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IMESS Dissertation

The research dissertation is the most important part of the IMESS programme and showcases the sum of your achievements during the two-years of study. Preparation therefore starts early, during the first year, while producing the 20-25,000 word long dissertation, constitutes half of your workload during the second year. Much of the research training undertaken in the first year facilitates the production of a substantive research-based dissertation.

Working on your dissertation, you will be pursuing original research on a topic of great personal interest. It will also equip you with invaluable skills for your future career, either in high level public and private sector institutions or in academia. A number of IMESS dissertations have formed the basis for articles in peer reviewed academic journals.

The expertise of the second year IMESS partner universities varies greatly and your dissertation will be best served by seeking a close match with the specialisms on offer. Most major interests can be catered for, but particularly encouraged are topics related to the following themes:

Economics and Business Track

University of Belgrade (Serbia)
  • Economic transition in the Western Balkans
  • Business culture in Serbia
  • Marketing communication in the Western Balkans
  • The Balkans in the global economic history
Corvinus University, Budapest (Hungary)
  • Banking and financial stability
  • Comparative economics
  • Corruption studies
  • Development studies / development economics
  • Fiscal and monetary policies
  • Foreign Direct Investment policies / investment promotion
  • Game theory and its applications
  • Institutional economics
  • International political economy
  • Migration studies
  • Sustainable development
  • Transition studies / transition economics
Jagiellonian University, Krakow (Poland)
  • Economic aspects of EU enlargement
  • Regional economic integration in Europe
  • Financial Systems in the EU
  • EU and the global economic system Mechanisms of the internal market
  • EU economic policy
  • Entrepreneurship and small-and-medium sized enterprise development in Central & Eastern Europe
  • Health care sector
Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg (Russia)
  • Capital structure optimization and its applications to industrial companies in emerging markets
  • Corporate venture investors portfolio forming: what criteria is used and how the portfolio affects corporations’ performance?
  • High-tech companies’ valuation: factor analysis of value creation
  • How investors react to corporate events as dividend payments, mergers and acquisitions
  • The relationship between the Board Structure and companies’ attitude to acquisitions
  • Real options applications in business valuation, projects assessment, strategic managerial decision-making
  • Study of factors affecting the efficiency of working capital management
  • Venture funds strategies in capital markets: syndication, risk distribution, exit strategies
  • The analysis of payout policies in emerging markets: do companies prefer a certain policy?
  • Effect of non-financial stakeholders in the company's capital structure
  • Naive diversification of the Russian stock market
  • Hedging portfolio of stocks futures contract on a stock index
  • Hedging portfolio of shares options contracts on a stock index
  • The Management of the index portfolio
  • Arbitration opportunities in emerging capital markets
  • The applicability of the CAPM model in emerging capital markets
  • The bond portfolio management in emerging capital markets
  • Hedging futures contract bond portfolio on the interest rate. 
  • Forecasting models application for financial markets (currency, stocks, interest rates, etc.)
  • Capital asset pricing models depending on the level of risk (including three and five-factor CAPM)
  • Models of forecasting of market volatility (ARCH and GARCH model)
  • Models of forecasting the real estate prices
  • Temporary trends in stock prices: forecasting and application to portfolio management
  • Analysis of the features and evaluation of the intellectual capital of multinational corporations
  • Evaluation of investment attractiveness of high-tech companies
  • Analysis of features of shares’ pricing for innovative companies
  • Assessing the impact of the implementation of financial technologies in banks’ performance
  • Comparative analysis of patent activity by industry sector and by region
Charles University Prague (Czech Republic)
  • Banks and Banking in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Eastern Enlargement of the EU and Its Consequences
  • Economic Development, Transition and Growth
  • Economic Transformation in Central and Eastern Europe
  • European Economic Policy
  • Financial Crisis and Its Consequences
  • Foreign Investments in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Health Service and the Problems of Ageing in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Post-communist Countries in International Trade
  • Oil and Gas between Europe and Eurasia
  • Public Finance Advanced (including Central European Financial Markets)
Tartu University (Estonia)
  • The connections between fiscal policy and the governments ideological composition
  • Linkages of labour mobility with firms innovative activities
  • Impact of international work experience on entrepreneurship
  • Dynamics of the exports of services at the firm-level
  • Innovation, entrepreneurship and economic growth: advanced and developing countries’ differences
  • The role of economic and political institutions in entrepreneurial activity
  • Entrepreneurship and economic development
  • Micro and macro factors affecting entrepreneurship
  • Institutional structure and entrepreneurial activity
  • Assessment of human capital in PIAAC framework: cross-country comparisons (PIAAC - Program of International Assessment of Adult Competences)
  • Assessment of human capital in PISA framework: cross-country comparisons (PISA - Program for International Student Assessment)
  • Study achievements as potential for creating new human capital: Estonia and cross-country comparisons (PISA database)
  • Cross-border labour migration
  • Social capital and spread of internet
  • Tax burden shift in the European Union
  • Alcohol consumption patterns in the Baltic countries (data from survey)
  • Implications of financing frictions faced by innovative activity on productivity, growth and development
  • The impact of financial institution structure and regulatory institution structure of the economy on the innovative activities of firms
  • Random coefficients, endogeneity, and cross-sectional dependence in linear and non-linear panel data models with large number of individuals
  • Motives and Institutional Distance of FDIs of Estonian MNCs
  • Divestments of Estonian MNCs
  • The Internationalization of Estonian Firms
  • Phases of International New Ventures in Estonia
  • A Model of Export Sales Management Behaviour based on Estonian Firms
  • Animosity related to products (Estonia vs Russia, Ukraine vs Russia)
  • A Meta-Analysis of International Joint Ventures (IJVs)
  • Mergers and Acquisitions Strategy in Estonia
  • Green Export Marketing Strategy of Estonian Firms
  • International Joint Ventures in Estonia versus
  • Germany Global Branding versus Local Branding
  • PPP in Estonia – Changes and Limits
  • Public Choice Approaches to Fixing Fees and its Critique
  • The Role of Public Sector Firms in the Innovation System of Estonia
  • Comparative Analysis of Innovation Policies in EU
  • R&D Funding: Models and Critique 

