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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:

Russia’s Middle Class: Who Are Its Members and How Do They Spend Their Money?

The HSE Centre for Studies of Income and Living Standards studied the dynamics of the middle class and its behaviour with regard to paid services. The study was based on data drawn from the HSE Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS-HSE) for the years 2000 to 2017, and the results were presented at the 20th April International Academic Conference hosted by HSE.

Reproductive Evolution: How Birth Rates Are Changing in Post-Soviet Countries

Reproductive behavior is modernizing at different rates in post-Soviet countries. Things are changing faster in Russia, Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine, where, over the last fifteen years, the average maternity age has increased and the contribution of women in their thirties to their countries’ birthrates has grown. Meanwhile, old reproductive patterns persist in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, where firstborns are usually born to parents under 30, demographers Vladimir Kozlov and Konstantin Kazenin note in a paper delivered at HSE’s XX April International Academic Conference.

Live Long There and Prosper: How Internal Migration from Small Towns Works

More than half of school graduates in medium-sized Russian cities will change their place of residence either forever or at least for a long time. According a report on internal migration presented by HSE demographers at the XX April International Academic Conference, these people are lost to their cities.

What Drives Innovation in Russian Companies

As part of the Management session of the XX April International Conference, Carl F. Fey from Aalto University School of Business, Finland, presented his paper on Facilitating Innovation in Companies in Russia: The Role of Organizational Culture. In his talk, Professor Fey spoke about the results of three studies he has been conducting with his team.

‘In a Digital Environment, the Role of Human Teachers Only Becomes More Important’

How does digital technology affect the behavior and health of schoolchildren? What opportunities does it proved teachers and school administrators? These and other issues were discussed by participants in the plenary session ‘Children’s Wellbeing in the Digital Age’ at the XX April International Scientific Conference of HSE.

‘Statistics Should Be Available and Comprehensible to Everyone’

Implementing a digital analytical platform, opportunities for Big Data, and other prospects for the development of Russian statistics were discussed by participants at a plenary session of the XX April International Academic Conference.

Can Youth Bullying Ever Be Eradicated?

Dr. Dorothy Espelage (University of Florida) presented a comprehensive account of her research into youth bullying spanning more than two decades in an invited paper ‘Prevention & Intervention of Youth Bullying and other Forms of Youth Aggression: Research Informed Strategies’ at the XX April International Academic Conference.

‘To Achieve Our Goals, We Need to Involve a Wide Range of Universities in National Projects’

The role of regional and industrial institutions of higher education in achieving national development goals must increase, and leading universities will help them. This was the conclusion reached by participants of the plenary session on Russian higher education that took place as part of the XX April International Academic Conference.

How to Boost Russian Food Exports

The plenary session ‘Strategy of Russian Presence at Global Food Markets’ took place as part of HSE University’s XX April International Academic Conference, where participants discussed the prospects for Russian agricultural exports to Asia, as well as the use of nonconventional investment models, such as Islamic financial tools.

‘The President is Focused on Increasing the Birth Rate and Reducing Poverty by Half’

National objectives for social development, as well as existing risks and opportunities in implementing these objectives were discussed by participants of HSE International April Conference.