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Regular version of the site

From Reading Pushkin to Investigating Russian Business-state Relations

Yuko Adachi, Associate Professor at Sophia University (Tokyo, Japan), is currently a visiting researcher at HSE. Her book ‘Building Big Business in Russia’ published in 2010 explains the privatization and transformation of Russia into a market economy. We asked her to tell us about her interest in Russia for the HSE News service.

— Why have you been interested in Russia?

— As you can see from the title of the book, my research interest has been in the area of the Russian economy and business, which has gone through tremendous transformation since the onset of market reforms. Originally, however, my interest in Russia goes back to my high school years, when I heard a poetry reading – it was Pushkin’s poems – in the Russian language. Though I could hardly understand anything then, it was so beautiful that I decided to study the language in college. Since that time, Russia continues to be a fascinating country for me as a researcher.

— What are your plans for your current visit to HSE?

— I am currently working on a project that looks into the business-state relationship in Russia since the year 2000, focusing on developments in the natural resources sector of the Russian economy. During my stay in Moscow, I would like to collect additional data and information, and conduct some interviews.

— How could you evaluate the partnership with HSE?

— I truly appreciate the cooperation and partnership with HSE. The school has such highly qualified, well-established scholars and specialists. I feel fortunate to be able to have this research opportunity at HSE with IIMS, and I am particularly grateful to Andrei Aleksandrovich Yakovlev, the director of IIMS, and to Tatiana Grigorievna Dolgopiatova, who has helped me with my research from the time when I was still a graduate student.

— How did your cooperation with HSE begin?

— When I was doing my PhD at the University of London, I spent a couple of months in Moscow, researching informal practices in Russia and Russia’s corporate governance. During that period, I received valuable advice and greatly benefited from discussions on my research with scholars at HSE, in particular Vadim Valerievich Radaev and Tatiana Grigorievna as I mentioned above. So, in a way, cooperation with HSE goes way back – about 10 years.

— What peculiarities do investigating Russian business and economics have, compared with that in Japan, the USA or European countries?

— Russia has undergone a systemic transformation over the years since the onset of market-oriented reform in the early 1990s, and when investigating Russian economy and business, I think it is crucial to take into account Russia’s Soviet past and legacy, and the fact that Russia’s systemic change has taken place under the circumstances of an increasingly globalizing world.

— How do you estimate prospects of partnership in big business between Russia and Japan?

— I think that there is a growing interest in Russia from the Japanese business community. Despite the well known issues with the investment climate among others, there is an increasing number of Japanese manufacturing companies operating in Russia, in St Petersburg, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Yaroslavl, Kaluga, Lipetsk, etc. Also there are partnerships in the energy sector between Japanese and Russian businesses. As you probably know, the Prime Minister will visit Russia at the end of April, making it the first official visit to Russia in 10 years by a Japanese premier. It will be important to follow and evaluate how the prospects of partnership could further develop.

— What's the most exciting part of being in Moscow for you?

— I have some very good friends in Moscow, and it is always very nice to spend some time with them. From the research perspective, it may sound strange but just being here does make a difference. Reading a newspaper article about, say, Russian oil companies here in Moscow gives you additional value, as it were, which would not be available in Tokyo.

— Do you follow Russian literature? If yes, what do you read and what do you like?

— At the moment, unfortunately I do not really follow Russian literature. When I was studying Russian as an undergraduate, my favorites included such works as ‘The Master and Margarita’, ‘A Hero of Our Time’, and ‘We’. By the way, although it is not about Russian literature, have you heard of or watched ‘Dersu Uzala’, a Russian-Japanese film directed by Akira Kurosawa based on Arsenyev’s memoir? If not, please do!

Interview by Victoria Nossik and Anna Chernyakhovskaya for HSE News Service

See also:

HSE University Brings Major Conference in Philosophical Logic to Russia for the First Time

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.

HSE Celebrates 25 Years of Educational Partnerships with the Netherlands

On October 2 and 3, HSE University simultaneously celebrated two anniversaries of Russian-Dutch academic cooperation: the 25th anniversary of joint educational programmes between HSE University and Erasmus University Rotterdam, and the 10th anniversary of the Dutch educational center, Nuffic Neso Russia, with which HSE has a long-standing partnership.

Russian and Chinese Education Systems Changing through the Influence of Digital Technology

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.

HSE University and University of Bergen Sign Cooperation Agreement

The agreement provides for academic and cultural cooperation between the universities, student exchange, and joint research. HSE University and the University of Bergen have been partners in educational initiatives for eight years. The partnership began when the HSE Faculty of Law signed an agreement with the Norwegian university.

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.

HSE University and Italian Embassy Sign Agreement on Internships for Italian Students

On September 20, HSE University Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Italian Republic Pasquale Terracciano signed a cooperation agreement between the Embassy of Italy and HSE University.

Upcoming Neuroeconomics Symposium Aims to Share New Research and Build International Collaboration

On September 23-24, the CCCP19 Symposium ‘Cognition, Computation, Neuroeconomics and Performance’ will be held at HSE University. The goal of the symposium is to exhibit cutting edge research at the CCDM, a leading cognitive neuroscience research centre in Russia, and LNC2, a leading European research centre in neuroeconomics, cognitive neuroscience and neural theory. Ahead of CCCP19, the HSE News Service spoke with the conference organizer and several invited speakers about the plan for this symposium and the importance of their research in the field.


proposals for new international laboratories at HSE University have been received from researchers from Belgium, the UK, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Italy, Canada, Norway, the USA, Estonia, and Japan.

Continuing Last Year’s Success at the Upcoming Conference in Applied Economics

The Second ICEF Conference in Applied Economics will be held at HSE University on September 14. The HSE News service spoke with organizers and participants about the upcoming full-day event, which features eight papers presented by renowned specialists from Russia and across Europe and concludes with an evening dinner.

Winners of the II International Economics Olympiad Announced in St. Petersburg

On July 31, the II International Economics Olympiad (IEO) for high school students came to a close in Saint Petersburg. In the team competition, the Brazilian team won the gold medal, while teams from China won silver and bronze. One of Russian teams placed fifth.