Politics and the International Economy Track

University of Belgrade (Serbia)

TBC

Corvinus University, Budapest (Hungary)
  • Banking and financial stability
  • Comparative economics
  • Corruption studies
  • Democratisation processes and backsliding
  • Development studies / development economics
  • Foreign Direct Investment policies / investment promotion
  • Institutional economics
  • International political economy
  • Migration studies
  • Sustainable development
  • Transition studies / transition economics
Jagiellonian University, Krakow (Poland)

TBC 

Helsinki University (Finland)
  • History of Economic Policy
  • History of Economic Crises
  • History and Economic Development
  • Political Economy of the Welfare State
Higher School of Economics, Moscow (Russia)
  • Energy policy of Russian in regard to EU (China, other countries)
  • North - South relations
  • Indian (other country's) foreign and economic policies
  • Trade policy in the context of political conflict
  • Trade sanctions
  • Securitization of trade
  • Eurasian economic Union
  • Greater Eurasia
  • ASEAN, APEC, TPP (other RTAs)
Charles University Prague (Czech Republic)
  • Central and Eastern Europe in International Context
  • Conflicts in the Post-Soviet Area
  • Democratic Development
  • Eastern Enlargement of the EU and Its Consequences
  • Economic Transformation in Central and Eastern Europe
  • European Economic Policy
  • Financial Crisis and Its Consequences
  • Insurgency in Post-Soviet area
  • Post-communist Countries in International Trade
  • Oil and Gas between Europe and Eurasia
  • Parties and Elections
  • Political Systems of East Central Europe
  • Political Systems of the Post-Soviet Area Public Finance Advanced (including Central European Financial Markets)
  • Regional Integrations in East-Central Europe
  • Security Issues in the Caucasus and Central Asia
Tartu University (Estonia)
  • Politics and Economics of Energy
  • Energy Issues in the Baltic Sea Region
  • EU-Russian energy relations
  • Political Economy of Transition
  • Financial markets and institutions and their role in economic development
  • The connections between fiscal policy and the governments ideological composition
  • The Role of Public Sector Firms in the Innovation System of Estonia
  • Tax burden shift in the European Union
  • Alcohol consumption patterns in the Baltic countries (data from survey)
  • Innovation, entrepreneurship and economic growth: advanced and developing countries’ differences
  • The role of economic and political institutions in entrepreneurial activity
  • Cross-border labour migration
  • Development cooperation

