Dr. Franco Algieri, Associate Professor, Head of International Relations Department, has continued to look at the complexity of EU-China relations. In „Die Chinapolitik der Europäischen Union im Kontext einer Mehrebenen- und Verflechtungsstruktur“ (The China policy of the European Union in context of a multilevel and interlinked structure), a contribution to an edited volume in honour of Rudolf Hrbek, he analyses institutional aspects and conflicting interests linked to EU’s China policy from a multilevel approach perspective. In his contribution to the Risk monitor 2024 of the Austrian Defence Ministry, he discusses interlinking obligations and strategic boundaries of EU-China relations and respective consequences for the EU’s security and for transatlantic relations. Finally, in his latest contribution to the Yearbook on European integration, Algieri critically highlights relevant aspects of the current China policy of the EU.

Franco Algieri: Die Chinapolitik der Europäischen Union im Kontext einer Mehrebenen- und Verflechtungsstruktur, in: Martin Große Hüttmann/Christine Probst-Dobler (Hrsg.): Europäische Union als Prozess. Festschrift für Rudolf Hrbek. Baden-Baden: Nomos 2023, 53-64.

Franco Algieri: Die Europäische Union und China, in: Werner Weidenfeld/Wolfgang Wessels (Hrsg): Jahrbuch der Europäischen Union 2023. Baden-Baden: Nomos 2023, 367-370.

Franco Algieri: Die Europäsche Union und China: Verflechtungszwänge- und Strategiegrenzen, in: Bundesministerium Landesverteidigung: Risikobild 2024. Welt aus den Fugen. Vienna: Austrian Defence Ministry 2024, 54-57. (German and English version)



Professor Bátora published his research on “thought communities” in the European Union

Jozef Batora

How do citizens in European Union (EU) member states think about the EU? And what are the implications of different thinking styles for citizens’ preferences regarding formation of policies, politics and polity in the EU? In a new article published in Journal of Common Market Studies, professor Jozef Bátora from IR Department at WVPU and his co-author Pavol Baboš (Comenius University) use relational class analysis (RCA) and analyze perceptions of the EU as a political order by citizens in six selected EU member states. The article introduces a new approach to analyzing public opinion about the EU: unlike traditional surveys examining attitudes, the current article can identify ways of thinking — intersubjective cognitive constructs — that people use when forming their opinions about the EU. Based on an online survey (N=6000) of respondents in France, Hungary, Germany, Poland, Italy and Slovakia, the analysis identifies two "thought communities" — statists and pragmatists — which are present to varying degrees in individual member states. People belonging to individual communities think about the Union on the basis of the same construct, but not with the same preferences: for example, statists include nation-state sovereigntists as well as Euro-federalists — all who use the ‘state’ as a frame of reference. The article analyzes the implications of thought communities for public support of different visions of political integration in the EU.


Anatoly Reshetnikov published a book chapter about the reactions of post-Soviet patronal autocracies to the war in Ukraine.

Anatoly Reshetnikov

WVPU’s Assistant Professor of International Relations, Anatoly Reshetnikov, has published a chapter in the two-volume book project about political consequences of the Russia-Ukraine war edited by Bálint Madlovics and Bálint Magyar. Reshetnikov’s chapters analyses the divergent reactions of post-Soviet patronal autocracies (Belarus, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan) to the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Reshetnikov notes that, unlike liberal democracies which supported Ukraine nearly unanimously, patronal autocracies have chosen various different tactics in their responses to this serious geopolitical shift. He identified three seemingly polar reactions exhibited by those regimes: (1) defensive submission (practiced by Belarus), (2) lucrative neutrality (adopted by Azerbaijan), and (3) silent detachment (attempted by Kazakhstan). Both volumes were published by the CEU Press and are freely available in open access.


Webster Vienna Private University's Dr. Franco Algieri Explores EU Foreign Policy in Latest Article

Franco Algieri

In his latest scholarly contribution, Dr. Franco Algieri, Associate Professor and Head of the International Relations Department at Webster Vienna Private University, delves into the intricacies of European Union (EU) foreign policy and its stance towards China. The article, titled "Determining Strategy in the European Union's Foreign and China Policy: Conceptual Claims and Systemic Limitations," has been published in the esteemed journal “Integration."

“Integration" is renowned for its dedication to fostering an interdisciplinary dialogue on the fundamental questions surrounding European integration. Dr. Algieri's article exemplifies this commitment, offering a theory-based and politically relevant analysis of the EU's approach to foreign relations, particularly in relation to China.

The article dissects the conceptual foundations of the EU's foreign policy strategies and highlights the systemic constraints that shape its decision-making process. Dr. Algieri's work provides a comprehensive perspective on the challenges and opportunities the EU faces in shaping its foreign policy, with a specific focus on its interactions with China.

Readers interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the EU's foreign policy dynamics and its relations with China can access Dr. Algieri's article in the latest issue of "integration" (3/2023).


Webster Vienna Researchers Uncover Drivers Behind Foreign Volunteers in Ukrainian International Legion

In a collaborative effort, WVPU professor Marco Bocchese and alumna Naira Arutyunova have authored a groundbreaking article that elucidates the intricate motivations propelling foreign volunteers to enlist in the Ukrainian International Legion.

Bocchese is Assistant Professor of International Relations at Webster Vienna Private University and Naira Arutyunova is an alumna of the MA in International Relations program at Webster Vienna.

This incisive study, meticulously conducted using primary sources, offers comprehensive insight into the multifaceted factors that compel foreign citizens to become part of the Ukrainian International Legion, actively engaging in Ukraine's ongoing conflict. Bocchese and Arutyunova’s study draws on 26 interviews conducted between January and April 2023, either in-person in Ukraine or online, with foreign volunteers from 16 countries and four continents. The analysis of the motivations shared by participants begins with normative considerations up to and including ethical imperatives. Specifically, as many as 10 respondents stated that fighting alongside the Ukrainians was simply “the right thing to do.”

Read the full study.


Professor Bátora published a new article in the journal European Security
In a new article published by a leading peer reviewed journal — European Security — professor Bátora from WVPU’s IR Department analyzes interstitial emergence of national defense entrepreneurial firms (NDEFs). Due to their close connection with their home state authorities, NDEFs are typologically different from private military- and security companies. As professor Bátora shows in a case study of Sweden’s Vesper Group, NDEFs operate in interstitial spaces on the fringes of the state becoming — in effect — its private arm in the delivery of defense services. Thereby, the state is being re-configured as a defense actor.

The article develops an analytical framework anchored in the multiple-networks approach in organization theory associated with the work of John F. Padgett and Walter W. Powell. Through a focus on change as minor (or major) shifts in recurring patterns of rules and practices, the approach enables us to speak to an issue often discussed by IR-scholars (and, more specifically, international political sociology scholars) in recent years: namely, what happens when resources and practices from multiple institutionalized domains overlap or re-combine in the delivery of international security policy solutions. The current approach moves beyond the state of the art in the debate in that it analyzes micro-level shifts in patterns of rules and practices and thereby speaks to how change in interstitial spaces actually occurs.

Coining a new term and conceptualizing a new organizational form — the NDEF — the article is also a contribution to the scholarly debate on the functions and role of private military- and security companies in security policy in the EU and beyond. In light of the growing importance of private armies in global security policy, the article also has the potential to enrich the policy debates in this field.


Anatoly Reshetnikov

“Chasing Greatness,” the forthcoming book by Anatoly Reshetnikov, our Assistant Professor of International Relations, is now available for pre-order on the website of the University of Michigan Press. The book traces and critically engages with the evolution of the Russian concepts related to political greatness, imperialism, and superiority. It unpacks both their original semantics and their troubled conceptual entanglement with the Western conceptual equivalents. The book will be of interest to the scholars and students of Russia’s international (and domestic) politics, as well as all those trying to understand the ideological roots of the ongoing conflicts and crises involving and/or triggered by Russia.

