12th ISTR Conference: HSE Researchers Presented Record Number of Papers
Delegation of HSE Centre for Studies of Civil Society and Non-Profit Sector
The 12th International Society for Third Sector Research (ISTR) Conference took place in Stockholm and was entitled ‘The Third Sector in Transition:Accountability, Transparency, and Social Inclusion’. The conference is held biannually and is a major academic event in its field.
ISTR is an organization committed to building a global community of scholars and interested others dedicated to the creation, discussion, and advancement of knowledge pertaining to the Third Sector and its impact on human and planetary well-being and its international development. Founded in 1992, the association promotes research and education in the fields of civil society, philanthropy, and the nonprofit sector, bringing together researchers and professional in various fields from 80 countries.
Over 600 people took part in the conference this year. Russia was represented by 26 participants, and 21 of them were from HSE, mostly from the HSE Centre for Studies of Civil Society and Non-Profit Sector, including the International Laboratory for Nonprofit Sector Studies. HSE’s delegation was the biggest among attending universities this year. The second biggest delegation was from Indiana University, USA, with 15 participants.
Non-profit organizations must really be non-profit
Lester Salamon, Academic Supervisor at the Laboratory for Nonprofit Sector Studies, presented two reports at conference panels. One of the panels was dedicated to measuring the international impact of volunteering. Lester Salamon was a discussant at the panel ‘Contemporary Issues in Russian Civil Society’, and an organizer and moderator at ‘Reconceptualizing the Third Sector: Towards a New Consensus’.
Lev Jakobson, Academic Supervisor at theCentre for Studies of Civil Society and Non-Profit Sector, was an organizer at the paper session ‘The Third Sector and the Welfare State’, and also presented two papers. One of them was on the expert community as an interface for communication between civil society and public authorities. The second was about the non-distribution constraint for non-profit organizations in Russia. The paper emphasized that such an essential feature of non-profit organizations as the non-distribution constraint, formalized both in Russian and international legislations, can be an important factor in promoting public trust in non-profit organizations.
|Lester Salamon with colleagues|
Paternalism or partnership?
The Centre staff organized two discussions as part of the conference. Stefan Toepler, Leading Research Fellow of the HSE InternationalLaboratory for Nonprofit Sector Studies, chaired the panel ‘Civil society in hybrid regimes: the case of NGOs in contemporary Russia’.
During this panel, two Laboratory researchers, Ulla Pape and Yulia Skokova, presented a paper based on a three-year empirical study, including 140 interviews with representatives of non-profit organizations, regional experts, and municipal authorities.
Alexander Zverev and Maria Myasnikova, research assistants at the Laboratory, presented a paper analyzing attitudes towards the state prevailing among non-profit organizations’ representatives in Russia. They express both paternalistic (dependent) and partnership attitudes (active independent position), as well as mixed attitudes. And attitudes among non-profit organizations largely depend on the regional policies. It was mentioned that the programme by the Ministry of Economic Development had clear criteria (social coverage, welfare receivers coverage, attracting internal funds etc) and promoted the partner type of relations, but the regional implementations of the programme differ depending on which executive body is responsible for its realization.
Irina Krasnopolskaya, researcher at the international laboratory, and Irina Mersiyanova, Director of the Centre for Studies of Civil Society and Non-Profit Sector, spoke at the panel ‘Contemporary Issues in Russian Civil Society’ organized by Christian Fröhlich, Academic Supervisor at the Comparative Social Research programme. Their paper ‘The impact of governmental support on the nonprofit sector development in Russian regions’ was based on research carried out by the international laboratory and the Russian civil society monitoring study which has been carried out by the Centre since 2006.
Lester Salamon commented on the presentation that the contribution from the state support programme, which was generally well organized, was limited by institutional conditions and the specifics of procedure.
Civil activity weakens the willingness to emigrate
Natalia Invanova, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre, presented a paper co-authored with Irina Mersiyanova and Elena Vakulenko, Senior Research Fellow at the HSE Laboratory for Macro-Structural Modeling of the Russian Economy. The topic of the paper was ‘Civic Engagement and Emigration Intentions of Russian Citizens’.
According to the paper’s authors, the effective use of institutional channels for civil engagement will mobilize Russians’ civil potential to improve living standards and will prevent emigration intentions from becoming action.
What hinders the development of cross-sectoral partnership
Vladimir Benevolenski, Leading Research Fellow at the Laboratory, spoke on ‘Nonprofits in post-communist welfare systems: doomed to remain a “boutique operation”?’ The audience learned that the factors hindering cross-sectoral partnership in the social sphere include poor public trust in non-profit organizations and their professionalism, as well as a lack of efficient mechanisms to attract specialized non-profit organizations to participate in formulating the state social policy agenda.
