Call for Tenders 2: Hundred Shades of the European Union – Mapping the Political Economy of the EU Peripheries.

transform! europe and the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung are launching a long-term study into the socio-economic and political comprehensive understanding of the complex European Union peripheries, from different perspectives and with the use of comparative analysis.

This study aims to constitute a relevant tool for the discussion of the future of "European integration" and to provide an informed basis for building appropriate radical left policies, both at the national and European Union levels. Ultimately, this research project will also represent a tool for building and fostering cooperation strategies between both regions, promoting coordinated action by European left-wing organisations and political representations.

The process of integrating countries into the European Union has led, over the past decades, to the emergence of two major peripheral regions: the so-called "old periphery" – which encompasses the countries of Southern Europe (SE) – and the "new periphery", which includes the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). These two regions will be the subject of our comparative analyses. 

Study description

The first phase of the project will prepare two maps of peripherality, producing two comparative analyses for the SE countries and CEE countries, by focusing on groups of data as a criterion for intraregional comparison. In a second phase, we aim to develop a comparative analysis between these two regions, which will improve and deepen the knowledge of one another, since where there is weak (or no) knowledge, there cannot be any good policy. 

This analysis is intended to provide a basis for deepening the political dialogue between regions, which will eventually lead to the formulation of specific political strategies. Our research will help to identify key problems, nodes of cooperation, as well as sensitive spots or sources of conflict, and serve as the basis for such strategies. 

For this purpose, we are calling for three applicants – researchers – from SE or CEE countries, who will work on the research (independently as well as in the team) and contribute to the interpretation of the data previously collected (basic data package will be provided) and prepare a comparative analysis and interpretative study on power asymmetries within the EU and their role in the future of the EU, within the given scope: 

I.  Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries – 2 applicants

  1. mapping area: Baltic region (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), Visegrád Group (Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary)
  2. mapping area: Balkan Group (Romania, Bulgaria), Western Balkan Group (Slovenia, Croatia)

II.  Southern European (SE) countries – 1 applicant

  1. mapping area: Spain, Italy, Portugal, Malta, Greece, Cyprus 

The final study will be published online in English and will be primarily used and circulated among left-wing stakeholders, allowing internal discussion and strategy building. The synthesised summary will be published in different languages for the interested public, detailing the current challenges and discussing solutions and alternatives from a leftist perspective.

For detailed information on the "Hundred shades of the European Union. Mapping the Political Economy of the EU peripheries." research project please see the enclosed document: Project Description (see ‘Documents’ on the right)


  • Ph.D. degree or equivalent in Sociology, Economics or Political Science (possibly also Anthropology, Geography and History).
  • Good knowledge of world-system analyses, core-periphery relations, political economy, theory of dependency and/or "southern" approaches, including post-colonial theory (previous experience in working within this theoretical framework is an advantage).
  • Experience with a macro-analytical approach and interdisciplinary research, previous experience in comparative research is an advantage.
  • Interest in Central Eastern Europe/Southern Europe topics (or both).
  • Proficiency in English, excellent knowledge of Word and data processing (Word, Excel).
  • Ability to work in a larger research team/teamwork experience is an advantage.
  • Familiarity with leftist positions as well as critical and progressive thinking. Identification with the values and objectives of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung and transform! europe.

Timeline and guidelines

  • Deadline for tender submissions: 19th October 2020.
  • Notification of acceptance of the tender: 28th October 2020. 
  • The successful applicant will participate in the first research team coordination meeting(s) via ZOOM in week 1-2 of November 2020.
  • The work is to be carried out between: 1st January 2021 – 1st February 2022. The first draft of the study must be submitted by 1st November 2021 and the final study by 1st February 2022. The timeline is non-negotiable unless modified by transform! europe.
  • Contributions should be written in an informed style that is accessible to wider audiences, and must adhere to reference standards and the style guide, which will be shared with the authors. 


I. Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries – 2 applicants: 

  1. applicant for: Baltic region (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), Visegrád Group (Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary), remuneration of EUR 5,000 
  2. applicant for: Balkan Group (Romania, Bulgaria), Western Balkan Group (Slovenia, Croatia), remuneration of EUR 5,000 

II.  Southern European (SE) countries:

  1. applicant for: Spain, Italy, Portugal, Malta, Greece, Cyprus, remuneration of EUR 5,000

The authors shall be responsible should any tax be imposed on the honorarium. The honorarium is to be paid in two instalments over the contract period. 


Candidates should send their application, including C.V. + biography, letter explaining their motivation for applying, and 3 examples of research articles (at least two texts in English; one text can be provided in a different language but submitted together with an abstract in English) by email to Dagmar Švendová at, putting "APPLICATION: EU peripheries_PART 2" in the subject field. Any questions can be sent by email to the same address.

About us

transform! europe is a network of 35 European organisations from 22 countries, active in the field of political education and critical scientific analysis, and is the recognised political foundation of the Party of the European Left (EL). This cooperative project of independent non-profit organisations, institutes, foundations and individuals intends to use its work in contributing to peaceful relations among peoples and a transformation of the present world. 

Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung is an internationally operating non-profit organisation for civic education affiliated with Germany’s Left Party. It is a discussion forum for progressive political alternatives and a centre for critical thinking and research, both in Germany and throughout the world. The Brussels Office operates as a think tank reflecting on European and international issues affecting contemporary society.