Baltic Practice 2014: ‘Europe in Russia: Business, Culture, Values’
From June 28 to July 5, the ‘Baltic Practice 2014’ summer school will take place in Zelenogorsk near St. Petersburg. The school’s topic this year is ‘Europe in Russia: Business, Culture, Values’. The aim of the event is to address the cultural, social and ideological constructs that were created in cooperation with Europe and have become an integral part of Russian culture and identity. According to Nina Belyaeva, academic director of the school, these issues form an important part of the discourse on Russia’s place in Europe.
The school serves as an international interdisciplinary research platform that brings together students, instructors and experts for intensive professional interaction in an environment where all participants are treated as equals. School organizers emphasize that this informal atmosphere helps to generate ideas and organize research work in a creative way. Belyaeva adds that the school’s international experts are also HSE partners who lecture at the university and who can supervise students’ research work after the school ends.
Although the ‘Baltic Practice’ has been in place since 2001, the school’s aims have changed over the years. The first schools focused on interdisciplinary work and applied projects for local and regional decision-makers. The school was later held in other European countries and was transformed into a foreign research project.
In 2013, the school returned to Russia, although it continued to focus on building international and interdisciplinary research teams that can continue their studies throughout the year.
This year will feature participants from Russia, Palestine, Ukraine, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, Germany, and the Netherlands. According to Dmitry Zaytsev, the head of the working group ‘Drivers of Democratic Change in Europe and Russia : Values and Actors’ the HSE’s international students will also participate in the project, which helps them in adjusting to research and educational life in Russia. Working groups will discuss drivers of democratic change in Europe and Russia, human rights education beyond Europe, national cultures and multiculturalism, how public dialogue is framed, and numerous other topics.
The school is designed for upper-level Bachelor’s and Master’s students, as well as postgraduate students specializing in law, cultural studies, media communications, and public policy. As an academic retreat offering immersion into research work, the school engages students through discussions and offers training in presentation skills that can be demonstrated during public debates in working groups and other settings.
The Baltic Practice International Summer School, held by the HSE Public Policy Department, has celebrated its 15th anniversary. Its organizers and participants recently spoke about what’s most important for people to know about the Baltic Practice, and about why, after 15 years, the school is changing direction.
From October 1st to 9th 2011, the autumn school, ‘Contemporary public policy and governance in Russia and the European Union’, took place at the HSE. The school was organized by the all-university Department of Public Policy and the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy at the University of Erfurt, Germany.
‘Russia and the Council of Europe: Topics for a Common Agenda’ is a collection of analytical papers based on the results of the 10th session of the International Center of Russian-European Studies ‘Baltic Practice’. This was an event which took place in Oslo (Norway), organised by the University of Oslo with the support of the Wergeland Center (European Resource Center on Education for Intercultural Understanding, Human Rights and Democratic Citizenship).
On August 1st at the Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, the XI International summer research school Baltic Practice began. This is an annual event organized by the HSE Department of Public Policy. Nina Belyaeva, Academic Supervisor of the school and Head of the Department of Public Policy, told us about the schedule of the practice and the new areas of research which are being carried out as part of it.