Political Economy of Uneven Regional Development

Short Title


Full Title

The Political Economy of Uneven Regional Development in Post-communist Central Europe

Brief Description

This project seeks to answer why regional disparities increased in Central Europe after the change of regime. It argues that besides those economic factors (agglomeration effects) that naturally produce inequalities in market economies, certain transnational, national and local policies and institutions also contributed to this phenomenon. The project evaluates the effects of key transnational (Foreign Direct Investments, EU Cohesion Policy), national (investment promotion policies, regional development policies) and local (development coalitions) factors in shaping patterns of uneven regional development in the so-called Visegrad countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia).

Research Period


Research Type

PhD Dissertation

Research Monitoring Body

Doctoral School of Political Science, Public Policy and International Relations, Central European University

Project Supervisor

Prof. Béla Greskovits (Central European University)

Research Manager

Gergő Medve-Bálint


Gergő Medve-Bálint


Gergő Medve-Bálint medvebg@mtapti.hu


Central European University

Research Summary

The dissertation argues that although regional disparities naturally arise in a market economy, in Central Europe, following the change of regime, those disparities were reinforced and even enhanced by certain political factors as well. More specifically, the investment promotion and regional development policies together with the EU’s development funds mostly benefited the already relatively prosperous, economically stronger regions. However, through a comparative case study the dissertation also shows that local development coalitions were not only able to mitigate the rather unfavourable effects of these external factors but in certain cases they were also able to take advantage of them.