Research Areas

CEU aims to foster interdisciplinary and policy-relevant research focused on the critical issues of the 21st century and rooted in the best traditions of both Central European and American scholarship. Our flagship research areas are listed in the table below: these cover both broad themes and niche topics where CEU has developed specific excellence.

Note: Clicking on any of the research areas below will display all CEU faculty whose profiles are affiliated with the topic area, not necessarily departments with similar names.

Arts and Culture

Research area description/sub-categories: Innovation, meaning, sovereignty, organization, ownership and cultural processes. Cultural policy.

Business and Management Studies

Research area description/sub-categories: Organizational theory; corporate social responsibility; business and regulations; innovation and entrepreneurship.

Cognitive Science

Research area description/sub-categories: Cognitive Science aims at describing and explaining the processes that underlie the acquisition and use of information by living organisms, especially humans, and other cognitive systems. It is an interdisciplinary science that includes research from psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, mathematical modelling, linguistics and the social sciences. The research at the Department of Cognitive Science specializes in the study of social cognition and cognitive social sciences, such as behavioral economics and cognitive anthropology.

Constitutions, Law and Regulation

Research area description/sub-categories:

  • Comparative Constitutional Law: civil and political rights in established and emerging democracies; biomedical law and reproductive rights; enforcement of socio-economic rights, governance in transition to democracy; comparative constitutional adjudication; freedom of religion and free speech in a global world; broadcasting law; European Union law with emphasis on institutional law and litigation; comparative constitutional adjudication; corruption; constitutional transplants; administrative law.
  • Human Rights Law: international protection of human rights; politics and theories of European integration; minority rights; freedom of expression; human rights and criminal justice; freedom of religion; Roma rights; welfare rights in welfare states; constitutional protection of basic rights; human rights in Africa.
  • International Business Law: international commercial arbitration; law and ethnicity; language and translation in international dispute settlement; investment law; enforcement of contracts; comparative secured transactions; capital markets and securities regulation in emerging markets.
  • Biomedical Law: Ethical, legal and social implications of life sciences, biotechnology, biobanks, genetics, death and dying, enhancement, reproductive technologies, stem cell research, transplantation, law and policy on bioethics, biomedicine, nanotechnology and other science and frontier technology issues. For more information, see the CEU research section on Bioethics.

Development Studies

Research area description/sub-categories:

  • Sustainable development: the interaction of social, economic and environmental aspects of development for the benefit of both the present and future generations.
  • Rural development: natural resource and land management and conservation, social capital, demographics.
  • Urban development and urban studies: Urban theory and history; studies of public space and public sphere; the relation of urban spaces to global structures, flows and processes; the relation of urban processes to migration and citizenship; urban anthropology; Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cities; gated communities; symbolic appropriation, memory and historic preservation of/in urban space.


Research area description/sub-categories:

  • International finance, trade and macroeconomics; institutional economics; development economics; microeconomic theory and applied microeconomics; organizational economics; monetary and fiscal policy; applied econometrics.
  • Labor Studies: Causes of structural and institutional change and the consequences of restructuring for firms and workers. Labor markets and other applied microeconomic issues in Central and Eastern Europe.


Environmental and Energy Studies

Research area description/sub-categories:

  • Environmental Studies: Environmental policy, governance and management. Environmental justice. Environment and security. Sustainable development. Climate change. Environment, markets and democracy. Environment and livelihoods.
  • Energy Studies: Sustainable energy policies and practices including on energy efficiency and renewable energy. Energy governance at the national and global level. Energy security. Future energy scenarios.

Gender Studies

Research area description/sub-categories:

Feminist and social theories, gender dimensions of post-state socialism, nationalism, the state, citizenship and imperialism; political and economic transnational processes, intersections of identities, feminist knowledge production, sexuality and queer theory, politics of memory; women's and social movements; literary and cultural studies; women's history.

