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An Exciting Opportunity to Present Research to a Primarily Russian Audience

Lauren McCarthy, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Associate Research Fellow in the HSE International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development. She will talk about her research on Russian law enforcement and human trafficking at the XVI April Conference. The HSE English News service asked her about her experience of living and working as an international researcher in Moscow.

— Could you please tell us how your cooperation with HSE began and what are your current plans?

— My cooperation with HSE began in 2011 as an associate research fellow at the Center for the Study of Institutions and Development.  I was invited to be part of the project by Andrei Yakovlev and Timothy Frye because of my expertise on law enforcement in Russia. The group was considering doing a field experiment that focused on policing but instead we decided to do survey experiments.  Working with our Russian partners, we wrote and deployed a survey on the public's attitudes towards the police, first in Moscow, then Russia-wide and then extended our research to Georgia. Currently we have been working on writing up the results of these surveys into a series of articles that focus on various aspects of police-citizen relations.

— What are your impressions of working in an international research team?

— I have very much enjoyed the exchange of experience and ideas during my work on the CSID team. The opportunities that the HSE have given to me have been wonderful. From traveling to Moscow to work with our Russian partners to fielding several surveys to presenting at conferences and workshops, all of my work is much better than it would otherwise have been because of my affiliation with HSE. I have also met some wonderful people who I have since been able to collaborate with on other ideas, projects and conference panels back in the United States.

— What are you going to present at the April Conference?

— At the April Conference, I will be presenting research from my book (due out in the fall) about how law enforcement agencies have implemented Russia's laws on human trafficking. It's an exploration of the types of trafficking prevalent in Russia today (sex trafficking, labor trafficking and child trafficking) but also focuses on how the formal and informal operations of law enforcement agencies influence their response to the problem. It is an exciting opportunity to present this work to a primarily Russian audience.

— How do you like living and working in Moscow? What's strange and what do you like about the city?

— I fell in love with Moscow when I first visited almost 15 years ago. I have since lived in Moscow twice, for a year each time, and come back for both work and pleasure almost every year. Though the city has changed a lot during those years, I still get the most joy out of wandering in different neighborhoods and spending time with my friends and their families. My tradition has been to visit Vorobyovy Gory on every trip and take a panoramic picture so that I can see what is new in the landscape. At this point, there is not too much that is strange to me about Moscow. I feel like it is a second home.

Anna Chernyakhovskaya, specially for the HSE News service

See also:

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