Welcome to Webster Vienna

As part of our global, interdisciplinary vision, we’re committed to providing a highly personal academic experience to every student. And with more than 10 fields of study and courses, you have access to relevant, 21st century programming that suits your goals, whether that’s earning an undergraduate degree or advancing in your current career. 

Webster University has been accredited and licensed by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) for more than 95 years plus we’re accredited by The Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation Austria (AQ Austria) as an Austrian Private University.

That means providing high-quality, transformative programming isn’t just our mission statement—it’s how our faculty approach and prepare our students for a lifetime of professional and personal success.

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At Webster Vienna, we’re here to prepare you for professional success with a wide variety of coursework including essential critical thinking curriculum to business administration.

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With us, our faculty and staff work together to help our students reach their academic potential through an emphasis on collaboration and self-expression.

Research at Webster Vienna

Business and management department head Dr. Nikolaos Antonakakis’ recent, collaborative research has been published in several economics and finance journals. We sat down with him recently to discuss his research and its potential implications.

WVPU: Congratulations on your recent publications. The first article I’d like you to tell us about is “The impact of Euro through time: Exchange rate dynamics under different regimes.” For those of us without a background in finance, what are the practical applications of studying currency in this way?

Dr. Antonakakis:  The decision for a common European currency constitutes a landmark in the history of international financial markets. Despite the fact that the adoption of the Euro entails both advantages and challenges, its unequivocal importance in international finance has sparked ‐ among academics, policy makers and other pundits ‐ keen interest in its potential impact on decision making and macroeconomic policy formulation. The relative strength of the Euro against other major currencies is, of course, of particular importance. In effect, studying Euro’s interaction with other currencies should help attain a better understanding of global economic developments. In this respect, our study is largely motivated by research related to currency interdependence and contagion issues, especially, in the light of the introduction of the Euro. We are mainly interested in the position of the Euro as an international currency. That is to say, in its relative strength and its co‐movements with other major currencies, across time.

WVPU: How would you describe contagion to a layperson?

Dr. Antonakakis: In economics and finance, a contagion effect explains the possibility of spread of economic crisis or boom across countries or regions. This phenomenon may occur both at a domestic level as well as at an international level. The failure of Lehman Brothers as well as the collapse of the housing market in the United States is an example of a domestic contagion that led to the global financial crisis in 2008.

WVPU: Another recently published article concerns the energy sector: “Oil and asset classes implied volatilities: Investment strategies and hedging effectiveness.” Tell us a little bit about this study and its target audience.

Dr. Antonakakis: Since the increased financialisation of the oil market over the last 15 years, a growing literature has emerged examining the time-varying relationship and spillover effects among oil and financial markets. Interestingly enough almost all studies examine solely the oil-stock market nexus, without taking other asset classes, such as commodities and metals, into account, that are widely used by investors in their portfolio diversification strategies. Thus, in this study we attempted to capture the intricate relationships among oil and fourteen asset volatilities, which belong to four different asset classes (stocks, commodities, exchange rates and macroeconomic conditions). The main objective of this study was to determine the optimal hedging strategies and optimal portfolio weights for implied volatility portfolios among the above-mentioned assets. As such our study’s target audience is mainly investors that adopt diversification strategies when forming portfolios that combine oil and other asset classes.

WVPU: This study is largely about hedging – its effects, causes, unintended consequences, etc. What is hedging and why should a person who works outside of the finance sector have a basic understanding of what it is?

Dr. Antonakakis: Hedging is a type of investment intended to reduce the risk of adverse price movements in an asset. Most people have engaged in hedging, whether they know it or not. For instance, when you buy life insurance to support your family in the case of your death, this is a hedge. You pay money in monthly sums for the coverage provided by an insurance company.

WVPU: The final article is perhaps the most ‘inside baseball’ of the three, by which I mean it seems to be about research methods for fellow academics who conduct research in this field. The article is titled “Refined Measures of Dynamic Connectedness based on Time-Varying Parameter Vector Autoregressions.” The abstract suggests that it builds upon techniques previously conceived by other academics. Maybe you could tell us a little about this study and, perhaps more broadly about how researchers build upon previous studies.

