On Monday, 18th March, 2013, Professor Dieter Segert, Institute for Political Sciences at The University of Vienna, delivered a lecture as part of the CREES 50th Anniversary Seminar Series. In his paper titled 'Eastern Europe after 1989 – a laboratory for the sustainability of "Western Democracy"', Professor Segert provided a fascinating talk on the link between political instability and increasing inequalities in eastern Europe. Importantly, he underlined how events in eastern Europe provide important lessons for understanding problems that are also developing in western Europe (the political instability we have seen recently in Greece and Italy are examples). 

Professor Segert is a founder and Deputy Head of the Vienna East European Forum, a new Centre (established in 2009) that comprises over 100 researchers from a number of faculties in the University- see http://www.osteuropaforum.at/en/home/.

Professor Segert’s visit was therefore also an opportunity for the exchange of knowledge and the building of networks between scholars working in Area Studies in Vienna and Birmingham. Dr Deema Kaneff, from CREES, has had associations with the Forum since its inception. She was pleased that through her extending an invitation to Prof. Segert, these links between the two institutions could be further developed.