GEM PhD School

Globalisation, Europe & Multilateralism

Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate




Polanyian reading of the EU governance structure


Maja Savevska is a PhD candidate at the GEM PhD School, Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate on Globalization, EU and Multilateralism, where she was awarded a full scholarship by the European Commission. Her mobility action programe includes University of Warwick and Université Libre de Bruxelles. She received her undergraduate training in political science from Ss. Cyril and Methodius University - Skopje. During her exchange program at the University of Washington - Seattle, she did a minor in International Relations. She completed a MSc in Global Governance and Diplomacy at the University of Oxford, where she was awarded a full scholarship by the Open Society Institute. Her experience includes TA work at the Univerité Libre de Bruxelles and extensive NGO work in Macedonia. 

Academic Degrees



Sept 2013           GEM PhD School - Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate                           

                           Université Libre de Bruxelles                                                                Brussels, Belgium

                           University of Warwick                                                                                    Coventry, UK  

                           Globalization, the EU and Multilateralism

                           • Funded by the European Commission 

June 2010           University of Oxford                                                                                           Oxford, UK

                         Department of International Development  

                          MSc Global Governance and Diplomacy

                          • OSI-FCO Full Scholarship

                          • Blackwell Graduate Award

June 2009           Ss. Cyril and Methodius University                                          Skopje, Macedonia

                         Faculty of Law- Justinian the First

                                   BA Political Sciences                         

2007-2008           University of Washington                                                                     Seattle, Washington

                          Undergraduate Exchange Program- Junior Year

                          •Open Society Institute full scholarship

                          •3 times on the Dean’s List for top students



August 2009          OSI Summer School                                                               Istanbul, Turkey

                              •Human Right Course given by Corinne Lennox

                              •Research on the Roma minority rights in Serbia,

                              •Title of Paper: Evaluation of the Keck and Sikkink’s boomerang model


September 2008   Faculty of Political Sciences University of Belgrade                            Belgrade, Serbia

                            • Alpbach Summer School on European Integration

                             •Intense Course on European Law, Economy and Politics

                            • Main lecturer Friedl Weiss 

Work Experience


Autumn 2010          Université Libre de Bruxelles                                                  Brussels, Belgium

                               • Voluntary Assistant to Prof. Mario Telo   

                               • Course Title: Globalization and Social Regimes 


2008-2009            Step Out- Open Society Institute                                                         Skopje, Macedonia

                           • Project Manager of the Home Country Project

                           • Tackling down the prejudice towards the LGBT community in Macedonia

                           • Simulation games, workshops and production of a documentary that was shown in the   

                              Macedonian Cinemateque  

August 2008         It’s Up To Us- Blue Sky Exchange Program                                Bitola, Macedonia

                           •Part of the planning and the admin team

                           •Sponsored by Youth in Action EU fund

December 2007    Study Buddy Packing- Residence Hall Student Association          Seattle, Washington

                           •Part of the admin team

April 2007            Values Quest, UK-Macedonia Project of the British Council            Ohrid, Macedonia

                                  • Admin team, as part of the British Council Regional Initiative

                           • Youth Action through Sport and Culture

2006-2007          Blue Sky Network                                                                                          Skopje, Macedonia

                          British Council Initiative, now independent NGO

                                  • PR Officer of Skopje Club

                          • University Team Assistant

2006-2007          Youth Educational Forum                                                                            Skopje, Macedonia

                         • Activist in the campaign for the formation of a student parliament

Specific Research Title, Area and Promotor(s)



International Relations, International Political Economy and European Studies



Polanyian reading of the EU governance structure 



  • Pr. Mario TELO' (Institut d'Etudes Européennes de l'Université Libre de Bruxelles)
  • Pr. Matthew WATSON (University of Warwick)

Description of research work

My PhD project represents an interdisciplinary study that addresses the question of the EU governance structure. The starting point of analysis is the recent debates grounded in the critical historico-dialectic theory that try to shift the focus from the causes of integration to its consequences. I treat the recent Critical Turn in the EU studies scholarship that renders the EU governance structure disembedded to some length and take their premise and reasoning as valid. 

The twofold objective of the research is to provide a Polanyian critique of the neo-Gramscian interpretations of the EU governance structure, and a constructivist critique of the same pessimistic accounts that identify neoliberal preemptive measures in every societal initiative. To that end, I operationalize Polanyi’s concept of embedded and disembedded and treat them as opposite modes of operation that designate the positioning of the economic social relations and institutions vis-à-vis the other non-economic social relations and institutions. Through the lenses of these concepts, I attempt to provide a more nuanced narrative of the character of the EU structure that challenges the hyperbolic conclusions of the critical approaches.