Despite its substantive historical depth, covering a timespan of at least ten centuries, “Chasing Greatness” is not a book of history. Rather, it is a synthesizing social science work inspired by the continental tradition of the critical history of modernity. As such, it tells us more about the present than about the past. It carefully reconstructs a patchwork of historical narratives that continue to exert their influence on the Russian decisions-makers and hinder the further improvement of mutual understanding and trust between Russia and the international society. In a nutshell, the book explains how Russia’s firm attachment to its great power identity has consistently brought calamity to its political regimes, citizens, and international integration projects.


Professor Bátora presented his research at international conferences

On May 3-5, 2023, professor Bátora presented his research at the 18th Biennal European Union Studies Association (EUSA) conference in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. In his paper “Conceptualizing segmented political order” (co-authored with John E. Fossum and Jarle Trondal — both from ARENA — Centre for European Studies at the University of Oslo), he develops a new conceptualization of the EU’s political order. The paper focuses on the operation of segments in the EU’s policy coordination processes. These are stabilized constellations of actors in different domains including EU institutions, member states’ governments, parliamentary bodies as well as the NGOs and the corporate sector. These actors share conceptual approaches to policy making and systematically ‘organize-in’ particular policy solutions and ‘organize-out’ others. This perspective — to be developed into a book by Bátora, Fossum and Trondal - provides a complementary conceptualization on how policy coordination in complex political orders such as the EU operates. In addition to the paper presentation, professor Bátora also gave a presentation in a EUSA plenary roundtable on “Russia’s War Against Ukraine and Ukraine’s Challenge to Europe“.

On May 22-23, 2023, professor Bátora gave two papers at the EU3D conference in Krakow, Poland. In the first paper, he presented the findings of his new study on the “Covid-19 crisis and new forms of intra-EU conditionality: The case of Slovakia”. In this study forthcoming as a chapter in an edited volume (Routledge 2023), he shows that measures introduced in efforts to curb the effects of the covid-19 crisis include various new mechanisms ensuring compliance. As the findings show, these mechanisms have brought about new types of intra-EU conditionality. In a second paper (co-authored with Pavol Babos from Comenius University), prof. Bátora presented the findings of a new online survey of 6000 citizens in six EU member states identifying ‘thought communities’ — communities of citizens sharing scripts or ‘thinking styles’ informing their views of the European Union. The paper is currently under review in a peer-reviewed journal.


Prof. Jozef Bátora analyzes non-wars and the emergence of new organizational forms in global security

Jozef Batora

In a new article published by the journal Organization Studies, Prof. Jozef Bátora addresses the question of what effects contemporary hybrid types of conflict have on the ways in which states' defense and security capacities are organized. He suggests that combined organizational forms are emerging in interstitial spaces between the state, the market and civil society. Mechanisms of such re-combinations are technological platforms and capital.

This development has implications for the nature of state sovereignty and, more broadly, for the functioning of the international order, which is increasingly "medieval" - consisting, in addition to states, of an entire spectrum of various types of new actors emerging on the fringes of the state.


Along with Julian Lindley-French, International Relations Department Head Franco Algieri published an article in PRSIM Vol. 10, No. 1, 2022 - The Journal of Complex Operations, National Defense University Press.

In "China, the West, and the Future Global Order ," the authors address the challenges of Sino-Western relationship, which is at a tipping point. They call for a culture of realism, reciprocity, proportionality, and conditionality to avoid miscalculation and misadventure.


Webster Vienna Associate Professor and Head of the Department of International Relations, Franco Algieri PhD (PDF), and Webster Vienna Lecturer in International Relations, Joachim Honeck (PDF), presented their paper "An interregional society in the making?"

The aim of this presentationat at the 15th EISA Pan-European Conference on International Relations, held from 1 to 4 September 2020, in Athens, was to provide an analyze the institutionalization of EU-Asia relations and the relevance of EU-China relations."

Here is an abstract:

Following Hedley Bull’s considerations on international society, the paper discusses whether EU-Asia relations are reflecting the consciousness “of certain common interests and common values” and whether the involved actors “conceive themselves to be bound by a common set of rules in their relations with one another, and share in the working of common institutions”. Furthermore, the authors ask, whether the conceptualization of the EU’s Asia policy might contribute to the creation of some kind of interregional society. Recognizing the significance of EU-China relations, the paper also addresses the mpact of the EU’s China policy in terms of either contributing or eroding the formation of an interregional society.


"Gruppenbildung in der Chinapolitik der EU: Implikationen für die Kohärenz europäischer Außenpolitik"

(Group formation in the EU’s China policy: Implications for the coherence of European foreign policy ) by Franco Algieri and Joachim Honeck

Relations with China are of high priority in the context of the European Union’s (EU) foreign policy. They reflect strengths and weaknesses of the EU as an actor in international relations. Regarding the issue of coherence in European foreign policy in particular, it can be useful to analyse the Union’s China policy.

In light of a changing European China policy, this article identifies three groups that are of interest for the closer definition of this policy. Possible implications of this group formation for the further development of the European foreign policy and the European China policy are highlighted.

Anatoly Reshetnikov

Assistant Professor Anatoly Reshetnikov has visited the University of Tartu (Estonia) as part of the Erasmus+ Faculty Mobility program. In Tartu, Reshetnikov delivered a public talk at the Center for Eurasian and Russian Studies (CEURUS) on Russia’s nebulous challenges to the liberal world order in the context of the ongoing war in Ukraine. He also participated as a guest lecturer in the graduate course on Constructivism curated by Professor Viacheslav Morozov.

As part of his professional training activities, Reshetnikov joined the colloquium organized by the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies and met with the Institute’s faculty members.

The University of Tartu is recognized as one of the leading institutions in the “Emerging Europe and Central Asia” region (#2 in 2021, according to the QS rankings).

Professor Bátora conceptualizes differentiation and segmentation in the EU

The Routledge Handbook of Differentiation in the European Union

In a chapter for The Routledge Handbook of Differentiation in the European Union (edited by Benjamin Leruth et al., Routledge 2022),  professor Jozef Bátora and his co-author professor John E. Fossum (ARENA - University of Oslo) elaborate on the concepts of differentiation and segmentation in the EU. It is widely recognized that the EU that emerged from the financial and refugee crises of the last decade has become more differentiated. Such a development brings forth questions about the nature and character of the EU as a political system, and the kinds of processes and mechanisms that drive its development.

An important problem is that neither differentiated integration nor differentiation say much about the positive character or the distinguishing features of the EU as a political system. The claim that Bátora and Fossum set forth in the chapter is that the notion of the EU as a segmented political system provides a more apt and precise characterization of the EU as a political system. In addition, the notion of segmentation helps to capture some of the distinct dynamics that propel the EU’s development.


Anatoly Reshetnikov

Assistant Professor of International Relations, Anatoly Reshetnikov, has recently published an article on the current hostilities between Russia and NATO over Ukraine and its inpact on European security.

In his analysis of the recent hostilities between Russia and NATO over the status of Ukraine and the interpretation of collective and indivisible security in Europe, Anatoly Reshetnikov scrutinizes the underlying logic of Russia’s actions. Focusing on the ‘Why now?’ question, he suggests that Russia combined its military build-up near Ukrainian borders with unrealistic demands towards NATO to reopen negotiations on secondary issues with the alliance and the collective West, instead of planning to commit a real offensive against Ukraine.

