HSE Scholars Take Part in Global Political Science Congress
In July, instructors and students from the HSE’s Faculty of Social Sciences took part in the 23rd World Congress of Political Science, which was held in Montreal by the International Political Science Association. Two collective projects by the HSE were presented on special panels.
One panel included a presentation of a research project carried out under the Basic Research Programme for 2013 called ‘Good Enough Governance’ in Conditions of Regime Transformation: Quality of Borrowed Institutions in Country’s with Catching-up Development’.
In discussing the report, scholars considered, among other things, the ‘king of the hill’ model proposed by Andrei Melville, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences. Its essence is that the ability to control society declines in the transition from authoritarian regimes to hybrid regimes. With the development of democracy, effectiveness of governance increases again (the so-called J-curve model). The ‘king of the hill’ is an alternative model developed on the basis of post-communist transformation data. According to this model, an authoritarian ruler, using political and economic rent, is actually not interested in creating effective institutions. For this ruler, the ‘bad’ institutions are preferred as ‘good.’ As a result, institutional development is hindered.
Other variants of social development were presented on the panel. One such variant is when an authoritarian ruler becomes interested in institutional development, while at the same time remaining in the system of authoritarianism. Panel participants brought up Sultan Qaboos in Oman and Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore as examples. They also discussed the possibilities of patrimonialism associated with these examples.
The results of another project – research by the ‘Cognitive Analysis of Scientific Discourse of National and Global Political Science’ work and study group – were presented on the panel ‘Governance and Accountability: Comparative Cognitive Analysis of English and Russian Political Terms’. The Russian scholars’ notion that cognitive research can be used to study both the subject of political science and its terminological apparatus was supported by Kenneth Janda, a towering figure of political science in America. German professor Sabine Kropp made a number of recommendations on further use of techniques and developments by the HSE research and study group in teaching and research.
An agreement to expand international research and educational cooperation was also reached at the congress. In particular, it was decided to begin preparations to open International Political Science Association summer schools at the HSE Moscow. In 2010-2013, such schools took place in São Paulo (Brazil), Stellenbosch (South Africa), Singapore, and Ankara (Turkey). HSE political science students took part in these schools. In the near future, the faculty also plans to begin a postgraduate exchange programme with Italy’s Scuola Normale Superiore. A possible joint Master's programme with the Dresden University of Technology was also discussed.
Mikhail Ilyin, Professor in the Department of Comparative Politics, Faculty of Politics
Many speeches by Russian and foreign participants of the congress noted the growing kaleidoscopic diversity of methodological approaches and concrete research methods. Representatives of the HSE interpreted this phenomenon differently. Several colleagues are inclined to view methodological diversity as a sign of the ‘blossoming complexity’ of political science today. On the contrary, others believe that diversity is the result of fragmentation of the field and attempts to hastily create small, semi-ready ‘theories’ and ‘methodologies’ using narrow and concrete research problems. This dispute deserves a more serious and thorough discussion with our foreign colleagues.
A special discussion about the call to MOOCs (massive open online courses) in modern political science was very useful for participants of the congress and for the HSE. Options were discussed to use this educational tool, not only in English but also in other languages, to complete non-standard tasks, such as profiling the latest research developments. Participants discussed the prospects for the International Association of Political Science creating a special project to use MOOCs for commercial purposes, but on the basis of self-sufficiency.
In terms of content among the individual panels, there was a noteworthy discussion on integrating qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) and case studies within the framework of research designs focused on mixed methodology.
Speeches on the still fashionable formal analysis and game theory sounded rather flat. One left with the impression that there is a need to develop new approaches in this area.
HSE news service
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.