Job talks for the position of Assistant Professor of International Political Economy (June 17-18, 2021)

June 12, 2021

Dr. Dora Piroska is Associate Professor at Corvinus University of Budapest and a Visiting Professor at the IR Department of Central European University. She holds a PhD from the CEU in Political Science/IR track. Her research focuses on the international political economy (IPE) of banking and finance, banking regulation and development finance. She has a particular interest in the Eastern European region. Recently she has published a critique of the Regulatory Sandbox approach to Fintech regulation, on the development banking fields in Hungary and Poland, the Banking Union’s perception in non-Eurozone member states, and the EU’s financial crisis management’s impact on democracy in Slovenia. She published in JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, New Political Economy, Competition and Change, Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Policy and Society, Third World Thematics, Europe-Asia Studies in thematic volumes with Routledge and Oxford University Press, and in several Hungarian outlets.

Macroprudential Policy on an Uneven Playing Field: Supranational Regulation and Domestic Politics in the EU's Dependent Market Economies

June 17, 2021 09:00 AM Vienna

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Central bankers and financial regulators in Central and Eastern Europe are among the most active proponents of macroprudential policy in the EU. Drawing upon the Dependent Market Economy (DME) framework, this presentation explores how and why the EU’s five DMEs — Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, and Romania — have used macroprudential policy to manage the uneven effects of European integration. While structural and institutional factors define the available policy space, policy choices within that space depend upon how domestic actors translate macroprudential ideas into their local contexts. Eastern regulators’ desires, abilities, and methods of leveraging macroprudential tools are affected by their domestic financial markets and the extent to which financial nationalist politicians have gained control over policymaking. Overall, this analysis raises the policy-relevant issues of macroprudential measures’ structural conditions, social impact, and potential to weaken European integration.

Karolina Milewicz is an Associate Professor of International Relations in the Department of Politics and International Relations, and a fellow of University College, at the University of Oxford. She is also Director of Research Training and course director for the international relations doctoral program. Her research focuses on the role of international institutions and law in promoting international cooperation from both a theoretical as well as an empirical perspective. She works on issues related to preferential trade, multilateralism, and treaty making. Her recent research has been published in International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Conflict Resolution, British Journal of Political Science, and Political Science Research & Methods, and with Cambridge University Press.

Cooperation over International Rules: Evidence from Treaty Making

June 17, 2021 10:00 AM Vienna

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(Note: The presentation is based on Chapter 6 of my book “Constitutionalizing World Politics” published with CUP, 2020)

Which states are the strongest promoters of rule-based international cooperation and why? In this presentation, I explore the rationale for states' involvement in institutionalized cooperation and argue that the combination of democracy and power drives states' willingness and ability to cooperate through international rules. According to this “logic of democratic power", states that are both democratic and powerful are the strongest proponents of international rules. Unlike other states, these democratic powers create international rules to promote their own goals and values, and consequently to commit to and to follow those rules. To explores the empirical validity of this argument, I analyze states' involvement in international treaty making as a sequence of three integrated stages (negotiation, commitment, and compliance). Based on a dataset of 75 postwar international treaties, the statistical analyses reveal that cooperation over international rules is underpinned by the logic of democratic power confirming that it is the powerful democracies that are the chief makers and advocates of international rules.

Luis L. Schenoni obtained his PhD in 2020 at the University of Notre Dame and is now a Postdoctoral Researcher at Konstanz University, Germany, and Affiliated Professor at CIDE, Mexico. He works on state building and international conflict combining a historical sociological approach with insights from international political economy, and security studies. He also works on the combination of qualitative methods with cutting-edge causal inference techniques. His work has appeared with some of the major journals in the discipline such as the American Journal of Political Science, International Studies Quarterly, and Security Studies, among many others. 


Reconsidering the War and State Formation Link in Nineteenth-Century Latin America 

June 17, 2021 11:00 AM Vienna

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This presentation provides an empirical reassessment of the economic and political dynamics widely thought to have inhibited the effect of warfare on state formation in Latin America. Challenging the conventional wisdom in historical sociology, it reveals that states could seldom resort to trade taxes and foreign loans to finance wars. After exploring the effects of warfare on a panel of eighteen Latin American countries from independence to 1913, conflict seems to be more associated with domestic taxation and intra-elite conflict than previously believed. These findings confirm the mechanisms by which “war makes the state” were systematically present in nineteenth-century Latin America. In a second part this presentation focuses on a specific post-war mechanism by which war might have created state capacity: the articulation or not of central and peripheral/local economic elites depending on the outcome of the war. Using difference-in-differences and the synthetic control method, I show that victory in the battlefield consolidated wartime coalitions and legitimized state formation projects, while defeat prevented their progress. These mechanisms are illustrated with examples from the four most severe wars during that century regarding battle deaths and duration: the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867), the Paraguayan War (1864-1870), and the War of the Pacific (1879-1884).