Dr. Reshetnikov’s recent text over Russia and Ukraine has been published in the Austrian Newspaper Der Standard (in German). Read text in English .

Anatoly Reshetnikov is an International Relations scholar and a faculty member at WVPU. He also serves as Associate Editor of New Perspectives: Interdisciplinary Journal of Central and Eastern European Politics and International Relations. His research is located at the intersection of Historical International Relations, Critical Theory, and Central and Eastern European Politics. He holds a PhD in Political Science from Central European University.



For the Yearbook of European Integration 2021, Franco Algieri has contributed an evaluation of the EU’s China policy. Considering an increasingly critical and differentiated European approach towards China, the chapter analyzes European-Chinese online diplomacy, controversies concerning economic interests on and human rights as well as the transatlantic and Indo-Pacific dimension.

Franco Algieri: Die Europäische Union und China , in : Weidenfeld, W./Wessels, W. (Hrsg.), Jahrbuch der Europäischen Integration 2022. Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2021, 357-360.


Assistant Professor of International Relations, Anatoly Reshetnikov, has convened a forum of essays on new dissidence in Russia and post-soviet space for New Perspectivesjournal, which he co-edits. The forthcoming issue of the journal addresses the problematic of dissidence as it appears on several registers, from politics and international relations, to art and scholarship itself.

It throws light on the vitally important political junctures that have been reached in Russia and some other post-soviet states, while the rest of the world has been preoccupied with the virus. Currently, most essays have already been published online first on the New Perspectives website and are scheduled to go in print by March.

For more information on the issue, you can read the editorial, co-authored by Anatoly Reshetnikov and Nicholas Michelsen.



Dr. Franco Algieri, Associate Professor and Department Head of International Relations at WVPU, has become part of The Alphen Group (TAG), an informal network of leading strategic thinkers who have come together to consider the future of the transatlantic relationship and European security and defense and do something about it.



Dr. Anatoly Reshetnikov, Assistant Professor in International Relations, and Xymena Kurowska (CEU) analysed the recent report on the so-called ‘coordinated inauthentic behaviour’ (published by Facebook) for the New York University Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia.

In their report, Facebook revealed that, in July 2021, it had removed 144 Facebook accounts, 262 Instagram accounts, 13 Pages, and 8 Groups for being involved in coordinated campaigns aimed at manipulating public debate across Facebook-affiliated platforms. Those campaigns (mainly operated from Russia) were targeting India and Latin American countries. Their main aim was to undermine people’s trust in the newly developed coronavirus vaccines Pfizer and AstraZeneca.

Reshetnikov and Kurowska analysed those incidents through the lens of two coordinated political practices they conceptualized in recent articles: neutrollization and trickstery. They came to the conclusion that both practices were widely utilized in the aforementioned disinformation campaigns. On the one hand, the campaigns attempted to breed confusion by proliferating both deceptively credible and frankly outlandish messages related to the alleged shortcomings of both vaccines.

On the other hand, in their coordinated behavior, campaign agents overidentified with progressive liberal values and Western cultural heritage. Both moves make perfect sense in the context of Russia’s target audience and the country’s implicit attempts to promote its own vaccine. Reshetnikov and Kurowska argue that “transnational efforts to regulate ‘coordinated inauthentic behavior’ need to consider the complex origins and mechanisms of such practices.”


Dr. Franco Algieri has contributed with an article (in German) on the EU’s Asia policy to the “Handlexikon der Europäischen Union” (ed. Jan Bergmann). This volume is a standard reference work that offers a comprehensive analysis on the EU from European Law and a European Studies perspectives.

Professor Bátora publishes article on interstitial organizations and prospects of the liberal international order

In his new article in a special issue of International Affairs, professor Bátora proposes a complementary approach to analyzing destabilization of the liberal international order (LIO) and argues that such challenges are related to endogenous institutional processes within the LIO. Faced with constraints of the core norms, rules and institutions of the LIO, states use interstitial organizations (INTOs) — new organizational forms recombining resources, rules, practices and structures from multiple institutional domains — allowing for innovative ways of delivering foreign policies.

Using organization theory and new institutionalist approaches, the article outlines a three-dimensional analytical framework to the study of emergence of interstitial organizational forms and interstitial institutional change of international institutions. It applies this framework to the study of two types of INTOs — the European External Action Service (EEAS) and private military companies (PMCs) — both of which are shown to have transformational impacts on two core primary institutions of the modern state order, namely diplomacy and war. The article argues that reliance on INTOs can both enhance and constrain states' ability to promote the core principles of the LIO and concludes with a discussion of two possible paths of adaptation of this order.

In a new article, professor Bátora conceptualizes the EU’s defense integration

In a new article in a special issue of European Foreign Affairs Review, professor Bátora analyzes the dynamics of differentiated integration in EU defense. The main argument is that Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) is bringing about two different and mutually complementary dynamics of integration: organizational field formation and segmentation.

The preliminary practical result is a dual dynamic of growing standardization of the EU’s defense industries across all twenty-five PESCO Member States in defense project development and continued reliance on Western European defense industrial actors (including the UK after Brexit) in defense R&D and production.

This means that while PESCO provides space for new joint defense projects across the participating Member States, the established structure and capacities of defence industries in the EU today set up conditions for what may be termed structural leadership by Western European defense industrial actors. Overall, this means that there is a particular — segmented — kind of differentiated integration in the field of EU defence industries in today’s EU.



A new publication of Dr. Batora is soon to appear in the European Foreign Affairs Review: The article is titled: "Dynamics of Differentiated Integration in EU Defence: Organizational Field Formation and Segmentation".


This article analyses the dynamics of differentiated integration in EU defence. It contributes to assessing what Pernille Rieker (2021) terms "broader European capacity on the global stage" involving both the EU’s defence structures and processes as well as those beyond the EU’s formal remit. The main argument in this article is that Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) is bringing about two different and mutually complementary dynamics of integration: organizational field formation and segmentation. The preliminary practical result is a dual dynamic of growing standardization of the EU’s defence industries across all twenty-five PESCO Member States in defence project development and continued reliance on Western European defence industrial actors (including the UK after Brexit) in defence R&D and production.

This means that while PESCO provides space for new joint defence projects across the participating Member States, the established structure and capacities of defence industries in the EU today set up conditions for what may be termed structural leadership by Western European defence industrial actors. Overall, this means that there is a particular — segmented — kind of differentiated integration in the field of EU defence industries in today’s EU.


Dr. Anatoly Reshetnikov, Assistant Professor of International Relations, has been awarded the European International Studies Association 2021 Best Article Prize in European Journal of International Relations for an article that he co-authored with Xymena Kurowska (CEU).

In their article “Trickstery: pluralising stigma in international society,” Kurowska and Reshetnikov introduce the concept of the "trickster" as an international role, a cultural archetype, and a situational script utilized by some stigmatized international actors and characterized by non-decidable plurality. The award recognizes the importance of theory and theoretical pluralism in European International Relations. It is allotted to outstanding articles that combine theoretical rigor and novelty with thorough empirical analysis, and make a significant contribution to the existing debates.

European Journal of International Relations is the flagship journal of the European International Studies Association and the European Consortium for Political Research. It has been described as the leading journal of European International Relations. The journal publishes cutting edge analysis of international politics, while keeping its commitment to methodological, theoretical, geographic, and ideological pluralism. Read the award committee praise for Kurowska and Reshetnikov’s article.

Dr. Marco Bocchese, professor of Political Science and newest IR faculty member has published an article in the current issue of the United Nations' academic quarterly journal “Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations.”


