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Regular version of the site

About the Institute

History of the IDEM

The HSE Institute of Demography (IDEM) was founded in February 2007.

However, the history of the institute as a research center started almost 20 years earlier as the IDEM considers itself as a conceptual successor to the Center for Human Demography and Ecology (CHDE), which was founded in 1988 as part of the USSR Academy of Sciences as an initiative of Anatoliy Vishnevskiy.

Leading Soviet and Russian researchers worked at the CHDE and the traditions of such publications as Population of Russia, the annual demographic report, the Population and Society bulletin and the Demoscope Weekly e-publication, were established by CHDE staff and are continued by the HSE IDEM.

CHDE was an academic institution, and teaching was not a priority of its members. Nevertheless, leading research fellows regularly taught introductory, basic and special courses on methods of demographic analysis, methods of historical demography, the demographic history of Russia and demographic policy in various Moscow universities, including the HSE.

IDEM's Mission as a Research Institution

IDEM is an academic institution aiming primarily to ensure its studies are fundamental and to improve the methods of research. The Institute's activity mainly results in publications of scientific monographs and articles in Russian and international journals as well as reports at scientific conferences and forums. IDEM members are authors of numerous articles in encyclopedias and encyclopedic dictionaries as well as summarizing reports on the socio-demographic situation in Russia prepared for RF governmental bodies and various UN departments, such as the UN Development Programme, the UN Population Fund, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank, as well as other international organizations.

IDEM's work is not limited to academic activity. The Institute works in close contact with governmental institutions creating and implementing policies in the social areas of IDEM's research. These institutions are the Presidential Executive Office of the RF, specialized committees of the Federation Council and the State Duma, the Public Chamber, the Ministry of Health Care and Social Development, the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) and the Federal Migration Service. IDEM regularly supplies these bodies with analytical materials, its staff participate in the discussion of the decisions the governmental bodies are involved in, particularly on the family, demographic and migration policies and other official documents on the issues of its competency as well as taking part in the elaboration of Russia's standpoints on these issues for international representation.

Along with the cooperation with decision-making state bodies, IDEM considers one of its key tasks to inform the public about the demographic situation in Russia and demographic processes in other countries. For this purpose, since 1993 it has published an annual report Population of Russia which is aimed at not only professional demographers but everyone interested in the demographic past, present and future of Russia. In addition to this, since 1993, with the support of the French National Institute for Demographic Studies, the informational bulletin Population and Society has been published 9 times a year and distributed for free. In 2001 a large internet project Demoscope Weekly was started, which combines an electronic newspaper on demography and an advanced information portal on demography. Demoscope Weekly, which started as an e-version of the Population and Society bulletin,  is today one of the most popular e-publications in the country, and has almost no competitors in Russia as a website on social sciences. Informational analytical materials on demographic situation, death and birth rate, migration, health, family, employment, standard of living and lifestyle of the population in Russian and the world, provided by Demoscope, are actively used in mass media in Russia and abroad, as well as by researchers, teachers and students in the educational process.

IDEM carries out constant work on the support and development of the academic community in post-Soviet states. Thanks to the effort of the CHDE staff, in 1998 the Independent Research Council on Migration in the CIS and Baltic Countries was founded, which continues its work with the participation of IDEM.

For over ten years IDEM has been participating in an international project on the study of long-term death rate trends and causes of death in post-Soviet countries. IDEM makes strong efforts to overcome the isolation from the world academic community which was experienced by the Soviet science. IDEM participates in many international research projects and has constant contacts with such international organizations as UN Population Division, UN Population Fund, UNESCO, UN Development Programme, World Health Organization, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Population Unit, International Organization for Migration, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the World Bank. IDEM has friendly relations and long traditions of joint research with such leading foreign research centers as National Institute for Demographic Studies of France (INED), Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (Rostock, Germany), Vienna Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, RAND (USA), Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies (USA), Institute of Demography of the Catholic University of Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium), Population Research Centre of the University of Groningen (Netherlands), Department of Demography at the University of Rome 'La Sapienza' (Italy) and others. IDEM staff are members of international academic associations, such as the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP), the European Association for Population Studies (EAPS), the Population Association of America (PAA) and the the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA).

The results of the Institute's research are regularly published in international academic journals, and its members speak at international scientific forums, lead sessions at the largest congresses and conferences on the problems of population. For many years, the research carried out by IDEM staff members has recieved support from the Russian Fundamental Research Fund, UN Population Fund, the International Association for the promotion of co-operation with scientists from the New Independent States of the former Soviet Union (INTAS), Carnegie Foundation for International Peace, MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation), Know How British Foundation and others.

IDEM's Mission as an Educational Institution

Along with IDEM's foundation in 2007, the inter-faculty Department of Demography was created, and in 2009 the Laboratory of Social and Demographic Policies was opened.

The Department of Demography tries to fully use Russian and international experience in attracting the best researchers to the educational process and encourage student involvement in the research of topical demographic problems.

The Department of Demography aims to:

  • Give HSE students basic knowledge in the area of population and the methods of its research;
  • Train qualified experts in demography within the specialized master's programme;
  • Give opportunities for continuing professional training and retraining of professionals interested in the improvement of their knowledge and skills in demography within special educational programmes of different durations.

Today the teachers from the Department of Demography deliver courses on demography for undergraduate students at the HSE Faculties of Sociology, Economics, Public Administration, Applied Political Science and World Economy and International Affairs. The master's programme in demography is currently under development. The department is developing connections with leading international educational institutions. One of the IDEM's priorities is the training and retraining of professionals in population from the CIS countries. The Department's affiliation with the Institute of Demography helps use the results of the research in the educational process and at the same time actively involve students in research work.

The key aim of the Laboratory of Social and Demographic Policies is the elaboration of recommendations on the improvement of management in main spheres of socio-demographic policy (family, migration, health care etc.) in Russia and its regions.


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