Aydin B. Yildirim is a Marie Curie Fellow at the World Trade Institute of the University of Bern, carrying out his project PROSPER. Before joining the World Trade Institute, Aydin was a Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow at the European University Institute’s Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies and held visiting posts at the Nuffield College of the University of Oxford and the Max Planck Institute in Luxembourg City. He serves as a guest professor at the IE University in Spain and previously was a guest professor at the University of Antwerp in Belgium. His research focuses on international political economy with a particular focus on international institutions, economic globalisation, and the politics of international trade.

Economic globalization and the political economy of international trade: An interdisciplinary mixed-method approach to better understand causes and consequences of an open world economy

June 17, 2021 01:00 PM Vienna

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This presentation focuses on the implications of economic globalization on the political economy of cooperation in international trade relations. I outline my theory-driven empirical research that sheds light on the conditions under which states cooperate in the global trade regime, how and to what extent interest groups politically mobilize over economic policy making, and the distributional consequences of open trade policies. I demonstrate the significance of global trade networks that have critical implications for the politics of international trade and I highlight my interdisciplinary approach to political economy research, borrowing insights from economics, international law, and political science. I conclude by noting my future research looking into the impact of globalization on individual perceptions of economic inequality, combining political economy, sociology, and psychology.

Valentin Seidler

After studying economics and political science, Valentin Seidler worked for over ten years with the International Red Cross in Africa, Central Europe, Asia and in Brussels. With his doctorate in economics in 2011, he began his research and teaching activities at the Institute for International Development at the University of Vienna. From 2014 to 2015, Seidler conducted research as a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. From 2015 to 2016, Seidler was a Research Fellow at the IFK, the International Research Center for Cultural Studies, in Vienna. Other research visits include the University of Warwick, the University of Groningen and the University of California, Berkeley. His work has been financed by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), the Austrian National Bank and the Academy of Science.

Valentin Seidler is currently a post-doc researcher at WU Wien and teaches at the Vienna School of International Studies.

Translated development

June 18, 2021 01:00 PM Vienna

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The diffusion of Western institutions is central for understanding the global political order today. Japan in the Meiji Period is probably the best-known example of planned institutional innovation with the aim of catching up with more advanced nations.

My research program aims at understanding what exactly happens when institutions are imitated and innovated by other nations. I focus on agency - the function and the motivation of leading bureaucrats who are involved in translating the foreign norms into their local contexts.

I currently approach this question by looking at the decolonization of the British Empire in the mid-20th century. This was a period of intensified institutional reforms when the colonies prepared for independence. 20,000 senior local and British colonial bureaucrats spearheaded and managed these reforms. I have collected their personnel records from the former Colonial Office in London and interviewed 108 surviving officers in their homes in the UK, Africa, Asia and Australia.

My talk presents first findings, research initiatives and book projects planned in the near and medium future.

Steffen Murau is a postdoctoral fellow at the Global Development Policy (GDP) Center at Boston University (since 2019) and a research fellow at the Monetary and Economic Department at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel (since 2020). He completed a PhD in International Political Economy (IPE) at City, University of London (2017) and held postdoctoral positions at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs of Harvard University (2017-18). His research interests include monetary theory, shadow banking, the international monetary system and the European Monetary Union. Among others, he has published in the Journal of Institutional Economics, the Review of International Political Economy, New Political Economy and the Journal of Common Market Studies.

Monetary Architecture and the Global Credit Money System

June 18, 2021 02:00 PM Vienna

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This presentation will provide an overview on my current research agenda focusing on monetary architecture and the global credit money system. The concept of monetary architecture is embedded in the emerging field of critical macro-finance, which combines IPE scholarship with an understanding of the world as web of interlocking balance sheets—an approach that has become the 'lingua franca' in the international finance community and seeks to understand the international monetary system beyond dated nation-state boundaries. 

