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Regular version of the site

Patience and a Positive Attitude — Essential for Adapting to Life in Moscow

Originally from Ontario in Canada, Jesse Campbell has been Assistant Professor at the School of Public Administration since the fall 2014. HSE English News asked him to look back over his first year in Moscow and share his impressions.

— How did your first year in the HSE go?

— My first year went well. I taught a 3rd year seminar and was impressed by the quality of my students and their engagement with the course material. Of course, it has taken time to integrate meaningfully into my department, but my general impression is that things are improving. It has been a positive experience overall.

— What have been your research interests and achievements for this year?

— My current research focuses mostly on motivation and behavior in public organizations. In terms of publications, I've recently had a fifth journal article accepted which identifies the HSE as my home institution.

— What was difficult and what have you enjoyed about working and living in Moscow?

— Moscow is a wonderful city. The city's attractions — its art, architecture, culture, etc. — continue to fascinate after a year. Moscow also has a lot of green space that is especially nice in the warmer months.

— How did you cope with the Russian language? Have you been trying to learn it? Can you find your way around the city and buy whatever you want in a store? Do you have any favorite places in the city?

— Learning the Cyrillic alphabet and some basic Russian vocabulary is very useful for traveling around the city and shopping. Luckily, this is not so difficult, especially with the many resources available online. In general, living abroad presents challenges, but, viewed in a certain way, these can also be opportunities for small, satisfying victories.

— What would you recommend other international professionals before they come to work at HSE Moscow?

— Everyone's experience will be unique, but having some patience and keeping a positive attitude can go a long way during the transition period. I think that the HSE has taken on ambitious goals with regard to internationalization and competitiveness. There has been a lot of progress, but, as is to be expected, the level of progress has not been uniform in all areas. As such, new international professors (and students) are likely to encounter some obstacles in the process of settling in. That being said, the HSE's management has tried to demonstrate the school's commitment to its international staff. Such gestures are appreciated especially in times of uncertainty.

Anna Chernyakhovskaya, specially for HSE News service 

See also:

We Demand It! Make it Happen. Help! Examining Population and Power through the Lens of Online Petitions

Over 40% of online petitions started by residents of central Russia get results. In the Far East, this is the case with only 2% of online petitions, while in the regions of the North Caucasus it is even less. Nadezhda Radina and Daria Krupnaya studied the willingness of authorities and businesses to respond to citizens’ digital activism based on data from the Change.org platform. Their research will appear in a forthcoming article in an upcoming issue of the journal, POLIS. Political Studies.

Scientists Learned to Predict Public Corruption with Neural Networks

Scientists from Higher School of Economics (HSE) and University of Valladolid have developed a neural network prediction model of corruption based on economic and political factors. The results of the research were published in Social Indicators Research.

What Civil Servants Want

In Russia, the job of a public official is one of the least transparent to the public: more than 50% of Russians assume that 'people in power' are concerned only with their own material wellbeing and careers. Yet the civil servants' own perspectives on the meaning and priorities of their occupation are vastly different from these popular assumptions.

Monthly Public Administration Discussion to Focus on a Stress Test for Public Finances

On October 10, the HSE School of Public Administration hosted its monthly discussion series. This month’s event is entitled ‘Stress Test for Public Finances – Policy-Responses to the Financial and Economic Crisis in the OECD’ and was led by Prof. Dr. Uwe Wagschal of the University of Freiburg (Germany). Professor Wagschal's talk focused on the consequences of massive monetary and fiscal stimulus for the public purse and will compare the fiscal packages in 28 OECD-countries aimed at combating an economic downturn following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.

‘Living and Working in Moscow Broadens a Person’s Intellectual Scope’

Dr. Tim Jaekel, Assistant Professor at the School of Public Administration at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, holds a PhD in Political Science from Heidelberg University. Before joining HSE in 2015, he served as a postdoctoral research fellow at the German Research Institute for Public Administration in Speyer and as a teaching fellow at the German University of Administrative Sciences.

School of Public Administration and Fulbright Programme Summer School

From June 7−12, 2015, the International Summer School on Sustainable Development of Urban Agglomerations took place as part of HSE’s cooperation with the Institute of International Education (Fulbright Programme). The summer school was organized by the HSE School of Public Administration together with the Fulbright Programme in Russia. This summer school was a continuation in a series of joint summer schools held with the Fulbright Programme (2012 and 2013) devoted to various aspects of theory and practice in sustainable development.

Imbalance between Responsibility and Control Slows the Economy Down

Contemporary Russia’s political system is becoming more and more similar to the Chinese one, while the Chinese economy is demonstrating stable growth and the Russian one is stagnating.  Andrey Yakovlev , Professor at the HSE Department of Theory and Practice of Public Administration, believes that the Chinese were able to effectively use the methods of governance they adopted from the USSR. His paper ‘Incentives in the System of Public Administration and the Economic Growth’ was presented at the conference ‘Challenges for Economic Policy in the New Environment’.

‘We are Starting the Cooperation on Equal Terms’

The Higher School of Economics and the University of Texas (USA) have recently been working on an agreement on cooperation in public administration. Alexey Barabashev, Dean of the HSE Faculty of Public Administration, told us about this process, as well as the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) Conference which took place in Washington.

‘Valentina Matvienko’s Second Term’, article by Daniil Tsygankov

Daniil Tsygankov, Assistant Professor at the HSE Faculty of Public Administration, has published an article on ‘Valentina Matvienko’s Second Term:From Ambitious Projects to Threats of Removal ’in the Russian Analytical Digest Newsletter.