‘Consolidation Will Create New Opportunities for Research and Education’
In recent years, HSE has undergone a number of structural transformations as part of the university development programme. These transformations have included consolidation of university divisions and have been aimed at strengthening a multidisciplinary approach to research and educational programmes, as well as consolidation of education, research and development.
As part of these transformations, at a meeting on April 26, 2019, members of HSE Academic Council decided to establish the School of Politics and Governance as part of the HSE Faculty of Social Sciences. Starting September 2, 2019, the new School will consolidate the current School of Political Science and the School of Public Administration.
Under the HSE Faculty of Social Sciences, the new joint school will also work together with two research institutes — the Institute for Applied Political Studies (established in 2019) and the Institute for Public Administration and Governance – which became affiliated units of the Faculty of Social Sciences. This decision, like the previous ones, also follows from recommendations made by the International Council of the 5-100 Project on developing multidisciplinary educational and research programmes and projects, as well as from the joint commitment to develop areas that are important for the university.
Because both political science and public administration feature strong staff and international recognition, they play an important role in HSE University’s development. In particular, activity by the staff of the School of Political Science (and their colleagues from other departments) contributed to HSE’s placement in the top 100 universities in the QS Politics & International Studies Subject Ranking over the past three years; for the last two years, the school has ranked first among Russian universities. In 2018, HSE entered the top 200 of the ARWU Political Science ranking for the first time, demonstrating the best result among Russian universities. Following the results of the international accreditation a year ago, our political science programmes were assessed as being ‘fully compliant with international standards.’
Prospective students with top academic performance apply to our political science programmes, which are undergoing dynamic development. Students learn modern theories and methods, primarily quantitative, but also qualitative, actively participate in academic and applied projects, and apply for PhD programmes of the world's leading universities.
While we have many things to be proud of, we always strive for more, looking for opportunities to integrate research and education in the related areas of political science and public administration
After a series of consultations, the HSE Academic Council therefore proposed the establishment of a joint unit aimed at fostering multidisciplinary development of political science and public administration. In making its decision, the Academic Council relied on international experience. Many leading universities, such as the London school of Economics and Political Science, Harvard University, Georgetown University, and Cornell University feature joint departments of politics and public administration (Department of Politics and Government, etc).
Above all, this decision will lead to the creation of new incentives and focus areas to develop political science and public administration research at HSE, which will also result in interdisciplinary synergy. Consolidation will create new opportunities for research and education, including greater mutual integration of these areas. The development of political science in our university can also help in solving a number of challenges that have built up in field of public administration.
We will work on creating multidisciplinary research groups that focus on big projects involving international scholars. In the future, the faculty may establish new international laboratories and joint master's programmes. New funding will of course be required for research activity. At the same time, political science at HSE, integrated into the global political science discipline, should be well positioned not only maintain but also advance its leadership in Russia.
The staff of the new joint school, the Institute for Applied Political Studies and the Institute for Public Administration and Governance at the Faculty of Social Sciences will collaborate with other departments in the faculty on a new strategy aimed at developing globally competitive research and quality education in joint areas, updating and expanding programmes’ academic councils, and supporting their work, credibility and efficiency. In particular, we plan to create an International Advisory Council that will include leading representatives in Politics and Government.
In conclusion, I want to repeat the comment I made at the HSE Academic Council meeting when we agreed to merge the two schools, and which I posted on my Facebook page: As long as I am alive and work at HSE, I will do everything I can to maintain and strengthen political science at our university.
‘State capacity’ refers to a state’s ability to make and effectively implement decisions in domestic and foreign policy. In a study, HSE University political scientists evaluated the state capacity of 142 countries. Based on their findings, the researchers created and trialed a state capacity index, identified eight models of state capacity, and compiled a general international ranking.
In September 2019, the School of Political Science and the School of Public Administration at the Faculty of Social Sciences will merge into the School of Politics and Governance. The opening of the newly unified school will bring big changes to the structure and contents of educational programmes.
While much of the focus on politics and global affairs over the past several decades has been on democratization, the most striking thing about this period has been the survival and spread of authoritarian regimes, argues Graeme Gill, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. Professor Gill is one of the presenters at the upcoming XX April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development, scheduled this year for April 9-12 at the Higher School of Economics.
More than twenty years after the collapse of the socialist bloc, virtually none of the post-communist countries have attained the level of socioeconomic development characteristic of advanced democracies. Likewise, none of the post-communist countries have emerged as successful autocracies with high-quality public institutions, such as those found in Singapore or Oman. Professor Andrei Melville, Dean of the HSE Faculty of Social Sciences, and Mikhail Mironyuk, Associate Professor of the HSE School of Political Science, examine possible reasons why it is so.
In San Francisco, the 111th annual meeting of the American Political Science Association (APSA) – one of the largest international conferences in the field of political science – recently took place. Scholars from HSE presented their research on forum panels such as ‘Fiscal Politics in Federal Systems’, ‘Social Policy in Non-democracies: Dynamics of Social Policy Debates in Russia’, ‘Incumbents and Elections in Developing Countries’, and ‘Power in 21st Century World Politics’.
Students of the international Master’s programme in Comparative Social Research, which opened in 2014, spent their first semester studying at the Moscow campus of the Higher School of Economics; the second semester was spent in St. Petersburg. Another six months will be devoted to study abroad. Mobility in the educational process is an important principle of the programme that allows future sociologists to better understand social reality. The English-language programme turned out to of interest not only to Russian students, but also to graduates of prestigious foreign universities.
Andrei Melville, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, reflects on the direction of political science today.
Dr. Dina Balalaeva, who will begin a tenure-track position at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the HSE in September, recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the HSE. She received her PhD in Political Science at the State University of New York at Binghamton in 2013. She agreed to speak with the HSE news service about her decision to make her career at the HSE and her plans for future research and teaching.