Not available in 2022/23
EU449      Half Unit
Emerging Markets, Political Transition and Economic Development in Central and Eastern Europe

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Abigail Innes CBG 6.03


This course is available on the MSc in European and International Public Policy, MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Bocconi), MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Political Economy of Europe, MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Political Science and Political Economy and MSc in The Global Political Economy of China and Europe (LSE and Fudan). 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 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. It also considers the comparative political economy of the ‘middle income trap’, corruption and nationalist populism. 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 difficulties of consolidating democratic capitalism in open emerging markets in a globalised world. The seminars link key concepts with the empirical evidence arising from comparable cases.


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

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

Formative coursework

One 1500 word essay

Indicative reading

  • Hilary Appell and Mitchell Orenstein, (2018) From Triumph to Crisis: Neoliberal economic Rerform in Postcommunist Countries, Cambridge University Press;
  • Jan Drahokoupil and Martin Myant (eds.) (2015) Transition Economies after 2008: Responses to the Crisis in Russia and Eastern Europe, Routledge.
  • Rachel Epstein (2017) Banking on Markets: The Transformation of Bank-State Ties in Europe and Beyond, Oxford University Press;
  • Nick 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); 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;
  • 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.
  • Michael Ellman (2015) Socialist Planning, Cambridge University Press;
  • J Kornai (1992) The Socialist System: The Political Economy of Communism, Princeton University Press. Journals often cited: East European Politics and Society, Journal of Democracy, Economics of Transition and Europe-Asia Studies.

The reading list above is intended to encourage students to explore a few texts that they feel will inspire them, rather than to feel obliged to somehow complete all of them before arrival (too much!). These are relevant texts for the whole course and we will visit individual chapters in many of them as the course proceeds. The most useful background/preparatory reading that interested students can undertake for this course is to familiarise yourselves with the diverse historical political and economic developments of individual countries in the region from the communist era to the present day. This preparation will deepen the empirical knowledge you can deploy to critically judge the comparative theory with which the course then engages. In this respect Tony Judt's 'Postwar' is a particularly engaging text and Judt was unusual for writing with a deep knowledge of both Western and Central Europe alike.


Essay (25%, 2000 words) in the LT.
Online assessment (75%) in the ST.

The online assessment for this course will be administered via Moodle.  Questions will be made available at a set date/time and students will be given a set period in the ST to complete the answers to questions and upload their responses back into Moodle.

Key facts

Department: European Institute

Total students 2021/22: Unavailable

Average class size 2021/22: Unavailable

Controlled access 2021/22: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

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