Following the Polanyian reading, the project tries to demonstrate the civil society potential in reducing the present asymmetry in the governance structure by drawing insights from IR constructivism. I attempt to bring to the foreground the instances of re-embeddedness and particularly focus on the hard case of poverty and the activism by the European Anti Poverty Network and Social Platform. 

Participation in Conferences and Seminars



June 2012                  British International Studies Association                                                Edinburg, UK  

                                Diversity in the Discipline: Tension or Opportunity in Responding to

                                Global Challenges  

                                • Presented a paper: Polanyian considerations on Corporate Social Responsibility

February 2012            EMES Conference on Karl Polanyi                                                                              Paris, France

                                The World between Crisis and Change 

                                • Presented a paper: Are there identifiable instance of re-embeddedness

                                or just mere protectionist measures in the EU? 

February 2012            GEM PhD Seminar                                                                                              Geneva, Switzerland

                                Second Year Review

                                Presented my PhD research 

December 2011          Euroacademia Conference                                                                                       Vienna, Austria

                                The European Union and the Politization of Europe

                                • Presented a paper: The Contours of the European Civil Society 

September 2011        European Sociological Association, 10th Conference                         Geneva, Switzerland

                                • Participated in the panel on critical political economy

                                • Presented a paper: The EU Asymmetric Governance

April 2011                  Symposium on Ethics and Social Responsibility Research                       Lisbon, Portugal

                                • ISCTE- Lisbon University Institute

                                • Presented a paper: Corporate Social Responsibility: Constructivist Regime

March 2011                Open Society Foundation-Soros: Regional Conference                               Budva, Montenegro

                                •The Way Forward: The Future of Democracy in the Balkans

                                • Presented a preliminary research on the Varieties of Capitalism in Macedonia 

February 2011            LUISS- GEM PhD School                                                                            Rome, Italy

                                • Present a paper at the Annual Doctoral Workshop: Progressive Possibilities

                                Immanent in the Asymmetric Governance of the EU:  ETUC, Social Platform, and the

                                European Anti-Poverty Network                  



November 2012          • Participant –   GR:EEN Conference                                                            Warwick, UK

September 2012        • Participant –   NEUJOBS Conference                                                Bratislava, Slovakia

September 2012        • Participant –   How do We Understand Capitalism                                  Manchester, UK

July 2010                  • Participant – Marxism 2010                                                                       London, UK

April 2010                 • Participant – The Challenges of Open Society Conference                                 Durham, UK

July 2009                  • Participant – Open Society Commencement Conference                              Istanbul, Turkey

October 2008            •Participant – CRISP, Conflict Resolution Simulation Game                         Novo Brdo, Kosovo

August 2008             • Participant – Eco Conscious Seminar                                                           Rila, Bulgaria

March 2008               •Participant – Open Society Institute Conference                                      New York City, NY

November 2007         •Participant – Pacific Association of Colleges,                                     Los Angeles, California

                                Universities and Residence Halls Conference  

October 2007           • Participant – Open Society Institute Conference                                     Burlington, Vermont

June 2007               • Participant – Open Society Institute,                                                    Budapest, Hungary

                                Undergraduate Exchange Conference

February 2007          •Participant – Boris Trajkovksi Foundation,                               Tetovo and Skopje, Macedonia

                               Second Youth Leadership Forum  

May 2006               •Participant – A Launch of the International Award for                                   Skopje, Macedonia

                            Young People in the presence of His Royal Highness

                            The Prince Edwards, Earl of Wessex      

May 2006               •Participant – The Union of Women’s Organizations in                                  Skopje, Macedonia

                             Macedonia, Seminar on family violence


Overview of Publications


Savevska, Maja (2012) The Progressive Possibilities Immanent in the Regime of Corporate Social Responsibility. In Research on Ethics and Social Responsibility, edited by Eduardo Simòes and José Neves. Lisbon: Business Research Unit, ISCTE - IUL.pp. 133-147. 

Savevska, Maja (2011)  Symposium Notes on Ethics and Social Responsibility, 14th and 15th of April, 2011: 
ISCTE – Lisbon University Institute, Lisbon, Portugal. Journal of Economic and Social Studies. 1 (2): 157-159.