The Europe Center October 2014 Newsletter

The Europe Center October 2014 Newsletter

The Europe Center Graduate Student Grant Competition

Call for Proposals:

The Europe Center is pleased to announce the Fall 2014 Graduate Student Grant Competition for graduate and professional students at Stanford whose research or work focuses on Europe. Funds are available for Ph.D. candidates from across a wide range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences to prepare for dissertation research and to conduct research on approved dissertation projects. The Europe Center also supports early graduate students who wish to determine the feasibility of a dissertation topic or acquire training relevant for that topic. Moreover, funds are available for professional students whose interests focus on some aspect of European politics, economics, history, or culture; the latter may be used to support an internship or a research project. Grants range from $500 to $5000.

Additional information about the grants, as well as the online application form, can be found here.  The deadline for this Fall’s competition is Friday, October 17th. Recipients will be notified by November 7th. A second competition is scheduled for Spring 2015.

Highlights from 2013-2014:

In the 2013-2014 academic year, the Center awarded grants to 26 graduate students in departments ranging from Linguistics to Political Science to Anthropology. We would like to introduce you to some of the students that we support and the projects on which they are working. Our featured students this month are Michela Giorcelli (Economics) and Orysia Kulick (History).


elli’s project, “The Effects of Management and Technology on Firms’ Productivity: Lesson from the US Marshall Plan in Italy,” explores the role of productivity in the process of economic growth and development. It is typically difficult to isolate the causal effect of management training programs and technology transfer programs on business productivity because these measures are often endogenous to other unobservable factors. To overcome this concern, Giorcelli employed a unique research design to analyze the effects of the Marshall Plan’s transfer of US management and technology to Italian firms in the aftermath of WWII. 

Image of Archivio
Giorcelli collected and digitized balance sheets data for 6,035 Italian firms eligible to receive the US management and technology support between 1930 to 1970. She then exploited an exogenous change in policy implementation that randomly determined which firms actually received Marshall Plan support. Preliminary results show that all firms that received either support significantly increased their productivity. Moreover, firms that received both sets of support simultaneously showed an additional increase in productivity, suggesting that management and technology are complementary in production. (Inset: The archives where Giorcelli conducted her research)

Kulick’s project, “Regionalism in Ukraine and the Long Collapse of the Soviet Union, 1954--2014,” used original historical evidence collected from Ukrainian archives to study the political nexus between party elites in Kiev and in Moscow. For example, Kulick gleaned insights about the political economy of postwar industrial reconstruction from local archives in Dnipropetrovsk, a metallurgical powerhouse in the region. Previously inaccessible primary sources indicate that as the Soviet economy grew more complex, the state apparatus became more independent. Consequently, managerial specialists needed more autonomy to meet deadlines and quotas, making them--rather than the party--the source of innovation in postwar Ukraine. 

According to Kulick, “my research this summer opened up new ways of thinking about the relationship between the party and the institutions that made up the Soviet state and economy.” Kulick used insights from Soviet-era KGB documents to shed new light on the current propaganda emanating out of the Kremlin. For example, she found that the long-term pull toward greater improvisation has had ongoing consequences. The current conflict is not just about Ukraine’s geopolitical orientation; it is also the byproduct of the dissolution of intransigent and poorly understood late Soviet-era institutions. (Inset: Kulick documents military mobilization during her summer in Ukraine)

Undergraduate Internship Program: Highlights

The Europe Center sponsored four undergraduate student internships with leading think tanks and international organizations in Europe in Summer 2014.  Laura Conigliaro (International Relations, 2015) joined the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), while Elsa Brown (Political Science, 2015), Noah Garcia (BA International Relations and MA Public Policy, 2015), and Jana Persky (Public Policy, 2016) joined Bruegel, a leading European think tank. Our featured student this month is Laura Conigliaro.

During her time at CEPS, Conigliaro worked on a 68-page research paper on genetically modified organisms (GMO) policy in the European Union. In the paper, she traces E.U. legislation and policy development on GMOs from 1990 onward, and also offers conclusions for the future trajectory of the E.U.’s GMO policy. Conigliaro argues that the evolution of the E.U.’s GMO policy is a topic of extreme relevance--and difficulty--because it is the source of high-level trade conflicts between Europe and the United States. Consequently, the study of GMO policymaking can help advance our understanding of E.U. institutions, E.U. “comitology” (policy process), and E.U.-U.S. bilateral relations. 