History and Medieval Studies

Research area description/sub-categories: 

  • Historical Studies: comparative history, history of Central, Southeastern and Eastern Europe, history and nature of communist regimes, history of ideas, history and social memory, history didactics and history textbooks, history of religion, symbolic geographies.
  • Late Antique Studies: the interplay of politics and religion in the fourth- through seventh-century Mediterranean, the formative periods of Christianity and Islam, 'peripheries' of the late antique empire, especially Syrian Christianity and the Caucasus.
  • Byzantine Studies: political, cultural, intellectual and religious history of the Byzantine empire from the seventh through the 15th centuries especially in relation to the Balkans, the Romanian Principalities and in the Caucasus.
  • Medieval Studies: Western, Central and Eastern European history of the Middle Ages, the Eastern Mediterranean from Constantine the Great to Suleyman the Magnificent (Late Antique, Byzantine & Early Ottoman Studies). History of Medieval Religion, Philosophy, and Science: material culture of the Middle Ages (archaeology, art history, archaeozoology, historical anthropology, etc.)
  • Ottoman Studies: the Ottoman presence and legacy in Europe from the 14th to the 20th centuries, the regional peculiarities and role of the vast Ottoman territories in Asia and Africa in the overall imperial system.

Human Rights Studies

Research area description/sub-categories: 

  • Human Rights and Social Inclusion: International protection of human rights; minority rights; human rights and criminal justice; freedom of religion; Roma rights; welfare rights in welfare states; constitutional protection of basic rights.
  • Minorities and Integration: Diversity management, migration, social integration.

International Relations

Research area description/sub-categories:

  • Global Governance: Transnational rules and institutions governing global issues.
  • European Studies: Lessons and effects of the recent European enlargement and future scenarios; politics and theories of European integration; European neighborhood policies; the transatlantic dimension of the EU; governance in the new EU member states.
  • International Affairs: Analysis of the political, economic, military and ideational factors of continuity and change in the international political system; theories of International Relations; transnationalization and globalization of world politics.
  • Security Studies: Security and defense policies, particularly in Europe. Linkages between conventional, environmental and energy security.


Research area description/sub-categories:

Algebra, algebraic geometry, approximation theory, biological and ecological models, combinatorics, computational geometry, computer science, cryptology, evolution equations, dynamic systems, differential equations, differential geometry, ergodic theory, functional analysis, graph theory, homological algebra, information theory, logic, number theory, numerical analysis, optimization, probability theory, set theory, singular perturbation theory, statistics, stochastic processes.

Media and Communications

Research area description/sub-categories:

Innovation, meaning, sovereignty, organization, ownership and cultural processes, in the context of media and communication. Free speech, journalism and media in a global world. Media policy and communication regulation. Internet and other information and communication technologies and related policies and governance.

Nationalism and Religious Studies

Research area description/sub-categories:

  • Jewish Studies: Jewish history, study and society in Central and Eastern Europe and beyond.
  • Nationalism Studies: Interdisciplinary study of issues of nationalism, self-determination, problems of state-formation, ethnic conflict, minority protection and the related theme of globalization from a critical and non-sectarian viewpoint. Special focus on placing problems of nationalism in the context of economic and political transition as well as constitution building in post-1989 Central and Eastern Europe, with a comparative outlook on regime transitions outside the region. 
  • Religious Studies: Religious phenomena from a historical point of view and from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives. Focus on in-depth engagement with religious thought and traditions especially in the three monotheistic religions, in a historically and conceptually grounded way, comparative study of their social, societal, institutional, cultural, intellectual, and political contexts and implications.


Research area description/sub-categories:

Questions of metaphysics, both in a contemporary and historical perspective; including, among others, issues about the freedom of the will and ancient philosophy of nature; the philosophy of mind, with special focus on arguments against physicalism and externalism; moral and political philosophy.

Political Science

Research area description/sub-categories:

  • Democracy and Political Institutions: Variety and challenges of democratic regimes, political regime transition, nature of non-democracies and hybrid regimes, qualities of democracies, political accountability, political communication, voting behavior.
  • Political Economy: Political economy of reforms, international political economy, varieties of capitalism in new Europe.

Public Policy

Research area description/sub-categories:

  • Public Policy: Public welfare regimes, social policy, corruption and corruption control, fiscal policy, public administration and management.
  • Higher Education: innovative approaches to higher education (concepts, history, policy and management, the role of universities in the 21st century) with specific relevance to Central and Eastern Europe and beyond.

Sociology and Social Anthropology

Research area description/sub-categories:

  • Sociology: culture, sociology and social anthropology; cultural globalization and the culture of globalization; globalization and neoliberal structures; transnational movements and globalization; social theory; theories of nationalism ideology, power and resistance; the construction and uses of ethnicity; social networks; economic sociology; migration; urban studies; regional development.
  • Social Movements: Emergence and development of locally or transnationally situated social movements, the relationship of social movements to civil society.
  • Network Science: Conceptualizing, measuring and analyzing second-order network linkages, the network of the world economy; online storage-and-retrieval system for dissemination of relational datasets.