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Regular version of the site

About program

 CSR - ppresentation (PDF, 3,43 Мб)

Comparative Social Research

In our globalized world of today a huge variety of nations, cultures and societies comprised of an even bigger variance of political, ethnical, religious and other groups, are interconnected and develop in relation with each other. That is why it is of utmost importance to find solutions to contemporary problems and conflicts, which take into account the characteristics and conditions of all societies and social groups concerned. But in order to judge if policies around the globe are successful in solving today´s problems, we need to understand and explain, how societies in their plural existence evolve and why they do this in a particular way. To do so, is the approach of comparative social research!

Our Program´s Approach

The aim of our program is to provide the theoretical and methodological instruments in order to shed light on the differences between nations, cultures and other social groups. In the seminars and lectures our students investigate social problems and issues in today´s world from a perspective of interconnectedness between the social action of individuals at different levels of collectivity, such as, for example, societies and cultures. Our programs provides in-depth insights into how the individuals approach social reality, using either quantitative methodology for investigating norms and values, or qualitative methodology for accessing the individuals interpretations of their life-world.

Our Study Plan

Our 2-year study plan is focused on training our students to conduct theory-orientated and methodologically rigorous empirical research in a comparative perspective. The first year is dedicated to acquiring advanced and applied knowledge in statistical data analysis as well as in methods of analyzing textual, such as interviews or policies. At the same time, students get educated in comparative sociology, in issues of social inequality and welfare, and in a wide variety of topics which they can choose from according to their interests, such as, for example, social networks, migration processes, care and body practices, or mass communication.

The second year is fully dedicated to exercising research work. Our students will undertake a research internship at one of our many partner institutions in Russia or abroad. They will collect their data and conduct their analysis for their MA thesis under the supervision of international experts, which are involved in our program through close relations to West-European partner institutions and to the International Laboratory of Comparative Social Research here at the Higher School of Economics.

The second year also provides the opportunity to enter one of our two Double-Degree-Tracks. During the third (and voluntary also the fourth) semester participating students study either in the MA program “East European Studies” at Freie Universität Berlin or in the Sociology Master at the École des Hautes Étude en Science Sociales in Paris and get the respective diploma after having defended their English MA thesis in co-supervision by HSE and EHESS professors. 

Our program is entirely taught in English. The teaching staff comprises of lecturers from all over the world. They either work at HSE or are invited research fellows from your partner universities. Our students benefit greatly from discussions with these international experts and their advice on coursework and MA thesis. Our international lecturers bring about a global atmosphere of learning, which is highly demanding and participatory at the same time.

Our Students

Our students come from a variety of disciplinary background, such as sociology, political science, anthropology, economics, and history. They come from a great variety of cultural backgrounds, e.g. from India, the USA, Pakistan, Chile, Latvia, and, of course, Russia.

Professional Perspectives

Since our program is strongly research orientated, it prepares students to pursue an academic career in social science. Our graduates are well-prepared to enter a PhD-program in Western Europe or the US, or stay at HSE to do so.

But our graduates are in general experts in the field of applied research analysis, which equips them excellently to have a work for international organizations and companies, or in think tanks and other institutions providing research results for policy development.

Why Studying in Russia and HSE?

'Comparative sociology requires to come out of your comfort zone and see the world from new and different angles. You have to learn to look beyond your own nose and expand your horizon. Russia and in particular Moscow is a great place to do so, where a immensely rich culture and history meet a great variety of ethnical and social groups exposed to serious social and political challenges.', Christian Fröhlich