Dr. Antonakakis: Among the three studies, indeed this is the most technical one and, as such, mostly relevant to researchers conducting research in this field. In particular, the main objective of this study is to improve and enhance an already existing methodology in an attempt to capture more accurately the intricate evolution of interrelationships among financial variables. Building upon a very well established empirical methodology of Diebold and Yılmaz (2009, 2012, 2014) who introduced a variety of connectedness measures, we provide a methodological extension and put our framework into practice by investigating dynamic connectedness measures of the four most traded foreign exchange rates. Comparing the results between the existing approach and our proposed methodology there was suggestive evidence of improvement in the analysis by adopting our new enhanced approach. The process of building upon the existing findings in the literature and try to improve them is a typical process in academia among researchers who engage in lengthy conversations of sorts and rely on others’ findings in an attempt to increase the level of understanding in the field.

You can access Dr. Antonakakis’ recently published articles using the direct links provided in the text above.  

Despite the Corona crisis, research activities at WVPU’s International Relations Department are going on. Assistant Professor Anatoly Reshetnikov has just published an article co-authored with Dr. Xymena Kurowska on trickstery in international politics in the prestigious European Journal of International Relations.

In their article, Kurowska and Reshetnikov probe the idea of pluralizing stigma in international society and scrutinize a few of Russia’s recent foreign policy moves as examples of trickstery.

The article is already published ‘first online’ on EJIR’s website. Make sure to check it from Webster’s library!

Abstract

International politics is often imagined via a binary opposition between the oppressor and the oppressed. Attention to entrenched hierarchies of power is essential in the study of international politics. However, taking this division too rigidly can obfuscate the very mechanisms of power that must be understood in order to grasp these hierarchies. We identify one such mechanism in the practice of trickstery, particularly as practiced in the context of Russia’s ambivalent and conflicted place in international society. Through the dynamics of trickstery, we show the workings of stigmatization to be a plural phenomenon, giving rise to various normative challenges.

The trickster is both conformist and deviant, hero and anti-hero – a “plural figure” both reflecting the rich cultural texture of international society and contesting its hierarchies. The trickster particularly unsettles the ideal liberal (global) public sphere through its simultaneous performance of emancipatory and anti-emancipatory logic. In this, trickstery produces normatively undecidable situations that exceed the analytical capacities of, for example, the strategic use of norms, norm contestation, and stigma management literature. We find trickstery to be encapsulated in the contemporary international situation of Russia, while recognizing that its practices are potentially available to other actors with similarly liminal status and cultural repertoires.

We particularly analyze the trickster practice of ‘overidentification’ with norms, which apparently endorses but indirectly subverts the normative frameworks within which it is performed. Such overidentification is a form of satire, contemporaneously appropriated by state actors, which has indeterminate yet significant effects.

For details, click here.

Dr. Bradley Wiggins, associate professor and department head of media communications, was informed that an article he wrote was recently accepted for publication by the prestigious and highly-ranked academic journal, New Media & Society and according to Journal Citation Reports, its 2019 impact factor of 4.577 gives it a ranking of 1 out of 79 journals in the category 'Communication'.

The title of Dr. Wiggins' article is "Boogaloo and Civil War 2: Memetic Antagonism in Expressions of Covert Activism" and was submitted March 1, 2020, underwent two revisions and received immediate acceptance on July 6, 2020.

The term boogaloo refers to a disparate group of individuals linked together mostly due to concerns about gun control and a desire for armed, insurrectionist violence in the United States. The group has been covered by the New York Times, as well as the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, among others. 