Image of CEPS signage.
Conigliaro plans to incorporate the summer fellowship experience into her Stanford academic career, for example, by presenting research findings at Stanford’s Symposia of Undergraduate Research and Public Service (SURPS). Looking ahead, she writes: “I hope to use the knowledge and experience gained of the E.U. Institutions and policy process through the lens of the GMO issue to broaden and diversify my potential career opportunities and areas from my traditional area of concentration, East Asia, to also include the European Union.”

Recap:  Panel on Europe-Russia Relations and EU expansion

On September 30, 2014, Miroslav Lajčák, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, participated in a panel discussion in which he shared his thoughts and opinions about Europe’s relationship with Russia, and about the E.U.’s management of its future membership and associations. The Minister’s viewpoints were of particular interest, given his role in the E.U. foreign policy establishment, and the Slovak Republic’s role in the E.U. and NATO.

“The fact is that E.U.-Russia relations have worsened dramatically. That cannot be denied. But it’s not E.U. enlargement that played a major role in this.”  According to the Minister, Russia did not view E.U. enlargement with hostility, in part, because enlargement remained a transparent process. “But it all changed when Europe decided to enter into Russia’s immediate neighborhood...the former Soviet Republics. And this was something that

Miroslav Lajčák
was seen by Russia as a hostile activity, and this was what Russia fiercely resisted.” The Minister spoke candidly about the potential conflicts of concepts between the E.U.’s Eastern Partnership policy, Russia’s Near Abroad policy, and the idea of a Eurasian Union. A fundamental and ongoing source of tension pertains to the geopolitical position of Russia’s immediate neighbors: “The fact is that Russia never accepted the full sovereignty of the former Soviet Republics.” Apart from discussing the escalation of tensions between the E.U. and Russia, the Minister spoke about the role of sanctions and reforms as a path for moving forward and achieving lasting peace in Europe.

Minister Lajčák’s brought a variety of experiences to the panel. He served as the European Union Chief Negotiator for the E.U.-Ukraine and E.U.-Moldova Association Agreements, and was the European Union Special Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Sarajevo. Additionally, he was previously the Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to the Former Republic of Yugoslavia, Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. 

After Minister Lajčák spoke, he was followed by comments by Michael McFaul, Professor of Political Science and Senior Fellow, Hoover Institute and Freeman Spogli Institute; Norman Naimark, the Robert and Florence McDonnell Professor in East European Studies in the History Department and The Director of Stanford Global Studies; and Kathryn Stoner, Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute and Faculty Director of the Susan Ford Dorsey Program in International Studies.

Introducing “Immigration and Integration in Europe” Policy Lab

The Europe Center would like to introduce a new research project entitled, “Immigration and Integration in Europe:  A Public Policy Perspective,” led by Professors David Laitin and Jens Hainmueller. Duncan Lawrence has recently joined Stanford University to help direct the project. The project is part of the new Policy Implementation Lab at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

The social and economic integration of its diverse and ever growing immigrant populations is one of the most fundamental and pressing policy issues European countries face today. Success or failure in integrating immigrants is likely to have a substantial effect on the ability of European countries individually and collectively as members of the European Union to achieve objectives ranging from the profound such as sustaining a robust democratic culture to the necessary such as fostering economic cooperation between countries. Various policies have been devised to address this grave political dilemma, but despite heated public debates we know very little about whether these policies achieve their stated goals and actually foster the integration of immigrants into the host societies. (Inset: David Laitin)

Professor Jens Hainmueller.The goal of this research program is to fill this gap and create a network of leading immigration scholars in the US and Europe to generate rigorous evidence about what works and what does not when it comes to integration policies. The methodological core of the lab’s research program is a focus on systematic impact evaluations that leverage experimental and quasi-experimental methods with common study protocols to quantify the social and economic returns to integration policies across Europe, including polices for public housing, education, citizenship acquisition, and integration contracts for newcomers. This work will add to the quality of informed public debate on a sensitive issue, and create cumulative knowledge about policies that will be broadly relevant. (Inset: Jens Hainmueller)

The Europe Center Sponsored Events

We invite you to attend the following events sponsored or co-sponsored by The Europe Center:

Additional Details on our website
October 8-10, 2014
“War, Revolution and Freedom: the Baltic Countries in the 20th Century”
Stauffer Auditorium, Hoover Institution
9:00 AM onward

Save the Date
April 24-25, 2015
Conference on Human Rights

A collaborative effort between the International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic at Stanford Law School (IHRCRC), the Research Center for Human Rights at Vienna University (RCHR), and The Europe Center. The conference will focus on the pedagogy and practice of human rights. 

Save the Date
May 20-22, 2015
TEC Lectureship on Europe and the World 
Joel Mokyr
Robert H. Strotz Professor of Arts and Sciences, and Professor of Economics and History, Northwestern University

We welcome you to visit our website for additional details.