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Regular version of the site

XIV April Conference: Preliminary Programme

From April 2 – 5 the HSE, with the support of the World Bank and IMF will be holding the XIV April International Conference on Economic and Social Development. Andrey Yakovlev, deputy head of the committee, told us about the preliminary programme of the forum.

— Dr. Yakovlev, do you know yet how many participants the conference will attract this year?

— This year we have received 849 applications. It’s fewer than last year - then we had 881. But at the same time, I believe that the quality of papers has improved considerably. At the programme committee we discussed the necessity to toughen the selection criteria. Nevertheless, it turned out that we have accepted even more papers than last year, 549 compared to 515. One of the indicators of the improving quality is a considerable increase in applications and papers from international participants. While a year ago international colleagues presented about 20% of papers, now their share is over 25%. I’d also like to mention the growing geography of the conference. Representatives from 45 countries will participate, including former USSR republics (as compared with 34 countries last year). Leading countries by the number of accepted papers are Italy (15 papers), Great Britain (15 papers), Germany (13 papers), and the USA (11 papers). Colleagues from the FSU countries Ukraine, Belorussia, and Georgia will also speak at the event.

— How would you explain this growing interest in the conference this year among international guests?

— Actually, both Germany and the USA are traditionally widely represented at our annual conferences. And the fact that this year there will be many speakers from Italy and Great Britain, could be related to some international events that we are organizing as part of the conference. They include the EACES workshop on public procurement. It is organized by the HSE together with the European Association for Comparative Economic Studies (EACES), and is mainly targeted at doctoral and postgraduate students. But some well-known researchers in the area will also speak at the workshop, such as one of our honorary speakers, Pablo T. Spiller (University of California, Berkeley).

We are also organizing a special seminar with the SEARCH project - Sharing KnowledgE Assets: InteRegionally Cohesive NeigHborhoods. This project is implemented as part of the EU’s 7th framework programme and includes 17 universities from different European countries. The project is focused on complex analysis of interaction mechanisms between EU countries and their members, including mutual trade and capital flow, migration streams, technology exchange, and the creation of a joint system of values. Four HSE departments take an active part are actively involved in the SEARCH project, the Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge, the Institute for Industrial and Market Studies, the Institute of Demography, and the Laboratory for Socio-Cultural Research.

— Has the preliminary list of participants of for the conference plenary sessions already been drawn up?

— Yes, it has. The plenary session will, as usual, be dedicated to the special topics of the conference. There are two of them, ‘Global Economic Crisis and Russian Economy’ and ‘Institutions and New Social Policy’. We’ve invited leaders of economic departments from the Government and Presidential Administration to participate in the first plenary session, which will take place on April 2. They are Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, Elvira Nabiullina, Assistant to the Russian President, and Andrey Belousov, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

The second plenary session will take place on April 3 and will be dedicated to the problems of new social policy and human capital development. We have invited Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, and Dmitry Livanov, Minister of Education and Science to talk on these matters. Speaking of international guests, Philippe C. Schmitter, Emeritus professor at the European University Institute in Florence, a ‘live classic’ in democratization studies, and Ángel Gurría, secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), have confirmed their participation.

— What other key speakers can you name?

— We are planning an honorary lecture by Maxim Nikitin, Professor at HSE ICEF, an expert on the problems of financial economics, and an honorary lecture by Irina Starodubrovskaya from the Gaidar Institute of Economic Policy. By the way, last year Irina received a medal from the Association of Independent Centers for Economic Analysis. I’d also like to mention the lecture by Ronald F. Inglehart, Professor at the University of Michigan. Unfortunately, he will not be able to come, although he was very willing to, and that’s why this lecture will be broadcasted via video conference. The list of honorary reports and public lectures will be available in the programme, and it will be further enlarged.

— Will there be many papers presented by the HSE experts?

— We have an introduced a strict limit on the application stage for papers by HSE teams: not more than 2 papers in one session. Since the April Conference is an international one, and a leading event in Russia, this should be mainly an open platform for different participants. But the problem is that in some areas (such as political science and educational studies) as part of individual applications’ selection, there turned out to be more accepted papers from the HSE, than from other institutions. As a result, we’ve come to a compromise: we are organizing a separate, additional section entitled ‘Special seminars representing the results of HSE research’. It will take place on April 5. The sessions will include such areas as studies of political processes, socio-cultural processes, development of education, and media communication analysis.

— What other interesting points in the conference programme can you mention?

— This year we have organized special sessions and roundtable discussion as a separate section. It represents some interesting topics. Particularly, one of the roundtables has been organized jointly by the HSE and the Association of Independent Centers for Economic Analysis. It will be dedicated to the methodology of research and measurements of the investment climate. In 2011-2012 there were some large projects to evaluate the investment climate in the Russian regions. One of them (Doing Business in Russia) was carried out by HSE experts, another one (a regional study by BEEPS methodology) was implemented by experts from the New Economic School, but the final rankings are very different, and we want to examine why that is the case.

Anastasia Chumak, HSE News Service


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