News archive | Research Focus

Sara Svensson, DPP faculty member publishes in Eurasian Geography and Economy

What drives local and regional governments in Europe to increasingly form and join organizations that span national borders? That is the key question in the article “Forget the policy gap: Why local governments really decide to take part in cross-border cooperation initiatives in Europe”, written by DPP faculty member Sara Svensson and published in the latest issue of Eurasian Geography and Economy.

CEU at the World Water Week in Stockholm

The Environmental Systems Laboratory ( represents CEU at the World Water Week ( held in Stockholm on September 1-6, 2013. Throughout the this event week, participants will have the opportunity to engage with leaders from government, business, academia and members from nearly 250 convening organisations. The theme for this year's Week is “Water Cooperation: Building Partnerships”.

The Good News: Racial Attitudes Can Change

If you identify with someone from another race, you become less racist. Natalie Sebanz, associate professor in CEU's Department of Cognitive Science, came to this conclusion by making it happen, in research published in the August 2013 edition of Cognition. Light-skinned participants were shown a dark-skinned hand, and with their own hand hidden from view, they began to feel the dark-skinned hand was their own. Racial bias dropped after the participants felt this identifying experience.

Selling Nationalism Through Music

All nations have traditional music that defines their history and culture. So-called nationalistic rock in Hungary, however, has gone beyond just catchy melodies to become a movement that sells ideology and an “alternative” lifestyle. With a dedicated right-wing radio station, clothing, and even top spots on Hungarian music charts, nationalist bands are hugely popular. CEU Research Assistant and PhD candidate Aron Szele studies the roots of the movement and the effect it has on today's political climate.

Paradoxically, Competition Forces Cooperation

In the early 1990s, automakers were closing plants and reducing headcounts at facilities across Europe. In Germany and the U.K., numbers of workers at Ford plants were down 40,000 since the 1960s and more cuts and production shifts were expected.

“There was a growing sense of risk,” said Thomas Fetzer, associate professor in the Department of International Relations and European Studies. “British and German unions were similarly affected by management decisions to reduce headcounts and wages. The unions felt a mutual vulnerability that prompted cooperation.”

Policies to Protect Our Virtual Selves

The advent of the information-rich economy renders personal data into a valuable resource which can be readily exploited and difficult to protect. As online technologies develop and social media grows exponentially, users appear to divulge information about themselves and to accept a company's terms and conditions with a quick click of the mouse. But it is not just carelessness that makes users surrender their privacy but also outdated EU data protection rules from the mid-1990s that are no longer capable or sufficient to adequately respond to prevailing online practices.

Decisions, Decisions: Why We Choose the Things We Do

Should I move to California or Michigan? Should I go to the gym today? How about a chocolate bar? Or a pack of cigarettes? Botond Koszegi and Adam Szeidl, professors in the Department of Economics, have developed a model that explains why most people answer these questions this way: Sunny California. I’ll work out tomorrow. Sure, it’s just a few calories. Yes, I’ll quit smoking this summer.

Supreme Efforts at Internet Censorship in Iran

Iranian hardliners have established an array of powerful institutions charged with blocking citizens’ access to “inappropriate” Internet content, including western social media sites like Facebook and YouTube. Nevertheless, Iranians skillfully circumvent state censorship, according to Amy Brouillette, research fellow at the Center for Media and Communication Studies, now part of CEU’s School of Public Policy.

Examining Hungary as an International Development Actor

Although some still define Hungary as a country in transition, its membership in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the EU oblige that it give a percentage of its gross national income (GNI) to underdeveloped countries to assist with health initiatives, poverty reduction, and improving education. Even with a near 11 percent unemployment rate and a struggling economy, Hungary is still one of the 50 richest countries in the world, based on gross national product (GDP) per capita.

Arrested Development: The Story of a Budapest Neighborhood

Finely detailed, turn-of-the-century facades, shabby but still elegant, share downtown streets with sleekly modern office fronts. Some grand old dames of architecture are beautifully renovated, others are crumbling. This is Budapest, a city of contrasts, where development may seem random. Alexandra Kowalski, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, sought an explanation.