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2023/2024  KAN-CPOLV2301U  Business & Politics in Eastern Europe & Eurasia: Making Sense of Firm Strategies & Complex Geopolitics in the Region

English Title
Business & Politics in Eastern Europe & Eurasia: Making Sense of Firm Strategies & Complex Geopolitics in the Region

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Min. participants 20
Max. participants 40
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc i International Business and Politics, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Michael Wendelboe Hansen - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
  • Nina Dadalauri - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • Globalisation and international business
  • International political economy
  • Political Science
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 30-01-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
Identify, analyse and assess core concepts, theories, and issues in state-business relations in transition countries (i.e. Eastern Europe and Eurasia).
  • Apply the concepts and theories introduced throughout the course to the empirical field of state-business relations, focusing on socio-political and economic context and firm strategies;
  • Identify, analyse and assess economic, political, institutional, and structural causes and consequences of transition in a comparative perspective.
  • Apply empirical data and analyse evidence concerning political and economic developments, as well as, firm strategies introduced in the course.
  • Make a clear, coherent, and well-reasoned analysis of issues in political and economic transition based upon methods in the social sciences and a comprehensive understanding of the theories and approaches introduced in the course.
Course prerequisites
Business & Politics in Eastern Europe & Eurasia: Making Sense of Firm Strategies & Complex Geopolitics in the Region:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Essay
Release of assignment The Assignment is released in Digital Exam (DE) at exam start
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Autumn and Autumn
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
A new exam assignment must be answered. This apply to all students (failed, ill, or otherwise) Written assignment
Description of the exam procedure

Home assignment - written product

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

How do firms behave in a complex geopolitical context? What kind of challenges and opportunities are they facing in a host market that is in a process of transition from a planned economy to market economy, where state is expected to limit its role in economy and business dealings? What are the implications of operating in countries that are either in an open war, such as Ukraine or are struggling with unresolved conflict areas, such as, Moldova, all three South Caucasus states? what are the potential for forming a competitive firm in countries that have oligarch-dominated economies, rich natural resources, and restrictive formal and informal institutions? What can be the impacts of economic sanctions on companies and state-business relations in countries, like Russia? European companies are expected to leave up to the rules of compliance and also are help up against ethical responsibilities from issues on environmental impact to human rights and labour rights. Meanwhile, European companies are also capable to bring positive impact in domestic markets where such issues and respective institutional and legislative basis are legging behind. What has been the firm strategies in post-Communist countries when faced with the challenges of ethical issues? 

Selected countries and case companies will be discussed through the lectures and exercise classes to unpack prevailing strategies and considerations for firms in their decision-making when their important markets get embroiled in a war or social upheaval. Discussion will focus on factors and complex set of actors that shape markets and the institutional context within which firms operation in Eurasia and Eastern Europe. Typologies of state-business relations will be mapped reflecting policy and institutional changes in transition countries over the period of three decades. The issues of transnational policy arena formation and the roles of transitional actors, such as the International Monetary Institutions, World Trade Organization, and the European Union, in policy making will be addressed. Issues of state capacity, ‘dependent capitalism’ emergence, the role of the natural endowment in political and economic elite formation, discussion of political risks, firm competitiveness and overcoming the issue of ‘liability of foreignness’, ethical challenges, increased inequality, cross-border trade and foreign direct investment, as well as, Free Trade Zones, policy change and institutional formation along with lobbyism and industrial relations will be addressed throughout the course.
Within the frame of this course, transition countries encompass ‘satellite states’ such as ‘Visegrad Countries’ (i.e. post-Communist Central & Eastern Europe) and post-Soviet Eurasia (i.e. the Baltics  states and members of the Commonwealth of Independent States). The geographic focus of this course provides a wide range of transition models and pathways along with varieties of capitalism and regime change across countries with population around 400 million. With the significant empirical material and cases, the regional focus of this course provides students with a natural laboratory for testing theories and concepts that combines International Business field along with Area Studies and Comparative Politics.

Description of the teaching methods
Lectures, group discussions and exercises (including elements of blended learning).
Feedback during the teaching period
The course consists of two main components: lectures and exercise classes. While lectures will focus on introducing topics, theories and approaches, class exercises will help focus on cases (e.g. countries, regions) or issues (e.g. institutions, actors) related to the topic of the lecture. The area experts conduct the teaching in this course and students are introduced real life cases in their lectures. Exercises typically involve separate readings and may involve preparation of assignments, including work on cases, issues, and/or data. Pedagogics of the course will use blending learning elements where rendered appropriate along with group discussions. Students will obtain three types of feedback: individual feedback during class discussions, group feedback on group assignments for the exercise class and peer-to-peer feedback in the exercise class. The lectures and particularly, case-based discussions in the exercise classes will be preparing students to their written exam, which is a take-home written assignment.
Student workload
Preparation time (readings, group work, etc.) 135 hours
Lectures / class exercises 30 hours
Exam (incl. preparation for the exam and actual exam period) 41 hours
Further Information

The course related closely to Nordic Nine goals and particularly to the following ones:

Nordic Nine #1 (You have deep business knowledge placed in a broad context),

Nordic Nine #2 (You are analytical with data and curious about ambiguity),

Nordic Nine # 5 (You understand ethical dilemmas and have the leadership values to overcome). them)

Expected literature

The course provides a list of mandatory and recommended readings below for each week. It will be expected that students will have to read and prepare on weekly basis the scholarly work indicated as ‘mandatory’, while the recommended reading is greatly encouraged to be also read, yet, it is not required or expected to be done prior the lectures by the students.



Last updated on 30-01-2023