This article investigates the stark variation in elite appraisals of the performance of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Based on an online survey of diplomats posted to the UN headquarters, this article determines which country situations under ICC scrutiny respondents regard as successes or failures and, in turn, what parameters underpin their views. It also asks about negative cases; that is, country situations that never made it to The Hague due to political considerations.

This article makes a two-fold contribution to the study of international law and politics. First, it shows that diplomats conceptualize international justice in terms of ongoing prosecutions and convictions obtained. Thus, they downplay indirect effects such as positive complementarity. Interestingly, scholars and diplomats agree on the court’s fiascos, yet dissent on successes. Finally, diplomats have proved tired of political considerations obstructing international justice. Survey data reveals that they want the court to investigate situations involving major powers.

Marco Bocchese: “In the Eye of the Beholder. Elite Assessments of the ICC’s Performance”, in: Global Governance 27 (2021) 275–297.

Read the article.


“Vienna dialogue on the future of Europe”

At the "Wiener Dialog zur Zukunft Europas“ (Vienna dialogue on the future of Europe), organized by the University of Passau and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung on May 10, 2021, Dr. Franco Algieri was part of an expert group discussing the future of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).

In the framework of the Vienna dialogue scholars and practitioners from both countries analyze the potential of German-Austrian cooperation within the EU.

Research discussion: Interstitial organizations and the transformation of the liberal international order

Webster World Report has released a new podcast remixing some of the most popular interviews and discussions on the program in the past 14+ months. Prof. Jozef Bátora was on the program discussing his research on the ongoing transformation of the liberal international order in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Putting an emphasis on the role of private military companies as interstitial organizations bringing about transformation of warfare in conflicts worldwide, he discussed the systemic implications for the liberal international order.


Panel Discussion at WVPU published in “Le Grand Continent”


Following the Online Panel Discussion “The European Commission: The political engine room of European integration?” organized by the International Relations Department at WVPU, the debate featuring Prof. Frédéric Mérand and Prof. Dr. Martin Selmayr was now published by the magazine “Le Grand Continent.” The magazine features geopolitical, European and legal issues as well as intellectual and artistic debate and is a project founded by the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. In case you missed the online event you now have the chance to follow-up on the discussion, available both in English and in French.

The online panel discussion, moderated by Prof. Dr. Jozef Bátora, took place on April 14, 2021.

Commentary on recent protests in Russia


Anatoly Reshetnikov, Assistant Professor at WVPU’s International Relations Department, and his co-author Tobias Spöri from the University of Vienna have published a commentary on the Russian protests that took place in January 2021. In their analysis, commissioned by the Participatory and Deliberative Democracy Specialist Group of the Political Studies Association, Reshetnikov and Spöri conclude that there is little hope for success of the democratic protest movement in Russia, as the opportunity structures for protest remain narrow. Russian political elites form a single-pyramid network with a ‘chief patron’ on top, elections are neither free nor fair, the uncoopted opposition does not have real allies in power, while the regime’s capacity and propensity to repression is graphically demonstrated at every unsanctioned protest.

However, there are still reasons for hope. First, Russia’s information landscape is changing irreversibly as the tightly state-controlled television is losing its audience, while the share of social media users is growing day by day. Second, the leading Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny and his team have managed to drastically increase their visibility and popularity in the recent years, despite the unceasing pressure and assaults exercised by the Kremlin. Finally, the newly adopted smart mobilization strategies, such as neighbourhood assemblies and online protest mapping, may bear fruit and help the uncoopted opposition to mobilise more effectively.

Click here to read the full commentary.


Franco Algieri has published an evaluation of the EU’s China policy in the Yearbook of European Integration 2020. In light of ongoing controversies in EU-China relations, the article deals with the re-orientation of the EU’s strategy towards China.

Franco Algieri: Die Europäische Union und China, in : Weidenfeld, W./Wessels, W. (Hrsg.), Jahrbuch der Europäischen Integration 2020. Baden-Baden. Nomos, 2020, 371-376.


In a podcast hosted by the EU in International Affairs 2021 conference moderated by conference chair Florian Trauner (Free University of Brussels), Professor Jozef Bátora of the International Relations Department at WVPU joined Federica Bicchi (London School of Economics), Ben Tonra (University College Dublin), and Ana Juncos (University of Bristol) to discuss the role of the European External Action (EEAS) 10 years after its establishment.

In his contributions to the debate, Professor Bátora elaborated on his conceptualizations of the EEAS as an 'interstitial organization' and of the EU as a 'fringe player' of the modern state-centric diplomatic order bringing about various dynamics of innovation. As the debate of this group of scholars shows, the EEAS continues to be an exciting research object serving as a litmus test of the evolving EU foreign policy actorness.

Listen to the podcast to learn more.


Policy Brief - EU Security Policy After COVID

Dr. Michael Reiterer, former diplomat and current adjunct faculty member at WVPU, has published a Policy Brief titled “EU Security Policy After COVID: Walking the Talk or Losing Credibility.”

Michael Reiterer retired in September 2020 from the European Diplomatic Service (European External Action Service-EEAS) as Ambassador plenipotentiary and extraordinary of the European Union to the Republic of Korea; previous posts include Ambassador to Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein, Deputy Head of Mission/Minister at the EU Delegation to Japan, Minister Counsellor at the Austrian Permanent Representation to the EU, Counsellor at the Austrian Permanent Representation to the GATT, Austrian Deputy Trade Commissioner for West Africa (out of Abidjan/Ivory Coast) and to Japan. In addition, he co-chaired the Joint Group of Trade and Environment Experts at the OECD, served as panelist at the WTO dispute settlement and was a member of the European Economic and Social Committee.

Read the full brief.


Anatoly Reshetnikov, Assistant Professor at WVPU’s International Relations Department, has contributed an article to a yearly forum that facilitates scholarly exchange between Russian and Western research institutions and is published by a SAGE journal New Perspectives. Every year, the journal invites several leading academics from outside Russia to respond to the yearly forecast “Russia and the World” prepared by a collective of authors from the Moscow-based Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO).

This year’s pool of contributors to the forum include Richard Sakwa (University of Kent), Ruth Deyermond (King’s College London), Elizaveta Gaufman (University of Groningen), and other notable scholars. In his contribution titled “A country for old men: The pitfalls of conservative political analysis during crises”, Reshetnikov is pondering on several surprising parallels and contrasts between IMEMO’s forecast within the context of the current global crisis and W.B Yeats’ poetry within the context of its time.

Read the full issue of the journal.


Making Sense of the European Union

In a new peer-reviewed article, Professor Jozef Bátora explores ‘thought communities’ in the European Union.

How do Europeans make sense of the European Union (EU) and its processes of integration? Are there patterns of such understanding shared by citizens across borders of EU member states? In a new article “Making Sense of the European Union: Mapping ‘Thought Communities’ in Six EU Member States” published by the journal Sociológia (indexed in e.g. SSCI; Current Contents: Social & Behavioral Sciences; Scopus), Professor Bátora in collaboration with Dr. Pavol Baboš (Comenius University) use relational class analysis (RCA) to establish whether there are groups of citizens in selected EU member states sharing ideational construals of the EU. The purpose of this article is to complement extant studies of public attitudes towards the EU by exploring how citizens actually make sense of the Union. The authors analyze data from a representative sample of citizens from six EU member states — Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Slovakia (N=4249). They identify and label three different ‘thought communities’ sharing construals of the EU: ideologues, pragmatists and communitarians. A key finding is that societies in EU member states are marked by different constellations of such ‘thought communities’. A practical lesson for public outreach strategies by EU-level institutions and/or governments is that communication activities directed at “national audiences” will likely be understood differently by different thought communities within national contexts in the EU. More fine-grained communications strategies are thus called for.


