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Regular version of the site

Is Increased Democratization Domestically Linked to Improved Government Performance in Eastern Europe after the Cold War?

Thomas J. Volgy, Professor at the School of Government and Public Policy, University of Arizona USA and Executive Director of the International Studies Association is a political scientist specialising in international politics, democratic processes and domestic public policy. Perhaps unusually for an academic, he also has 14 years of practical experience in public office and was Mayor of Tucson until 1991. Volgy was born in Hungary and after the collapse of the USSR he returned to Eastern Europe and the FSU where he worked on US government training programmes for democratic political development and public policy. He also has his own consulting business. At the XV International April Conference this year Professor Volgy will be delivering two papers, one on his own and one with two fellow academics. We asked him to tell the English News service  more about them and about his work with HSE.

— Could you please tell what papers are you going to present at the Conference?

— I will be giving two presentations. In the first one, I explore the conditions under which status is attributed to states in international politics by the larger community of states. I argue and demonstrate that in addition to receiving status for realist, power considerations, such as military capabilities, economic size, and size of population (capabilities that can impact other states' foreign policies), states are also rewarded with additional status for conforming to certain types of norms that are broadly accepted by the international community, including especially conforming to the norms of multilateralism, resource transference to poorer states, and engagement in international trading (economic liberalism).  Certain norms, however, that are more contested in international politics, such as peaceful dispute resolution, democratic governance, and behavioral conformance with human rights norms, do not appear to be rewarded with additional status, even by states that advocate these contested norms.

These conferences are the beginnings of structured relationships that should blossom into joint research projects and the sharing of further research opportunities between colleagues

The second presentation, jointly with two other colleagues explores the hypothesis that increased democratization domestically is linked to improved government performance in the provision of domestic public goods. Some have argued that this relationships is very much unclear, and we are exploring the extent to which the two are linked together among states in Eastern Europe following the end of the Cold War.

— How did you get involved with HSE?

— Although I have worked with another major educational institution in Moscow for nearly two decades, my cooperation with HSE has been relatively recent. My very good colleague and friend Professor Andrei Melville, with whom I've worked for a long time, both through the International Studies Association, and the Russian International Studies Association, urged me to participate in this conference and I am now very pleased to do so. 

— In what ways could this cooperation be developed?

— I believe that these conferences are the beginnings of structured relationships that should blossom into joint research projects and the sharing of further research opportunities between colleagues . I am looking forward to those opportunities.

— What research are you working on at the moment?

— I am working with my PhD graduate students developing a new theory of comparative regions, allowing us to explore how international politics affect and are affected by regional dynamics and the factors driving those regional dynamics. Regional orders differ greatly from one another, and sometimes from the larger global order, and we are building a general theory to account for those differences.

— What are you hoping for at the Conference?

— I expect two things: one is to receive quality feedback for my research that will help to improve its contours. Second, I am looking forward to meeting the colleagues at HSE and I hope to learn more from participating colleagues about the intersection between their work and mine.

Anna Chernyakhovskaya, specially for the HSE News service 

See also:

25th Yasin (April) International Academic Conference Now Accepting Proposals

Reports on new research results will be presented and discussed as part of the conference’s sections. These reports will be selected based on reviews of proposals. As always, the conference programme features expert discussions of the most pressing economic, social, internal and external issues in the format of roundtables and associated events.

Academic Council: HSE University’s Contribution to Achieving National Goals and Development Priorities to Increase

HSE University’s Development Programme until 2030 will be improved in order to increase the university’s contribution to achieving national goals and implementing the priorities of the country’s scientific and technological development. This decision was made by the university’s Academic Council on April 26. The meeting also addressed the principles for the development of HSE University’s external communications, one of which is the creation of a high-quality information field around the university.

Keeping Up with the Neighbours: Envy as a Driver of Economic Growth

Classical economic theory assumes that economic agents are entirely self-interested and rational in their pursuit of material well-being, and that they are not affected by external factors. As a result, externalities are not considered in any way when constructing economic models. Nevertheless, some sociologists argue for a revision of modern economic theory to incorporate the ethical dimensions of economic agents' behaviour. Kirill Borissov, Professor of the Faculty of Economics at the European University in St Petersburg, spoke at the XXIV Yasin (April) International Academic Conference and shared his observations from creating his own economic model incorporating the factor of envy.  

Structural Transformation and Drivers of Sustainable Growth in Russian Economy Discussed at HSE University

The Russian economy has demonstrated high resilience to unprecedented external pressure and has managed to largely adapt to new conditions. As early as this year, it can go from recession to growth. The issue of where to find drivers and resources for this was discussed at a plenary session titled ‘Russian Economy under Sanctions: From Adaptation to Sustainable Growth’ at the XXIV Yasin (April) International Academic Conference held at HSE University as part of the Decade of Science and Technology. Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Maksim Reshetnikov took part in the discussion.

‘People Want to Receive Only Useful Content’

Experts say that interest in news has sharply increased among the Russian audience. At the same time, part of the audience deliberately avoids it. What kind of content is in demand and will people continue to watch TV? These and other issues were discussed at the plenary session ‘ Info-hygiene and Information Elitism: How to Consume Media Properly’ at the XXIV Yasin (April) International Academic Conference.

'The Emerging Trends in Africa Will Shape the World Order, and We Need to Be Prepared for That'

Africa has the potential to become a new economic giant. Today, African countries are interested in comprehensive cooperation and strengthening their positions in the global arena, and they look forward to receiving assistance from Russia and China in developing their technology, economy, and social sphere. Effective engagement with Africa requires training a greater number of professional African studies specialists. The XXIV Yasin (April) International Academic Conference at HSE University featured a plenary session on 'Africa in a Changing World'.

Learning a Foreign Language Can Delay the Onset of Dementia

Dementia, a debilitating form of cognitive impairment, can be preventable. According to Professor Jubin Abutalebi of the University Vita Salute San Raffaele, Italy, and the Arctic University of Tromsoe, Norway, the easiest way to prevent cognitive decline after the age of 60 is to learn and practice foreign languages – the more languages, the better, suggests Professor Abutalebi in his presentation 'Preventing dementia through bilingualism' at the XXIV Yasin (April) International Academic Conference.

‘The BRICS Strategic Partnership Offers the World Creative, Unifying, Forward-Looking Initiatives’

Today, BRICS has become an influential factor in modern international relations and is perceived as one of the pillars of a more just world order. This association is not based on one party’s dominance, but instead, is built on a sound balance of interests. The role of the association was discussed by the participants of the plenary session ‘BRICS Development Strategy: Equal Opportunities in an Unequal World’at the XXIV Yasin (April) International Academic Conference.

Sanctions Create New Opportunities for Russian Companies

Like any crisis, the sanctions of 2022, besides problems, have created new opportunities for Russian companies. This is the conclusion that HSE University’s experts have come to. Their study results are presented in the report ‘Adaptation of Russian Industrial Companies to Sanctions: First Steps and Expectations’, prepared by HSE University for the XXIV Yasin (April) International Academic Conference.

Search Query: How to Study Migration with Google Trends

Experts have calculated that the number of international students in Russia has grown six times over the last decade, and researchers say that many of those who are studying today would like to stay in the country. This, alongside issues such as why Google Trends are worth looking into, were covered at the HSE XXIV Yasin International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development section on demography and labour markets.