Skip to content
Home » Postdoctoral Max Weber Programme » Alumni » Max Weber Alumni Bio

Scepanovic, Vera

Lecturer in International Relations and European Studies

University of Leiden, Netherlands



Max Weber alumnus

Department of Political and Social Sciences

Cohort(s): 2015/2016, 2016/2017

Ph.D. Institution

Central European University, Hungary


I am a political economist interested in the problems of development under conditions of intensive transnational economic integration.  I received my PhD in Political Science from Central European University in 2013 and spent the following year as a visiting lecturer at CEU’s department of Public Policy, where I taught courses in development, statistics, and public policy. My interests include development and industrial policy, labour relations and economic nationalism.

In my PhD research, I studied the mechanisms through which foreign direct investment contributed to development in East Central Europe (ECE). In development studies FDI is viewed as something of a silver bullet, for its supposed ability to transfer capital, skills and industrial know-how to local actors and create a developmental spillover effect.  By contrast, I found that in East Central Europe the main effect of FDI is not to develop local industrial capabilities, but to substitute them with external resources. This includes not only the direct transfer of production capacities, but also of the institutional superstructure for the coordination of supplier networks, technology and capital, and even workforce training. The resulting ‘hyper-integrationist’ development raises novel challenges for the host states, which must build new institutional mechanisms to coordinate the activities of these external actors and steer them towards their own development goals.

During my time at the EUI, I plan to work on publishing my dissertation as a book. I also plan to continue research into the political underpinnings of hyper-integrationist development and the increasingly negative perception of its achievements in ECE.
Go back to top of the page