Nov. 17, 2020 is China Day

In the context of the 23rd Euro Finance Week, the Euro Finance Group in Frankfurt/Main, Germany is hosting a virtual conference on November. 17, 2020. China Day will be held in German with simultaneous Chinese translations and WVPU's International Relations department head Dr. Franco Algieri is among the speakers.


Research activities at WVPU’s International Relations Department continue despite the novel coronavirus crisis. Assistant Professor Anatoly Reshetnikov has just published an article co-authored with Dr. Xymena Kurowska on trickstery in international politics in the prestigious European Journal of International Relations. In their article, Kurowska and Reshetnikov probe the idea of pluralizing stigma in international society and scrutinize a few of Russia’s recent foreign policy moves as examples of trickstery. The article is already published ‘first online’ on EJIR’s website. Make sure to check it from Webster’s library!

AbstractInternational politics is often imagined via a binary opposition between the oppressor and the oppressed. Attention to entrenched hierarchies of power is essential in the study of international politics. However, taking this division too rigidly can obfuscate the very mechanisms of power that must be understood in order to grasp these hierarchies. We identify one such mechanism in the practice of trickstery, particularly as practiced in the context of Russia’s ambivalent and conflicted place in international society. Through the dynamics of trickstery, we show the workings of stigmatization to be a plural phenomenon, giving rise to various normative challenges.The trickster is both conformist and deviant, hero and anti-hero — a “plural figure” both reflecting the rich cultural texture of international society and contesting its hierarchies. The trickster particularly unsettles the ideal liberal (global) public sphere through its simultaneous performance of emancipatory and anti-emancipatory logic.

In this, trickstery produces normatively undecidable situations that exceed the analytical capacities of, for example, the strategic use of norms, norm contestation, and stigma management literature. We find trickstery to be encapsulated in the contemporary international situation of Russia, while recognizing that its practices are potentially available to other actors with similarly liminal status and cultural repertoires.We particularly analyze the trickster practice of ‘overidentification’ with norms, which apparently endorses but indirectly subverts the normative frameworks within which it is performed.

Such over-identification is a form of satire, contemporaneously appropriated by state actors, which has indeterminate yet significant effects. Read the article.


Webster Vienna IR faculty member Professor Jozef Bátora and his co-authors have published a new research article titled “Spaces and Institutional Logics in Post-Conflict Settings of Mitrovica” in the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding.

In their new study, Bátora and his co-authors show that in post-conflict settings it is important to consider what meanings and practices (institutional logics) the local population associates with specific spaces. Based on field research focusing on bridges in the ethnically divided town of Mitrovica in Northern Kosovo they identified significant differences in perceptions and practices associated with the bridges among the population on both sides of the river Ibër/Ibar; differences in how and for what purposes bridges are used, and differences in how the EU and its crisis management practices are perceived on both sides of the river.

The article contributes to theoretical debates within the local turn in conflict studies in IR and, more specifically, it expands the concept of “everyday peace” adding a spatial dimension. When it comes to practical implications for EU foreign policy, the findings in the article call for closer attention being paid to analyzing local perceptions and practices associated with spaces before making decisions on allocating funds for stabilization and development in post-conflict environments.


Ralph Schoellhammer, Webster Vienna faculty member in the International Relations & Business and Management completes PhD

In May 2020 IR faculty member Ralph Schöllhammer successfully completed and defended his doctoral dissertation in political science at the University of Kentucky. His dissertation titled "From Hobbes to Habermas: The Anti-Cultural Turn in Western Political Thought," engages with the question of whether the concept of culture still has a place in contemporary political theory.

Beginning with an overview of psychological research into the phenomenon of culture, he puts forward the argument that human beings are by nature social and individualistic, but that they oscillate between their ability to put group-interests before individual interests and vice versa. Culture is the main mechanism that influences which interest we give priority. This mechanism work through emotional attachments that create intuitions about what is morally right and wrong, thereby influencing final behavioral outcomes.

The Enlightenment and Thomas Hobbes viewed these emotional attachments as an insufficient or dangerous foundation for social action, leading to a philosophical approach that put rational individualism at the center of its moral matrix, diminishing the importance of the emotional attachments created by culture.


European foreign policy and EU-China relations are part of the research of Dr. Franco Algieri, Associate Professor and Head of the IR Department at WVPU. His article “Die Gemeinsame Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik als Spiegelbild eines Integrationsprozesses im Wandel” (The Common Foreign and Security Policy as a reflection of a changing integration process) has been published in a comprehensive edited volume on the European Union, which reflects the current state on European integration research. Analyzing concepts for the international role of the EU in context of the institutional and systemic conditions in which actors shape the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the author considers the strength and limitation of this policy and argues for cautious use of the term ‘common’ as well as to not create too high expectations, which the EU cannot meet.

In his contribution “Die Europäische Union und China (The European Union and China)” to the Yearbook on European Integration, Algieri explains the shift in the EU’s China policy and why the EU has developed a more critical position towards China. In how far non-military security issues matter in EU-China relations was presented by Algieri at the Transatlantic Symposium on U.S. and European Relations with China, in February 2020 in Berlin.


  • Franco Algieri: Die Europäische Union und China. In: W. Weidenfeld, W. Wessels (Hrsg.), Jahrbuch der Europäischen Integration 2019. Baden-Baden-Nomos, 2019, 335-338.
  • Franco Algieri: Die Gemeinsame Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik als Spiegelbild eines Integrationsprozesses im Wandel. In: P. Becker, B. Lippert (Hrsg.), Handbuch der Europäischen Union. Wiesbaden: Springer, 2020, 951-974.


Paper “China’s challenges in the security arena: Non-military security issues relevant for the EU”. Transatlantic Symposium on the U.S and European Relations with China. Berlin, February 21-22, 2020.


The EU as a Segmented Political Order

Webster Vienna IR Professor, Dr. Jozef Bátora, and colleagues present a new book: “Towards a Segmented European Political Order: The European Union’s Post-Crisis Conundrum.”

By Bridget Carter, IR Graduate Student

Last week WVPU International Relations professor Dr. Jozef Bátora and co-editor John Erik Fossum presented their newly published book “Towards a Segmented European Political Order: The European Union’s Post-Crisis Conundrum” published by Routledge. Other chapter contributors included Bent Sofus Tranøy and Espen D.H. Olsen who also presented their research on segmentation and the EU’s post-crisis dilemma.

The EU has become increasingly differentiated with polarizing views on how to solve past, present, and emerging crises. As frequently discussed in both academic and political circles, the future development of the EU remains unclear. This book argues that post-crisis EU is becoming more of a segmented political order with deeply rooted biases and constraints in policymaking. The editors show in ideational and structural terms how EU member states constrain and condition EU action, and how this segmented political order manifests itself in the institutional and constitutional make-up of the EU. Continue reading.


China as a Reoccurring Theme during the Fall Semester 2019

The International Relations Department at WVPU has had a large focus on China this Fall semester. Amid a number of events guest lecturers offered insights and opinions on various topics concerning China.

In September the IR Department hosted scholars and experts from various Austrian and Chinese institutions. The workshop “Taking Stock of EU-China Relations” examined the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the US-China trade war and EU-China economic relations. In addition to the workshop, Dr. Franco Algieri of the International Relations department presented his analysis of the BRI in October at an international conference hosted by the Egmont Royal Institute of International Relations in Brussels.

Finally, in the framework of the Dr. Elizabeth Chopin Endowed Visiting Professorship David Shambaugh, Gaston Sigur Professor of Asian Studies at George Washington University, and one of the leading experts on China, presented his research and new book while visiting the IR Department.