Here is the abstract of Dr. Wiggins' article: 

Internet memes are remixed images, videos, GIFs, hashtags, and similar content that usually incorporates humor but also some form of political or cultural critique (Milner, 2012; Shifman, 2014; Wiggins and Bowers, 2014). Several studies have previously examined the ways in which minority groups curate internet memes for the purpose of protest or other forms of activism (Frazer and Carlson, 2017; Lenhardt, 2016). This paper examines usergenerated tweets including any of the following hashtags: boogaloo, boogaloo2020, and/or civilwar2. The time period of interest on Twitter concerns any and all images posted between 15 and 25 January 2020, exactly five days before and after a controversial gun rally held in Richmond, Virginia. Drawing on Eco’s theory of semiotics, the results from a critical discourse analysis reveal a tendency toward a preference for antagonism as a means to consolidate identity for individuals engaged in online discursive practice within hybrid structures. Findings include the presence of deeply contextualized and situated logics within an emergent boogaloo discourse. In addition, the study found that hypernarrative storytelling serves the movement in terms of identity negotiation and consolidation. 

Media Communications Research News - Archive

The Role of Mental Toughness, Competitive Anxiety, and Team Cohesion in Athletic Performance among Women’s Competitive Rugby

Among competitive sports, psychological and team-related factors play an important role in achieving successful outcomes. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of mental toughness (MT), competitive anxiety (CA), team cohesion (TC), in rugby performance. Participants were 39 female athletes competing at the 2019 Austrian Women’s 7s Series Championship Tournament. The participants completed questionnaires aimed at measuring perceived mental toughness, anxiety towards sport, team cohesion. In addition, different measures of competitive performance were recorded based on the team’s ranking at the end of the tournament and based on the individual player’s performance during the tournament (frequency of tackles, passes, catches, tries, and kicks).

Bivariate Pearson correlation and multiple linear regression analyses revealed interesting findings about individual performance. Players who invested a lot of energy during the game (as measured by the number of actions such as tackling, passing, etc.) also appeared to report a higher attraction to the team and to the task at hand. These players were also well aware of their own performance during the game. Interestingly, among the players who invested a lot of energy during the game, those who reported higher levels of mental toughness were also those who scored the most points for their team. Although competitive anxiety negatively correlated with mental toughness, it was not significantly related to individual performance. These results suggest that overall rugby performance and decisive actions depend on different psychological processes. While the overall physical involvement in the game depends on an individual’s attraction to the group, the ability to score points depends on confidence and constancy (two sub-components of mental toughness). This research has implications for the development of training strategies in team sports, as it suggests that a healthy mixture of social and individual skills likely impacts individual performance, with overall positive consequences for the team.

This study was conducted at WVPU Psychology Department by MA student Andrée-Claude Larocque, who was supervised by Dr. Marc Mehu.

Psychology Research News - Archive

Thesis

Writing a thesis or conducting a thesis project is one of the most challenging and yet rewarding academic experiences a student faces at any level. A thesis is an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to undertake independent research appropriate to your academic level, as well as develop and apply discipline relevant research designs, techniques, and methods. A thesis is a major independent project reflective of and appropriate to your respective field and it serves as evidence of successful completion of your study period, stimulating the transition from one degree-cycle to the next or from university to working life.

In order to successfully complete the thesis project, please read the following guidelines here.

Undergraduate Theses

  • Duration of Thesis course: 1 Semester
  • Length of Thesis: 10,000 words
  • Style: APA
  • References: In-line

Links for Undergraduate Theses:

  1. Business and Management
  2. International Relations
  3. Media Communications
  4. Psychology

Writing a thesis or conducting a thesis project is one of the most challenging and yet rewarding academic experiences a student faces at any level. A thesis is an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to undertake independent research appropriate to your academic level, as well as develop and apply discipline relevant research designs, techniques, and methods. A thesis is a major independent project reflective of and appropriate to your respective field and it serves as evidence of successful completion of your study period, stimulating the transition from one degree-cycle to the next or from university to working life.

In order to successfully complete the thesis project, please read the following guidelines here.

Graduate Theses

  • Duration of Thesis course: Student’s choice* of 2 consecutive Terms (e.g. Fall I Term & Fall II Term) or 2 consecutive Semesters (e.g. Fall Semester & Spring Semester)**
  • Style: APA
  • References: In-line

Links for Undergraduate Theses:

  1. General Graduate Theses Guidelines
  2. Business/Finance/Marketing
  3. International Relations
  4. Psychology