News archive | Research Focus

Your Brain at the Polls: How Brain Function Affects Political Ideology

Darren Schreiber is not a neuroscientist, but he'd like to pick your brain just the same. During his PhD studies at UCLA, Schreiber, now a research fellow in CEU's Political Behavior Research Group (PolBeRG), drew on his undergraduate interest in political science and the interdisciplinary style of research he'd been exposed to in order to delve deep into what motivates people's political attitudes cognitively, not socially. He wanted to know if the brains of liberals functioned differently than those of conservatives.

From Exotic to Everyday: The New Silk Road Shrinks a Continent

The Silk Road may conjure up images of the exotic exchange of spices and gold, and arduous camelback treks across the desert. But we will soon associate it with trade in computers and cars, and one day, with travel from London to Singapore in just 72 hours, says Paul Lacourbe, associate professor of operations management at CEU Business School.

Getting Businesses Involved in Solving Social Problems

It might not be possible to estimate the amount that substance abuse costs businesses and governments. Yet this undeniable burden remains a sensitive issue that has not been effectively dealt with on national or global levels. Gergely Radacsi, a researcher at CEU's Center for Business and Society, part of CEU Business School, was driven by personal experience of the devastation of substance abuse as well as his background in economics to investigate how business participation could make a difference.

Cars and Cashews: Consumer Culture Behind the Iron Curtain

To the West, the “Iron Curtain” meant a draping of much of Central and Eastern Europe with ideology utterly foreign to democratic and free market concepts. However, a vibrant consumer culture thrived in the region, encouraged by Soviet leader Nikita Krushchev, who believed that socialism could beat capitalism even in the drive for material wealth, traditionally considered a capitalist trait.

Counting Jews: Hungarian Anti-Semitism Became Policy Back in 1920

Maria M. Kovacs’ new book is unexpectedly timely. The book, which traces the legal roots of Hungarian anti-Semitism back to quotas imposed in 1920, long before the rise of Nazi Germany, was published on the same day as a Hungarian member of Parliament called for Jewish MPs to be counted.

We Are Being Watched: Looking Into Consequences and Policy Responses

Big Brother isn't just watching us through the eyes of a camera anymore. As technology has advanced, so have surveillance methods. Some are so cleverly disguised that they induce people to voluntarily provide personal information. Not only are our physical selves monitored, our shopping habits, our criminal records, and even our health information are often surreptitiously recorded.

Unveiling a Little-Known, Enigmatic Religion by Living It

Some scholars learn a language in order to read ancient texts in their original languages. But just reading about alternative religious movements was not enough for CEU postdoc researcher Eszter Spat.

“I was getting a bit fed up studying religions known only from ancient manuscripts, because a lot of it was guesswork,” she said. Also intensely interested in anthropology, Spat decided to go to northern Iraq, learn Kurdish, and embed herself with a large religious minority called the Yezidis.

Maintaining Biodiversity in a Diverse Region

Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan are a vital part of the Mediterranean hotspot for biodiversity, which combined hosts 22,500 unique plant species – more than four times that of the rest of Europe. They also fall in the major flyway of millions of migratory birds. But much of the region’s plant and animal life is under threat, making the effective management of protected areas an urgent issue, according to Brandon Anthony, associate professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy, and PhD student Diane Matar.

Protecting the Rights of People at the Crossroads

European countries strive toward equality, protecting citizens against discrimination by race, gender, age, disability, religion and sexual orientation. But what about Roma women? Disabled migrants? Elderly Muslims? People who belong to more than one disadvantaged group have a different experience, requiring special attention, according to Andrea Krizsan, research fellow at CEU’s Center for Policy Studies.

CEU Professor Explores Ancient Technology

CEU Professor of medieval studies Jozsef Laszlovszky and his students have been hanging out in the 12th century. They haven't gone back in time, just up the Danube to the site of a medieval monastic estate in Pomaz that housed a glass-production center. Part of the site was poorly excavated in the 1930s and skeptics weren't sure that it was once a bustling manufacturing hub but Laszlovszky, who is also an archeologist, and his team have been studying the very real evidence.