I will first sketch out the research that I have carried out in the last years during my PhD and postdoc years. Subsequently, I will explain my research agenda for the coming years: first, the Eurozone architecture embedded in the global Offshore US-Dollar System; second, Euro internationalization (with a specific focus on Eastern Europe); third, monetary architecture and the Green Transition; and fourth, the transformation of monetary architectures through private credit money accommodation.

Juergen Braunstein is a fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School where he works on the Geopolitics of Energy Project. His research focuses on the drivers as well as consequences of global energy transitions. His current book project, Global Energy Transition: The Making of Great Financial Powers (under contract with Cambridge University Press, UK), delves into the large infrastructure financing requirements during global energy transitions. Prior to this he coordinated the New Climate Economy Special Initiative on financing the urban transition at LSE Cities. Juergen is the author of Capital Choices: Sectoral Politics and the Variation of Sovereign Wealth (2019, Michigan University Press). He has a B.A. from the University of Vienna and a masters and doctorate from the London School of Economics.

The Origins and Transformation of Capital Choices

June 18, 2021 03:00 PM Vienna

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The global financial institution landscape is entering a new phase that involves the following elements: the decarbonization of economic activities; the shift of the global economy’s center of gravity from the West to the East; and the emergence of new financial actors, notably large state owned investment funds known as sovereign wealth funds (SWFs). This presentation begins by pointing out that SWFs can differ considerably. The research question is: What accounts for the establishment of different types of SWFs across and within countries? Examining small open economies, this research argues that different state-society structures at the sectoral level (i.e., policy networks) are the core drivers responsible for SWF variation. This finding has relevance to other areas, such as explaining variation in green finance. For example, different state-society structures help to explain why we see such a great variance in green finance among the Gulf’s petroleum-exporting economies.

Zsófia Barta is associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University at Albany as well as the German Kennedy Memorial Fellow at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University. She received her Phd in European Political Economy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research interests focus on the political economy of public debt. Her first book, In The Red: The Politics of Public Debt Accumulation in Developed Countries (University of Michigan Press, 2018) explored the variation in countries' ability to control the accumulation of public debt. The book received honorable mentions from the APSA European Politics and Society Section Best Book Award, the ISA International Political Economy Annual Best Book Award, and the SASE Alice Amsden Book Award. Dr. Barta’s current research focuses on sovereign credit rating agencies, particularly on the influence they exercise over politics and policy choice in developed democracies. She published the first results of this project in a series of journal articles in the Review of International Political EconomyComparative Political Studies, the Journal of Public Policy and the Journal of European Integration, and she has recently completed a book manuscript that comprehensively explores the issue.

Rating politics: How sovereign credit ratings reward and penalize political and policy choices in prosperous developed countries

June 18, 2021 04:00 PM Vienna

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As sovereign ratings gained increasing gatekeeping power over countries’ access to funding since the 1990s, scholars repeatedly warned that the need to gain rating agencies’ approval might constrain the political and policy choices of democratically elected governments. However, it remained unexplored to what extent rating agencies incorporate politics and policy into their rating decisions at all. While ratings obviously react strongly to macroeconomic and fiscal outcomes that directly affect countries’ ability to service their commitments (such as growth, inflation or debt), it has been unclear whether and how they respond to political and policy choices whose impact on creditworthiness is more ambiguous (such as government partisanship, welfare arrangements or regulation). My most recent book, Rating Politics (co-authored with Alison Johnston) mobilizes a variety of methods – quantitative analysis of rating scores, textual analysis of rating communications, comparative country case studies and semi-structured interviews with sovereign analysts – to explore the way the three dominant rating agencies, Fitch, Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s, have assessed politics and policy in the past three decades. It focuses on prosperous developed countries as cases where politics and policy are least likely to loom large in sovereign ratings, and demonstrates that ratings systematically penalize left-leaning governments, generous entitlements, heavy taxation, and institutional arrangements that disperse decision-making authority, imposing pecuniary costs on any country characterized by such choices. Importantly, Rating Politics highlights that such penalties arise from the specific business incentives created by a peculiar type of competition in the rating market, rather than from the ideological-epistemic commitments of analysts or from conformity with markets at large. Therefore, the penalties identified are independent from (and additional to) other sources of constraints on countries’ policy autonomy that might arise from dominant policy paradigms and market pressures.