A new research agenda on energy security

When asked about the main concerns of energy ministers, the then director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Maria van der Hoeven, replied, “It’s always about energy security. Always. ... For exporting countries it’s about security of demand, for importing countries about security of supply”. But scholars have struggled with energy security as a concept — how do different policy-makers understand and is this because they face different threats or because they have different values?

Dr. Brutschin from the International Relations Department and Dr. Jessica Jewell, from the Chalmers University of Technology have recently co-authored a chapter on “The Politics of Energy Security” which explores this question. In the chapter the scholars show how energy security can be shaped both by material realities, such as the level of natural gas imports and by relationships between actors, such as whether or not Russia is on good terms with the EU.

A solution to seemingly incommensurable views and methodological approaches to energy security can be found in a definition of energy security as “low vulnerability of vital energy systems” that was elaborated by Dr. Jewell and her other colleagues in their past research. Based on this definition and the state of the art in current research on energy security, the scholars recommend that future research should specifically focus on the following research questions:

  • What energy system is characterized as vital and vulnerable and why?
  • How do material factors shape what is defined as ‘vulnerable’ and ‘vital’?
  • How does power, values and trust influence how energy security is defined?
  • What explains the gap between rhetoric and action?
  • How does the energy security agenda interact with other energy policy agendas?

The chapter is currently available online.


“Spatiality in Post-Conflict Settings of Mitrovica” Prof. Bátora's Research Findings Presented

The main findings of the paper, titled "Spaces and Institutional Logics in Post-Conflict Settings of Mitrovica" co-authored by Webster Vienna’s International Relation faculty member Prof. Jozef Bátora was presented to participants of the International Studies Association Convention in Toronto on March 28, 2019.

The paper, co-authored by Kari Osland, senior researcher from the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, Florian Qehaja, director of Kosovo Centre for Security Studies and Sonja Stojanovic-Gajic, director of Belgrade Centre for Security Policy, reports on findings of a team led by Prof. Bátora.

This research was done within the framework of the project "EUNPACK - Unpacking the EU's integrated approach to external conflicts and crises", focusing on the EU's crisis response in various conflict zones.

Prof. Bátora and his colleagues argue for an expanded concept of ‘everyday peace’ - including the spatial dimension which focuses on governing differences by particular institutional logics. This concept fosters boundary building and transgression in post-conflict settings. This is supported by data from surveys and interviews conducted around bridges in North- and South-Mitrovica - an ethnically divided town in Kosovo between 2017 and 2019.

How the German Right came to support Israel

In the face of growing anti-Semitism in the West, we should pay attention to a recent vote in the German parliament.

On March 14, the Free Democrats, a mildly economic-libertarian party in the Bundestag, submitted a resolution that called out the anti-Israel bias of United Nations institutions and urged the German government to oppose this ongoing practice. It highlighted the one-sidedness within the U.N. in recent years — for example, that the U.N. General Assembly passed 26 resolutions criticizing specific states in 2018, and 21 times these resolutions were aimed against Israel.

Read the full article written by Ralph Schoellhammer, a lecturer in Economics and Political Science at Webster University Vienna and you can follow his work on twitter under @Raphfel


Erasmus+ IR Faculty Exchange: Ralph Schöllhammer at the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Ralph Schöllhammer, MA, lecturer of International Relations at WVPU with expertise in political theory and economics, is visiting the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan from March 11th to March 22nd as part of the Erasmus+ program.

Last June WVPU had the pleasure to host Dr. Aliya Tskhay and Dr. Elena Zhirukhina from the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, who offered four-part lecture workshops on “Comparative Regionalism: Ideas, identities and institutions” and “Regulating irregular conflicts: (inter-)national frameworks and mechanisms”

During his stay in Kazakhstan Mr. Schöllhammer will also offer multiple workshops to the students and faculty at the Academy of Public Administration.

  • March 12, Diplomacy Workshop: Working with databases (World Bank, IMF, etc.) and how to use them for quantitative approaches and argumentation in diplomacy.
  • March 15, Management Workshop: Tools of measurement pertaining to Peter Drucker’s concept of management by objectives. How to define and to successfully measure enterprise goals.
  • March 18, Public Policy Workshop: How to use performance indicators in government.


The project titled “The legitimacy of EU foreign and security policy in the age of global contestation (LEGOF)” was initiated by ARENA - Centre for European Studies at the University of Oslo and will run until 2021. Bátora is part of a cross-disciplinary group of researchers from political science, sociology, law, and philosophy.

LEGOF examines the viability of the European Union's foreign and security policy in the context of enhanced uncertainty, risk and ambiguity in international affairs. It aims to provide an updated analysis of the role and capabilities of the EU in the changing world order. The objective of the project is to break new ground in research on EU foreign and security policy through its emphasis on legitimacy in the establishment of capability.

Learn more about the research project.


Head of the International Relations department, Franco Algieri, has contributed two articles to the recently published Yearbook of European Integration (Jahrbuch der Europäischen Integration). Since 1980 this Yearbook documents and analyses the European integration process.

The article on the EU’s Asia policy puts emphasis on the increasing security political cooperation between the EU and Asian countries as well as ASEAN. The author argues that the success of the EU’s Asia policy will not only depend on the implementation of agreed cooperation mechanisms but also on the perception of the EU as a strategic actor by Asian countries. In the article on the EU and China, Algieri explains a differentiated and divergent relationship, which has been continuously institutionalized and is kept on a rather realistic level of expectations on both sides.

Franco Algieri: Asienpolitik, pp. 363-366; Die Europäische Union und China, pp. 367-370, in: Werner Weidenfeld/Wolfgang Wessels (Hrsg.): Jahrbuch der Europäischen Integration 2018. Baden-Baden; Nomos Verlag, 2018.


This December the International Relations Department welcomes new Assistant Professor Anatoly Reshetnikov. The Russian native graduated in Linguistics and Intercultural Communication from the Saint-Petersburg Electrotechnical University and holds an MA in International Relations and European Studies from the Central European University in Budapest.

After finishing his MA, he went on to teach Research Design and Methods in International Relations at CEU. Additionally he has held research fellowships at University College London and Lund University, and also taught at Eötvös Loránd University and Mathias Corvinus Collegium in Budapest.

At the beginning of next year Reshetnikov will defend his PhD thesis titled “Evolution of Russia's Great Power Discourse: A Conceptual History of Velikaya Derzhava” in which he is reconstructing the evolution of Russia’s age-old idea of being a great power.

His other research areas of interest include identity politics, history of ideas, linguistic approaches to social analysis, contemporary Russian politics, the concept of responsibility in international relations, and new institutionalized techniques of political control and resistance.

Starting in Spring 2019 he will be teaching Research Methods and Perspectives and Methods of Political Inquiry here at WVPU, and will also continue to conduct his research.


This October the International Relations Department is launching a Politics and IR Research Seminar Series, which provides a platform for WVPU's IR faculty and invited academic guests to discuss new scholarly output.

The format is as follows: 45 minutes presentation followed by a 30-45 minute Q and A session.

The initiator of the series was the first to present his current research on Oct. 3; Prof. Jozef Bátora (WVPU) spoke about a paper he is currently working on in collaboration with Dr. Pavol Baboš (Comenius University) titled Making Sense of the European Union: Mapping ‘Thought Communities’ in Six EU Member States.

