ICSID Conference — an Annual Academic Highlight for Russian Political Economists
On 29th June — 1st July the International Centre for the Study of Institutions and Development (ICSID) at HSE Moscow will hold its fourth annual conference. The theme this year is Institutions, Elites and Collective Action in the Developing World.Michael Rochlitz, Assistant Professor at the School of Political Science at the HSE Faculty of Social Sciences is among the impressive line-up of international specialists in the field who will be speaking at the conference. The HSE English News Service asked him about the focus of the 2015 conference, what new things it has in store and why he thinks it is definitely something to get excited about.
— You are going to present a report “Authoritarian Regimes, Bureaucratic Incentives and Economic Growth” . Could you please tell us about the data you used and which countries you chose for your research?
— In the paper, we compare data on promotion incentives for regional officials in China and Russia. A large literature on the topic already exists, especially for China, and our data confirms that incentives for economic performance are indeed much more important in China than in Russia, although we also see that the higher you climb in the political hierarchy in China, the more important political connections become as compared to economic performance. We then try to explain in a theoretical model why performance incentives emerged in China, but not in Russia.
A topic that has recently become increasingly important is the role played by political influence over the media
— This is going to be the fourth conference. What’s new about it? New people? new topics?
— Last year, we focused mostly on China and Russia. This year, the topics we focus on are similar - institutional and economic development, the role played by political elites, social capital and social policy. But although the conference has again a strong focus on Russia, we will also have a number of presentations studying other interesting contexts, for example Vietnam or Eastern Europe. With Timur Kuran, Edmund Malesky and Arturas Rozenas we have also invited three leading international scholars who will present their latest research during the conference.
— What is the focus of research in this area this year?
— This year, we will have some interesting new studies using social network analysis, for example, to understand who is really in charge at the top of Chinese politics. These methods might potentially also be very interesting to study Russia's elites. Studies focusing on the quality of Russia's law enforcement system are also well represented at this year's conference. Another topic that has recently become increasingly important is the role played by political influence over the media , especially in relation to the conflict in Ukraine.
— What are your expectations of the conference?
— The ICSID conference has been an academic highlight during the last couple of years. There are very few conferences I am aware of that bring together such a large number of leading researchers in the field of Russian political economy. After the conference one’s head is always full of new ideas and research projects. This is why I am again very much looking forward to this year's conference.
Anna Chernyakhovskaya, specially for English News Service
The working language of the conference is English. Follow the link to register by 25th June
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