Presentation of a new report “Soviet Nationalism in the Historical and Comparative Perspective»
The Laboratory for Comparative Social Research at the HSE Saint Petersburg opened the 2013 Fall seminar series today. Andrey Shcherbak, senior research fellow at LCSR presented a report on 'Soviet Nationalism in the Historical and Comparative Perspective'. He gave a short description of the major findings of his report to the HSE news service.
The late 1980s and early 1990s were characterized by a sudden rise of nationalist movements in almost all Soviet ethnic regions. It is argued that the rise of political nationalism since the late 1980s can be explained by the development of cultural nationalism in the previous decades, as an unintended outcome of the communist nationalities policy.
This is a study of Soviet political and cultural nationalism in a historical and comparative perspective. All ethnic regions are examined throughout the entire history of the Soviet Union (49 regions, 1917-91), using a structural equation modeling approach. With this paper, we aim to make at least three contributions in the field. Firstly, it is a methodological contribution for studying nationalism: a ‘quantification of history’ approach. Quantitative values are assigned to historical trends and events. Having constructed variables from historical data, I use conventional statistical methods like SEM.
Secondly, our research contributes to the theoretical debate about the role of cultural autonomy in multi-ethnic states. The results make us rethink the notion of ‘cultural autonomy’ as a solution to inter-ethnic conflict. Cultural nationalism matters, it indirectly reinforces political nationalism. In both cases making concessions in the cultural domain did not stop the growth of political nationalism in the late 1980-s. Finally, our work statistically proves that the break between early Soviet and Stalinist nationalities policy explains the entire Soviet nationalities policy. In fact, the late Soviet nationalities policy was inherited from Stalin’s time. This finding revealed in other studies now gets statistical evidence.
On April 10, Ronald Inglehart, founder of the World Values Survey and the Laboratory for Comparative Social Research, delivered an honorary lecture at the LCSR’s 9th international seminar held as part of HSE’s XX April Academic Conference. The lecture addressed the roots of authoritarianism, its relationship to other widely investigated phenomena and its empirical linkage with contemporary politics.
This year VTB is launching the Endowment for Comparative Social Research at HSE. The endowment will make it possible to invest 10-20 million roubles in research each year. The exact amount will depend on trust management of the endowment assets, implemented by VTB Capital Investment Management.
While being single or married does not usually make much difference in terms of life satisfaction for younger people, single individuals tend to feel less happy as they age, particularly at certain moments of their lives, and most single people experience a peak of unhappiness once they retire, according to Anna Shirokanova, Senior Research Fellow of the HSE Laboratory for Comparative Social Research in St. Petersburg.
About 40% of the Russian able-bodied population are employed in the informal sector of the economy. This is a competitive market economy. Subsistence production, distributed manufacturing, ‘garage production’, seasonal work and various cottage industries flourish in the Russian regions. The economies of many small cities feature strict specialization and developed cooperation, in the context of internal competition between families and clans. These are the findings of HSE professors Simon Kordonsky and Yury Pliusnin in their study ‘Social Structure of the Russian Provinces’.
Attitudes towards family and sexual norms vary widely across the former Soviet Union republics. At the country level, economic development and the level of religiosity both help to determine attitudes, while age plays an important role at the individual level. Middle-aged people tend to be more liberal than those who are older or younger, according to a study conducted by Sofia Lopatina, Veronica Kostenko, and Eduard Ponarin of the HSE's Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (LCSR) in St. Petersburg.
Followers of older, more established religions are less likely to commit suicide than adepts of newer faiths. Factors influencing the risk of suicide include a feeling of isolation from the majority and a belief in life after death, according to a study by Eduard Ponarin, Director of the HSE's Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (LCSR) in St. Petersburg, and Vassily Usenko, M.D., Ph.D., from Dnipropetrovsk.
On November 10-15, the IV International Conference ‘Cultural and Economic Changes in a Comparative Perspective’ took place in St. Petersburg. Organized by HSE’s Laboratory for Comparative Social Research, the conference has traditionally brought together Russian and foreign scholars working on issues of values, trust, social capital, corruption and inequality in a changing world, as well as the role of religion in political activity and other social issues in Russia and other countries.
A new English-taught master’s programme at the HSE, ‘International Master in Comparative Social Research’, will allow students to acquire the knowledge and skills that are in demand on the global market for social research. Applications are due by May 31, 2014.
The HSE is accepting applications to the International Master’s Programme in Comparative Social Research. The programme was developed by the Laboratory of Comparative Social Research in collaboration with the Faculty of Sociology. Eduard Ponarin, Director of the LCSR, shared his views on preparing modern analysts, and in which areas of global economy they could apply their skills and knowledge.
How can we measure the level of happiness or the prevalence of any beliefs in society? Young scientists have mastered advanced statistical methods used in social research during the third summer school of the HSE Laboratory for Comparative Social Research, which recently took place in Zelenogorsk.