Politics and Security Track

University of Belgrade (Serbia)
  • Security system of Serbia
  • Security in post-communist Balkans
  • Political anthropology
  • Politics in post-communist Balkans
Corvinus University, Budapest (Hungary)
  • Corruption studies
  • Democratisation processes and backsliding
  • Development studies / development economics
  • Europeanization processes
  • Geopolitics / Geostrategy
  • International political economy
  • Migration studies
  • Non-state actors in international politics
  • Small state studies
  • Social policies and the labour market
  • Sustainable development
  • The changing nature of European national elites
  • War and peace studies
Jagiellonian University, Krakow (Poland)
  • Nation, nationalism and identity construction in Central Europe
  • Transatlantic relations in the post-Cold War world
  • International security in the post-Cold War Europe
  • EU on the global political stage
  • Germany in Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Helsinki University (Finland)
  • Finland’s foreign policies, 1917–2009
  • International politics and the Baltic Sea region
  • The significance of the Nordic/Scandinavian Cooperation to Finland
  • Non-alignment as a pattern of Finnish security policy
  • Cold War and Post-Cold War international relations in North-East Europe
  • Politics of memory in North-East Europe
  • European integration in a historical and cultural perspective
Higher School of Economics, Moscow (Russia)
  • Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
  • States and markets in Former Soviet Union
  • Democracies and autocracies in the Post-Soviet space
  • Energy security
  • Pension reform (in Russia and other Eurasian countries)
  • Social consequences of aging of the population
  • Standards of living, inequality, poverty
  • Social and political consequences of migration
  • Foreign policies of China and USA in the Pacific
  • ASEAN, APEC, TPP
  • Security in Central Asia
  • The role of hard power in the modern world
  • Territorial conflicts in the foreign policy of Russia
Charles University Prague (Czech Republic)
  • Central and Eastern Europe in International Context
  • Conflicts in the Post-Soviet Area
  • Constitutional Transformation of States in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Democratic Development
  • Eastern Enlargement of the EU and Its Consequences
  • Insurgency in Post-Soviet area
  • Migrations and Refugees
  • Oil and Gas between Europe and Eurasia
  • Parties and Elections
  • Political Systems of East Central Europe
  • Political Systems of the Post-Soviet Area
  • Politics of History
  • Populism – Causes and Manifestations
  • Regional Integrations in East-Central Europe
  • Security Issues in the Caucasus and Central Asia
Tartu University (Estonia)
  • Critical Geopolitics
  • Partition/secessionism and Power-sharing in Post-Conflict Settings
  • Territoriality and Sovereignty Issues in Contested States, Political Legitimacy of de facto States
  • Legitimacy, Popular Support for Political Authority, Political culture
  • Democracy, Elections, and Voting
  • Critical Security Studies
  • Constructivist and Poststructuralist IR theory
  • Politics of Memory
  • Foreign Policy and Security Issues in the Baltic Sea Region
  • Political Developments in Baltic Sea Region States
  • Politics and Economics of Energy, Energy Issues in the Baltic Sea Region and the EU-Russian energy relations
  • Political Transformation Process in East and Central Europe
  • Minorities and Human Rights in Post-Communist Countries
  • International Law and Russia
  • European Parliament Elections and the Second-Order Elections Model
  • Europeanization
  • European Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy
  • EU’s Neighbourhood Policy and its Relationship with Russia
  • NATO's Strategic Developments
  • Russian National Identity and Foreign Policy
  • Russia’s Relations with the Baltic States and the European Union as a whole 

History and Society Track

University of Belgrade (Serbia)
  • Globalization
  • Early modern history in the Western Balkans
  • Political anthropology
  • Cultural anthropology
  • The Balkans in modern history
  • Societies in post-communist Balkans
Jagiellonian University, Krakow (Poland)
  • Cultural anthropology of Central Europe
  • Human rights and idea of tolerance in Europe
  • Migration and identity in Europe
  • Philosophy, politics and Central Europe
  • History of Central & Eastern Europe
  • Cultural polices in Europe
  • Classical Russian thought
Helsinki University (Finland)
  • The making of the welfare state in Finland
  • History politics in contemporary Finland
  • Baltic Sea region environmental history
  • Finnish nation and nationalism
  • Finnish communism and the Soviet Union
  • Nationalism in pre-1917 Russian Empire
  • Voluntary associations and social movements
  • Interdependence between state and civic society in Finland
  • Political mobilization and social movements in Finland
  •  ‘Finlandisation’ as a national ‘trauma’
  • Gender relations in history
  • History of design and the material culture of everyday life
  • Minorities and marginal groups in history
  • Baltic cities and urban history
  • Finnish-Russian relations from 1809
  • Theory of history and historical thought
  • History of political consensus and corporatism
Charles University Prague (Czech Republic)
  • Central and East European Jewry
  • Cold War
  • Concepts and Interpretations of the History of East-Central Europe
  • Cultural Studies
  • Democratic Development
  • Eastern Enlargement of the EU and Its Consequences
  • Ethnic and Nationality Problems
  • Health Service and the Problems of Ageing in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Holocaust studies
  • Media and Society
  • Memory and Politics
  • Migrations and Refugees
  • Nation and Religion
  • Populism – Causes and Manifestations
Tartu University (Estonia)
  • Nation-Building and Statehood
  • Politics of Memory: Narratives, Identity and Memory
  • Identity Politics and Bordering Practices
  • Religion and Politics
  • Minorities in Society: Human Rights, Minorities and International Law
  • Construction of Social Identities
  • Gender Issues
  • Historical and Contemporary Theories of Nationalism, Patriotism, Cosmopolitanism
  • Eighteenth-century and Early Nineteenth-century European (German, British, French, Swiss) Political Thought
  •  Eighteenth-century Philosophies of History
  •  Eighteenth-century Theories of Moral Sentiments
  • Historical Developments in the Baltic Sea Region
  • Baltic Sea region identity and cooperation
  • Historical Developments in Europe and Russia
  • Social Transformation in East and Central Europe
  • Media in Transitional countries
  • Russian National Identity and Foreign Policy
  • Comparative Culture Issues in the Baltic Sea Countries, including Russia
  • History of Estonian Political Thought