HSE Sociologists in Europe
The conference ESA 2013 – Crisis, Critique and Change took place in Turin, in Italy at the end of August 2013. It was organized jointly by the ESA and the Turin University Department of Culture, Politics and Society. Three papers from the Laboratory for Sociology Education and Science at HSE Saint Petersburg Campus were presented at the conference.
The first was Technical College as a Low-Risk Strategy in the Face of Economic Uncertainty by Ksenia Tenisheva, Daniel Alexandrov and Svetlana Savelieva. Their research looks at the choices made by school leavers and their families in various social groups about the route to take to work or university which would guarantee the least risk of status loss, and increase chances of upward mobility.
Alexey Gorgadze and Daniel Alexandrov gave a paper on Migration, Ethnicity and Identity Politics on Social Network Sites in the former Soviet Union. They researched how young people from ethnic groups of the former Soviet republics living in Russia use social network friendship groups to develop their identity as part of a diaspora and maintain unity of their ethnic groups virtually and in reality.
The third paper was on Sociometric Popularity in the School Context by Vera Titkova,Valeria Ivaniushina and Daniel Alexandrov. They investigated what determines school children’s attitudes to learning and achievement. Looking at schools in St Petersburg they found that attitudes to school are formed more strongly by friendship groups and family than by the schools themselves.
Cultural Evolution, a new book by Ronald Inglehart, American sociologist, professor at the University of Michigan and academic supervisor of the HSE Laboratory for Comparative Social Research, is currently being prepared for publication in Russia. Russian readers will be the first to read the prominent scholar's book, as its Russian translation will come out before the American original. The Russian translation of the book has been prepared by the Liberal Mission Foundation and the LCSR.
On Tuesday, May 23, William Reisinger, Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa, will deliver a seminar at the HSE School of Political Science entitled ‘The Impact of Petty Corruption on Political Support in Post-Soviet Societies’. Ahead of his seminar, Professor Reisinger spoke with the HSE News Service about the topic of his research, how his impressions of Russia and the post-Soviet world have changed since he began visiting the region, and the changing interest in Russia that he has observed among Western students over the past several decades.
On May 17, Dr Jorge Emilio Nunez, a Senior Lecturer at Manchester Law School (UK), delivered a lecture at HSE on the themes from his latest book, ‘Sovereignty Conflicts and International Law and Politics’ (Routledge 2017). While addressing members of the HSE community, he explored a solution of egalitarian shared sovereignty, evaluating what sorts of institutions and arrangements could, and would, best realize shared sovereignty, and how it might be applied to territory, population, government and law.
Better nutrition can have a lot to do with the transition to democracy: the more protein-rich, high-quality foods appear in a society's diet, the higher the likelihood of democratic reforms. Apparently, a richer diet is associated with an increase in the middle class, which tends towards economic and political independence and democracy-fostering values. Andrey Shcherbak has found, based on a cross-country comparative study using data on 157 countries, that a change in people's eating habits can serve as a predictor of impending political change. His findings are published in the paper 'A Recipe for the Democracy? The Spread of the European Diet and Political Change'.
EU MPs are increasingly negative on Russia, and their positions are largely defined by their national interests – rather than by their ideological affiliation to any particular political grouping in the European parliament. The researchers believe that this indicates that national interests trump ideological stance for EU MPs. Their research was presented in the article: National or European Politicians? Gauging MEPs Polarity when Russia is Concerned.
From October 5 to 11, the Summer School of the International Laboratory of Decision Choice and Analysis was held at the Higher School of Economics, where Professor Allan Drazen (Department of Economics, University of Maryland, USA) served as the speaker. In a recent interview, he spoke not only about the importance of legislative politics in modern democracies but also about why he was struck by HSE students, why gut instincts are so important, and why theory is more important than practice.
On Tuesday, May 26, Franziska Keller, Ph.D. candidate at New York University and visiting researcher of the HSE International Centre for the Study of Institutions and Development, presented a report called ‘Shaking hands in public. What elite co-appearances tell us about the politics behind the scenes’. This seminar marks the 9th joint Research Seminar on Diversity and Development hosted by the International Centre for the Study of Institutions and Development and NES Centre for the Study of Diversity and Social Interactions.
Building the Largest Database on Sustainable Development and Conflict Transformation to Make the World More Peaceful and Just
On 20th May 2015 Dr Michael Minch, Professor of Philosophy at Utah Valley University, gave an open lecture at HSE Nizhny Novgorod. A specialist with a unique combination of interests ranging from theological ethics to politics, Professor Minch brings together what at first glance appear to be irreconcilable — politics and ethics.
Even today, ages-old folk culture can serve as a basis for collective identity by bringing together people who share this interest and underlying values, as evidenced by Russia's folk heritage movement. According to Rostislav Kononenko, Senior Lecturer at the HSE's Department of General Sociology, and Evgenia Karpova, Master's student at the HSE, the folk heritage movement in Russia is driven by urban intellectuals working to preserve and promote authentic folk culture.
On 12 January, Chares Demetriou presented his book The Dynamics of Radicalization: A Relational and Comparative Perspective at a seminar of the Laboratory for Economic-Sociological Research. His main research interests are in issues of legitimacy and political violence, social movements and nationalism. In his lecture, Demetriou presented new ways of analysing the radicalisation of political groups.