Abstract: How do Europeans make sense of the European Union (EU) and its processes of integration? We suggest that a useful approach to studying sensemaking in the EU is using ‘relational class analysis’ (RCA) to map out ‘thought communities’ (see Goldberg 2011). To do this, we develop an analytical framework and apply it to analyze survey data from a representative sample of citizens from six EU member states — Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Slovakia (N=4249). There are two main sets of findings. First, we show that there are several identifiable thought communities in each of the surveyed member states. We label them ‘ideologues’, ‘pragmatists’ and ‘communitarians’. This indicates that there exist transnational cognitive foundations of the EU as a political order in and across European societies. Second, we show that there are no identifiable socio-demographic predictors of citizens’ belonging to ‘thought communities’.


This Fall semester the International Relations department at Webster Vienna welcomed two new student research assistant trainees — Sara Lazarovska and Christof Wegiel — to assist with the research on Dr. Elina Brutschin’s ongoing project titled “Nuclear Energy Expansion — The Role of Geopolitical Factors.”

The Research Project:

The project is based on a quantitative analysis of nuclear energy projects (as well as their takeoff and expansion) in different countries around the world. It attempts to determine a possible relationship between a number of socio-political and economic variables and the development of a nuclear energy project in a country.

The Research Trainees: Sara is a graduate student in the International Relations department and her research interests include energy security, international law, and international organizations. She began working on this project during the summer term while she was honing her skills in quantitative analysis in the advanced research methods course.

Christof is an undergraduate student in the Business and Management department, whose major is Management with a focus on International Business and minor is Media Communications. His research interests include international relations and he is excited to be joining the department for this project.

Christof and Sara are looking forward to learning more not just about nuclear energy and energy security, but also about the social science research process in general.


Prof. Jozef Bátora, from the International Relations department, has been published in the Journal of European Integration. The article titled “EU-supported reforms in the EU neighborhood as organized anarchies: the case of post-Maidan Ukraine” was written in cooperation with Dr. Pernille Rieker (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs) and discusses how the EU's reform support in the neighborhood often operates more like garbage-can style organized anarchy, by means of a case study of post-Maidan Ukraine.

How does the EU and its member states organize their support for reforms in the countries of the EU neighbourhood? Building on organization theory research on reforms as sets of loosely coupled ‘garbage can’ processes, we conceptualize the ENP induced reform processes as an organized framework connecting the reform capacities of not only the EU institutions but also EU member-state governments. We apply this approach to Ukraine in the post-Maidan period. We focus on the interplay between EU-level reform capacities and the capacities of two member states highly active in Ukraine, namely Germany and Sweden. As this case illustrates, the current approach provides a complementary perspective to mainstream approaches to the study of the EU’s external governance as it offers partial explanations of how organizational processes may impact on the efficiency of reforms promoted by the EU and its member states in the neighbouring countries.

Jozef Bátora & Pernille Rieker (2018) EU-supported reforms in the EU neighbourhood as organized anarchies: the case of post-Maidan Ukraine, Journal of European Integration, 40:4, 461-478.


Energy Economics recently accepted a manuscript on “Geopolitically Induced Investments in Biofuels” by Elina Brutschin, an assistant professor in the International Relations department, and Andreas Fleig, a post-doctoral scholar from Heidelberg University.

The paper, which is currently in press, shows that governments of 12 European member states react to conflict involvement of their major oil supplier to a substantial degree by investing more in RD&D of biofuels. Biofuels are currently viewed as one of the possible substitutes to oil in the transportation sector and investments in biofuels could thus be considered as an energy security policy.

Brutschin and Fleig contribute to a broader scholarship of energy security and energy transition studies by highlighting the role of external factors and by focusing on the transportation sector — areas that until now received little scholarly attention.


The Webster Vienna Private University International Relations department is excited to host visiting researchers, Dr. Aliya Tskhay and Dr. Elena Zhirukhina, for a series of international relations workshops this summer.

As participants in the Erasmus+ program, Dr. Tskhay and Dr. Zhirukhina will be visiting WVPU from the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan to each offer a four-part lecture workshop regarding their respective research fields. By partaking in the Erasmus+ program, Webster Vienna not only enhances its internationalization strategy, but visiting scholars will have the chance to meet and discuss possible research projects with IR faculty.

Dr. Aliya Tskhay
Dr. Tskhay’s areas of specialization are energy policies in the Caspian region and identity politics in Central Asia. Currently, Dr. Tskhay is involved in policy-related and consultancy work for international organizations and national governments on issues related to Central Asian region and security in wider Europe.

Dr. Tskhay’s workshop, titled “Comparative Regionalism: Ideas, identities and institutions”, investigate the interplay of regional cooperation, institutions, identities and processes. Special attention is given into the details of how regional institutions are established and managed, how the construction of regional identities helps to sustain regional integration processes, and the decision-making process to participate in multiple regional projects.

Dr. Elena Zhirukhina
Dr. Elena Zhirukhina holds a lecture position at the Institute of Diplomacy at the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan and a research affiliation with the University of St Andrews. Previously, Elena investigated state practices of countering irregular threats as Marie Curie Fellow at the School of International Relations of the University of St Andrews and worked for a research institution under the umbrella of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Zhirukhina’s workshop, titled “Regulating irregular conflicts: (inter-)national frameworks and mechanisms”, explores countering irregular adversaries including global, regional and national frameworks through engaging with debate on pressing security issues of fighting financing of terrorism, dealing with foreign fighters and lone actors terrorism, application of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ state practices. The workshop consists of three thematic sessions focused on (1) theories and methods, (2) global and regional frameworks, (3) national frameworks.

Workshop info:
Dr. Tskhay’s “Comparative Regionalism: Ideas, identities and institutions”
June 28 and 29, July 3 and 4 from 9:30–13:30, Room 3.01

Dr. Zhirukhina’s “Regulating irregular conflicts: (inter-)national frameworks and mechanisms”
June 26 and 27, July 5 and 6 from 9:30–13:30, Room 3.01


Marianne Grant, former graduate student at the Vienna campus, has been selected as the winner of the 2018 Graduate Thesis Award in International Relations.

Her thesis "Buying Time: The Effect of Costly Signaling and Interdependence on Low-Conflict Duration" looks at the impact of trade on the duration of conflict, using a case study of the South China Sea Crisis. Marianne found that the more trade interdependent states have, the less likely they are to escalate the conflict for fear of the economic consequences. The Thesis Award Committee members, chair Burcu Pinar Alakoc (St. Louis), Allan MacNeill (St. Louis), and Ioannis Nomikos (Athens), found Grant’s thesis to be well-argued and theoretically rich in its exploration into how interdependence lengthens the duration of low-level interstate conflicts by raising the cost of conflict and by creating space for pacific tools for signaling resolve.

In the coming months Marianne is hoping to produce a follow-up article on her thesis as there have been significant developments in trade relations between two key states, China and the US, which could have an interesting effect on the situation. Marianne is currently working as an intern at the International Anti-Corruption Academy in the External Relations and Protocol section. In May she will be part-taking in a training in Brussels organized by the Trans European Policy Studies Association as part of their Professional Training on EU Affairs program.

The Graduate Thesis Award in International Relations is given annually to recognize individual excellence in student research. It is open to all international relations students throughout Webster’s global and online campus network. This is the second year in a row that the Best Graduate Thesis in International Relations Award went to an International Relations student from the Vienna campus. Last year's winner Theresa Rüth won with her thesis "Asylum Seekers and European Integration: The Impact on EU Asylum Policy."
Congratulations to Marianne Grant for continuing this tradition!


Prof. Jozef Bátora, PhD represented the Webster Vienna department of international relations in the Long Night of Research (Lange Nacht der Forschung) which took place April 13, 2018 at the Science Pool, Hauffgasse 4A, 1110 Wien, between U3 stations Enkplatz and Zipperstrasse.

