society and politics and the post-Soviet space.

Cosmin Marian is the CSEEP Romania Desk Co-ordinator. He is professor of political science at the Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Since 2016, he serves as Chair of the Political Science Department at the same university. His academic work positions him as a scholar with a special interest in political rules design and effects. His scholarship is grounded in theories and methods found in the field of comparative politics and formal rules with applications to institutional design that affects individual behaviour and societal outputs. Part of Cosmin's recent work analyses the anticommons property regime.

Mădălina Mocan is the CSEEP Romania Desk Manager. She is a civil society professional associated with the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD Cluj) at the Faculty of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences, Babeş-Bolyai University. With a long experience in developing, coordinating and advising civil society organisations, she maintains an academic and civic interest in human rights, particularly human trafficking, inequality, and political participation. Her current academic interests relate to the role of national and international donors and grant givers in Romania while continuing to advice and work with national and international partners in human trafficking and exploitation projects. She is an Aspen Institute Romania fellow (2009) and moderator, German Marshall Transatlantic Fellow (2014) and serves as a proud board member for Techsoup Romania.

Łukasz Kamieński is the Jagiellonian University Partnership Coordinator.

Vlad Zigarov is Programme Associate for the Central and South-East Europe Programme. He holds an MSc in International History from LSE and an MA from the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at UCL. He previously studied Philosophy, History and International Affairs at the University of Bucharest and worked in a number of state and private organisations in Romania and the UK.




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LSE IDEAS, Floor 9, Pankhurst House, 1 Clement's Inn, London, WC2A 2AZ