EU449      Half Unit
Emerging Markets, Political Transition and Economic Development in Central and Eastern Europe

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Abigail Innes COW 2.10


This course is available on the MPA in European Public and Economic Policy, MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MSc in EU Politics, MSc in EU Politics (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Management, MSc in Management (CEMS MIM), MSc in Political Economy of Europe, MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Sciences Po) and MSc in Political Science and Political Economy. This course is not available as an outside option.


EU409 Basic Economic Concepts for European Political Economy or equivalent.

Course content

This course applies concepts of political economy, economics and political science to its investigation of Central and Eastern Europe’s development from post-communist transition, through EU accession to their condition as highly open, FDI-dependent emerging markets within the European Single Market. Placing the region in the comparative context of both the EU15 and comparable emerging markets, the course investigates the ongoing challenges of political and institutional consolidation and the developmental consequences of the liberalization and the consumption and FDI-led growth model of the 1990s/2000s. The course examines the emerging strengths and persistent weaknesses of these political economies and considers their implications for the region’s emerging varieties of capitalism, relative international competitiveness and political stability. The lectures aim to provide analytical frameworks and an overview of the major research findings and debates about systemic transformation, the influence of EU accession and the consolidation of democratic capitalism. The seminars link key concepts with the empirical evidence arising from comparative cases.


10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT. 1 hour and 30 minutes of seminars in the ST.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Two essays.

Indicative reading

N Barr (ed.) (2005) Labor Markets and Social Policy in Central and Eastern Europe: The Accession and Beyond, Washington DC: The World Bank; Dorothee Bohle and Bela Greskovits (2012) Capitalist Diversity on Europe’s Periphery, Ithaca: Cornell University Press; Hilary Appel (2011) Tax Politics in Eastern Europe: Globalisation, Regional Integration and the Democratic Compromise, Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press; H. Grabbe (2006) The EU's Transformative Power: Europeanization through Conditionality in Central and Eastern Europe, Basingstoke: Palgrave; J Kornai (1992) The Socialist System: The Political Economy of Communism, Princeton University Press; G Roland (2000) Transition and Economics: Politics, Markets and Firms, Cambridge MA: The MIT Press; G Schopflin (1993) Politics in Eastern Europe 1945-1992, Blackwell; Alfred Stepan and Juan Linz (1996) Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America and Post-Communist Europe, London: Johns Hopkins University Press; Sharon L. Wolchik and Jane L. Curry (eds) (2008) Central and East European Politics: From Communism to Democracy, London: Roman and Littlefield; Gil Eyal, Ivan Szelenyi and Eleanor Townsley (1998) Making Capitalism Without Capitalists: The New Ruling Elite in Eastern Europe, London: Verso; Anna Grzymala-Busse (2007) Rebuilding Leviathan: Party Competition and State Exploitation in Post-Communist Democracies, Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press; Stephen Haggard and Robert R. Kaufmann, (2008) Development, Democracy and Welfare States: Latin America, East Asia and Eastern Europe, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Journals often cited: East European Politics and Society, Journal of Democracy, Economics of Transition and Europe-Asia Studies.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Student performance results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 14.6
Merit 52.8
Pass 30.3
Fail 2.2

Teachers' comment

Students should note that in 2012-2013 EU449 was re-designed. Formerly a course on 'The Political Economy of Transition', the focus of EU449 was updated to become 'Emerging Markets, Political Transition and Economic Development in Central and Eastern Europe'. Our reasoning was that owing to the stronger evolution of a truly 'political economic' literature on this subject the course could become more fully interdisciplinary and now include more systematic comparison with other global emerging markets as well as the more established political economies of Western Europe. The survey data included in this course guide is based on the first year of the new course and the teachers involved have sought to integrate this first year of experience in further refinements for this coming year. Our belief is that the most useful background/preparatory reading that interested students can undertake for this course is to familiarise themselves with the diverse historical political and economic developments of individual countries in the region, notably from the communist era to the present day. This preparation will deepen the empirical knowledge students can employ to critically judge the comparative theory with which the course then engages. Course Convenor: Dr. Abby Innes

Key facts

Department: European Institute

Total students 2014/15: 33

Average class size 2014/15: 11

Controlled access 2014/15: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills

Course survey results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 90.9%



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