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Young Political Scientists from the HSE Take Part in Organizing Conference in Austria

A young scientists’ conference organized by the European Consortium for Political Research recently took place at the University of Innsbruck (Austria). Students of the HSE Institute of Education’s Master’s programme on Contemporary Political Conflicts organized a session called ‘Political Power & Foreign Policy Analysis’.

‘The European Consortium for Political Research, ECPR, is one of the most interesting organizations in political science’, said Alina Vladimirova, head of the session. ‘ECPR organizes several high-ranking events, and this was not the first time the HSE has cooperated with the consortium. As far as I know, however, people from our university haven’t prepared sessions at this conference before, so as the pioneers, Alexander Kalgin and I didn’t know exactly what to expect. Since lecturers at the HSE Department of World and Russian History belong to an international network of political power researchers, we chose this topic. Anna Foley, curator from the ECPR, gave us a huge amount of support, and we are very grateful to her. During the several months of preparation we learned a lot about organizing international forums’.

The session organizers received more than two dozen applications from leading European and Asian universities. After processing the applications, they put together three panels to focus on foreign policy analysis with respect to both old and new centres of power. These panels were chaired by representatives from Russia, Austria, and Germany.

The panel on ‘Power in Question? International Affairs of the European Union’ was chaired by Ilya Baskakov, a student at the HSE. This panel included papers on both internal and external problems facing the EU with respect to interaction with countries that are not EU members but that nevertheless have EU-oriented foreign policies, such as Georgia. The panel on ‘Foreign Policy Analysis: Perspectives and Approaches’, chaired by Ilyas Saliba from Germany, featured analytical papers on methods of foreign policy research. The panel on 'Hard, Soft, Smart: Political Power Implementations in International Relations’, chaired by Anna Rutetzki from Austria, featured a discussion of political power in global policy. Among other researchers, Ilya Baskakov presented a paper at this panel.

I got some useful advice on writing my thesis and research methods. I also exchanged contact information with people from half of Europe and now, if necessary, I can get data from them and make the necessary observations

Ilya Baskakov
Panel chair and participant at the ECPR conference

‘I’m from Krasnoyarsk and I’m taking a distance-learning Master’s course at the HSE Institute of Education’, Baskakov said. ‘Participation in this international conference was a unique experience for me. First, it was the first time I’ve taken part in an event at such a level, much less chaired a panel. I was responsible for organizing a productive session for the speakers, but presenting my own research before a knowledgeable and serious audience turned out not to be so easy. Second, I met many colleagues from around the world. Young people involved in research who are working on their PhDs are incredibly interesting. Both at the event, and informally after the sessions we shared our opinions on modern political problems. I got some useful advice on writing my thesis and research methods. I also exchanged contact information with people from half of Europe and now, if necessary, I can get data from them and make the necessary observations’.

One of the purposes of the Master’s programme in Contemporary Political Conflicts is to train experts in political science, said its head, Alexey Ryabinin, who also serves as head of the HSE Department of World and Russian History. This means that studying international experience and integrating Russian political science into the international academic community is an essential part of the educational process. ‘This year, in addition to part-time (evening) education, we launched a long-distance course, which is open to students from distant regions studying at the HSE’, Ryabinin said. ‘We are happy that these new students not only performed well in their studies, but became actively involved in research and joined our department’s international projects’.

At the end of July, the World Congress of Political Science, IPSA 2014, will take place in Montreal, where Andrey Melville, Dean of the Faculty of Politics, Nina Belyaeva, Head of the Public Policy Department, and other political scientists from the HSE will take part. Researchers from the HSE Department of World and Russian History will also organize a panel at the congress.

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