The Long Night of Research is a nationwide event where universities, museums and other institutions showcase their research and findings on a variety of topics, from both the natural and social sciences. Along with several faculty members from various departments at Webster Vienna, Prof. Bátora presented his current research: “The EU as a global actor: Transformational diplomacy or old wine in new bottles?” This presentation is based on Bátora’s two papers presented at the International Studies Association convention in San Francisco on April 4-6, 2018.

Through this presentation, Prof. Bátora provided insight on two aspects of the EU’s international impact. First, it presented findings on the formation of the EU's diplomatic service (European External Action Service – EEAS) as an 'interstitial organization'. Building on organization theory, this novel concept proposed by Prof. Bátora captures the nature of the EEAS as a hybrid type of an external affairs administration, providing an organizational platform for a comprehensive approach in international crisis management. The interstitial nature of the EEAS challenges diplomacy as an institution of the modern state order.

Second, his research further explores how the work of the EU as an actor in international crisis management is perceived by the local populations in North and South Mitrovica in Kosova (Kosovo Serbs and Kosovo Albanians). To measure perceptions of the EU’s role in crisis management, Prof. Bátora and his colleagues from an international research consortium collected survey data from 206 participants from both sides of the river Ibar in Mitrovica in July 2017. The presentation will feature graphs and figures summarizing the findings.


Lucy Kinski is our newest Guest Researcher at the department of international relations at Webster Vienna Private University for the months of February and March 2018.

Based as a research associate and lecturer at the University of Düsseldorf, she holds a PhD from the University of Vienna and has previously worked as policy advisor in the European division of the German Federal Chancellery. Before joining the University of Düsseldorf in 2016, she was a researcher in the  PACE-project on national parliamentary communication of EU affairs at the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) Vienna. She has published in Comparative European Politics, the Journal of European Public Policy, the Journal of Common Market Studies and the European Journal of Political Research Data Yearbook.

Her main research focus is on parliamentary representation and political parties in the context of European integration. Currently, she investigates the Europeanization of representative practices within national parliaments of the European Union (EU). Here, she examines whether national members of parliament (MPs) broaden their representative portfolio to include European citizens into domestic will-formation, and which conditions foster such Europeanized representation within domestic representative institutions in an interdependent world.

She will hold a Research Seminar on “Transnational Representation in EU National Parliaments” on March 22, 2018 (2 p.m., room 4.07). Her talk will be based on work co-authored with Ben Crum from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and it will introduce the concept of transnational representation as political position taking on behalf of foreign interests. She will argue for its normative significance and demonstrate that it follows distinct patterns empirically. This opens an entirely new normative and empirical research agenda.


Webster Vienna Private University's Adjunct Faculty member Dr. Franz Cede, former Austrian Ambassador to Belgium and the Russian Federation, has been published in the European Journal of Minority Studies. His article titled “South Tyrol and Austria’s Protective Function” appears in the journal’s first edition of this year and discusses the different understandings of the term “Protecting Power” with a particular view on its application to Austria’s role as an advocate of South Tyrol vis-à-vis Italy.

The author first cites various examples where the notion of “Protecting Power” is frequently used. Dr. Cede discusses more specifically the use of the term “Protecting Power” in relation to treaty regimes having a direct bearing on Austria. The Gruber-de Gasperi Agreement between Austria and Italy is a case in point. Because of the international character of this agreement Austria is generally called a “Protective Power” having the right to raise the matter with Italy whenever the autonomy of South Tyrol is at issue. In his concluding observations the author strongly argues against using the term “Protecting Power” in this connection. Giving its different understandings the notion is misleading when applied to Austria’s role with regard to South Tyrol. The expression “Austria’s Protective function for South Tyrol” should be used instead. It is precise enough and does not lend itself to unnecessary misunderstandings.


“Reinvigorating the rotating presidency: Slovakia and agenda-setting in the EU’s external relations” an article by Dr. Jozef Batorá, professor in the International Relations Department at Webster Vienna Private University has recently been published in the Global Affairs Journal.

See the abstract below to learn more.

What scope and autonomy are available to a small member state holding the EU Presidency as regards shaping the agenda and influencing decision-making in the EU’s external relations? This article focuses on the case of the Slovak Presidency (SK PRES) of the Council of Ministers of the EU in the second half of 2016. Building on organization theory-inspired institutionalist approaches to studying practices in organizations, it examines how Slovakia sought to shape the EU’s external affairs agenda. Haugevik and Rieker have called for analyses of the balance between autonomy and integration of small member states in the EU’s governance order. This article is intended as a contribution to that end.

Jozef Bátora (2017): Reinvigorating the rotating presidency: Slovakia and agenda-setting in the EU’s external relations, Global Affairs.


Since 1980 the Yearbook of European Integration, published by the Institute of European Politics in Berlin, documents and chronicles the European integration process in a contemporary and detailed manner. The result of 37 years of continuous work is a uniquely comprehensive account of European contemporary history, and the 2017 edition continues this tradition.

In about 100 articles the authors trace European political events from the perspective of their research focus and provide information on the work of the European institutions, the development of the individual EU policy areas, Europe’s role in global politics and the member and candidate states’ European policy. This year’s edition contains two contributions by Dr. Franco Algieri, head of the International Relations department, and an article by WVPU director Dr. Johannes Pollak.

In his first article Dr. Algieri discusses the growing importance of Asian partners to the EU and the European Union’s advancing and expanding policy with Asia. While Dr. Pollak's piece focuses on Austria in the European context, Algieri’s second contribution addresses the relationship of the European Union and China against the backdrop of US foreign policy.

The Yearbook of European Integration will be published in German in December 2017.

Werner Weidenfeld and Wolfgang Wessels (eds.), Jahrbuch der Europäischen Integration 2017, Baden-Baden: Nomos 2017.


Dr. Elina Brutschin has co-authored a research article titled “Integrating techno-economic, socio-technical and political perspectives on national energy transitions: A meta-theoretical framework.” in the Energy Research and Social Science Journal.

The article is the result of interdisciplinary work which strives to develop a new framework to enable academic exchange on energy transitions among economists, sociologists of technology, and political scientists. The article conceptualizes national energy transitions as a co-evolution of three types of systems, reflected in three disciplinary perspectives: energy flows and markets, energy technologies, and energy-related policies. Following Elinor Ostrom's approach, the proposed framework explains national energy transitions through a nested conceptual map of variables and theories. In comparison with the existing meta-theoretical literature, the three perspectives framework elevates the role of political science since policies are likely to be increasingly prominent in shaping 21st century energy transitions.


Webster Vienna faculty member Dr. Jozef Bátora has contributed a chapter to the political theory publication Governance in Turbulent Times, published by the Oxford University Press.

In his chapter, Prof. Bátora analyzes the surge of private military corporations (PMCs) as a source of turbulence in the institutions of war-making. He shows that the rise of PMCs leads to destabilization of well-established organizational forms and institutionalized rules of war and to the emergence of new rules and practices of war-making.

At the center of the analysis is the concept of interstitial organizations, i.e. those emerging in the interstices between various institutionalized fields. These organizations recombine physical, informational, financial, legal and legitimacy resources and practices stemming from organizations belonging to these different fields (Bátora 2013).

This chapter shows that PMCs as interstitial organizations transpose and recombine norms, rules, legal regulations, and practices across institutional domains and generate new patterns of how war-making is conducted and regulated. Emergence and operation of interstitial organizations is a key element in the reinstitutionalization of war-making.

Access to publication.

Jozef Bátora (2017): "Turbulence and War Private Military Corporations and the Reinstitutionalization of War-Making" in Ansell, C., Trondal, J. and Ogard, M. (eds.): Governance in Turbulent Times. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 181-201.