Further analysis of interaction between the state and non-profit organizations in Russia was presented in a joint paper by Vladimir Benevolenski and Stefan Toepler on ‘Government Dependency: Issues, Causes, and an Application to the Russian Case’. Stefan Toepler told the audience about various aspects of interaction between the state authorities and private funds in the U.S., as well as with organizations for people with disabilities in Russia.
|Irina Krasnopolskaya and Meri Kulmala|
Female executives improve innovation in non-profit organizations
Gulnara Minnigaleeva, research fellow at the Centre, presented a paper ‘Innovations and management in nonprofit organizations in Russia’, in which she presented factors influencing the innovativeness of the organization as a whole and in certain operations. Interestingly, the factor of resources for implementing the innovations makes the most positive impact.
The data on the personality of top executives brought some surprising results. For example, female gender of the executive positively influences the level of innovation, higher education influences negatively, and an academic degree influences positively.
Irina Korneeva, research fellow at the Centre, spoke on ‘Determinants of older persons’ participation in monetary donations: Case of Russia’.
In addition to discussions of academic issues, the academic exchange of experience with international colleagues was also an essential part of the conference. International researchers who participated in the HSE April Conference also took part in the panels, such as Meri Kulmala (Finland), Eleanor Bindman (Great Britain), Sergey Lubovnikov (Great Britain), and others. These intensive discussions were a sign that HSE is becoming a centre of attraction for civil society and non-profit sector researchers from all over the world.
It’s worth noting that the Centre for Studies of Civil Society and Non-Profit Sector headed by Irina Mersiyanova has been implementing the Programme promoting the professional community of civil society researchers in post-Soviet states since 2008. At the initiative of Christian Fröhlich, Academic Supervisor at the HSEComparative Social Research programme, a regional researcher network in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as post-Soviet states has been created. Its organizing committee includes Gulnara Minnigaleeva and Stefan Toepler.
On October 2-4, HSE University hosted the international conference Trends in Logic 19. Current Issues in Philosophical Logic for the first time in Russia. The conference, which attracted a number of prominent Russian and international scholars, was organized jointly by the journal Studia Logica and the HSE International Laboratory for Logic, Linguistics and Formal Philosophy.
The Second Russia-China Education Research Conference – Digital Transformation of Education and Artificial Intelligence – was held last week at HSE University. Researchers from the two countries discussed changes taking place in the national education systems thanks to the digital revolution, as well as what can be borrowed from mutual experiences.
Economists and Researchers Gather at International Conference on Wealth and Income in Eastern Europe and CIS Countries
On September 17-18, HSE University hosted a special conference with the International Association for Research in Income and Wealth (IARIW) on the topic of Experiences and Challenges in Measuring Income and Wealth in Eastern Europe and CIS Countries. This was the first IARIW conference to be held in a CIS country. HSE News Service spoke with American economist Barbara Fraumeni about her work with economic accounting and human capital and her experience attending the conference in Moscow.
The ninth annual international conference The Future of Education, held in Florence, Italy, brought together over 200 education researchers and professionals from 48 countries. Undergraduate students from HSE University were the only undergraduate students at the conference to present a paper.
On June 3-4, a conference entitled ‘Beyond Post-Truth: Media Landscapes in the “Age of Insecurity”’ was held in St. Petersburg. The conference was jointly organized by the Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities (IGITI) at HSE University, the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe at GWZO Leipzig, the Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies at the University of Erfurt, and Justus Liebig University Giessen.
Professor Bjørn Stensaker, who teaches in the Department of Education at the University of Oslo, will be the plenary speaker at the 8th International Conference on Higher Education Research organized by the Russian Association of Higher Education Researchers in Moscow. The conference is due to take place October 19-21. In a recent interview with the HSE News Service, Professor Stensaker spoke about his latest research and the trends he sees in higher education, including the growing role of technology.
At the end of November, HSE School of Linguistics hosted the Uslar Conference — an international event for scholars studying the Caucasian languages. Participants and organizers have shared their impressions with HSE News.
How are students and graduates adjusting and adapting to the realities in their educational and career trajectories? What role does culture play in the sociology of education? How are attitudes towards higher education changing? These are just some of the many questions being addressed over the course a two-day conference entitled ‘Cultural Sociology and Education: Meanings, Choices and Trajectories’ that is being held on December 1-2 at the HSE Institute of Education in Moscow. HSE News Service has spoken to two conference participants, James Hurlbert of Yale University and Amy Binder from University of California, San Diego.
From October 20-22, 2016, the Russian Association of Higher Education Researchers held its 7th International Conference ‘University between Global Challenges and Local Commitments’ at HSE Moscow. This annual event brings together researchers and educators who are interested in higher education development to discuss challenges and goals facing universities and their stakeholders (students, faculty, administrators, graduates etc.).
On October 20-22, 2016, the Russian Association of Higher Education Researchers will hold its 7th International Conference in Moscow. This annual event brings together researchers and educators who are interested in higher education development in a forum to discuss challenges and goals facing universities and their stakeholders (students, faculty, administrators, graduates etc.).