Minorities in Asia and Africa in Focus
HSE St Petersburg initiated and organised an international conference on Minorities and Conflicts: Asian and African States in the Modern World. Academics from Russia, South Korea, South Africa, Turkey and Armenia gathered for the event on 9th and 10th October.
The conference was organised by the Centre for Asian and African Studies and the Department of Asian and African studies at HSE St Petersburg.
Director of HSE St Petersburg, Sergey Kadochnikov opened the conference and Professor Sang Chul Park of the Korean Polytechnical University, who moderated the plenary session, gave a welcoming address.
The participants discussed approaches to studying racial, ethnic, religious and other minorities, the current situation these groups find themselves in Asian and African countries, their participation in politics and social and economic life and current racial, ethnic and religious conflicts they are involved in.
There were presentations on defending the rights of Shiite children in Bahrain, the deportation of Greeks from Istanbul in 1964 and on violence against women in Iraq. The participants discussed the results of research on probably the most serious issues in the Middle East today — the religious ideas and practices of Islamic State and the Arabic language as one of the instruments this terror organisation uses to mobilise support.
Evgeny Zelenev, Director of the Department of Asian and African Studies said it is essential the academic community focusses attention sharply on minorities in Asia and Africa.
‘Our practical aim is to bring together an international team to do further research in this area. It’s vital to bear in mind that minorities often form powerful social groups. And in many cases their political, economic, social and cultural self-determination turns passive political unions active. This process is often accompanied by problems and conflicts. These conflicts are particularly intense and have most significant consequences for the groups involved and the international community in the East which is why it is so important for us join forces today to examine and describe them.’
Alexander Poddiakov, Professor at HSE School of Psychology, Leonid Ionin, Professor at the Department of Theoretical Economics, Evgeny Zelenev, and Gerrit Olivier, Professor at the Department of Political Science (University of Pretoria) discussed the development of theoretical and practical approaches to the study of racial, ethnic, religious and other minorities, and conflicts in sociology, psychology, philosophy and political science during the plenary session ‘Minorities and Conflicts: Research Questions and Theoretical Approaches’.
During the session ‘Small Social Groups in Multicultural Societies’ the participants learned about the current status of minorities and their participation in the political and socio-economic life of several countries in the East – the Kurds in Turkey, the Zaidi in Yemen, the Yazidis in Iraq and Koreans in Japan.
Gerrit Olivier and his fellow professor from South Africa Deon Geldenhuys, gave papers on racial and ethnic discrimination after the end of Apartheid and about the possibility of creating cultural autonomy. Professor Sang Chul Park talked about Korean policies for attracting migrant workers. Professor Vahe Boyajian of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences, presented the results of his field work on ethnic minorities in Iranian Balochistan.
Boris Kashnikov, Professor at the Faculty of Humanities, has delivered a course on "War and Peace" at the University of Bayreuth (Germany). The course was delivered in cooperation with Professor Rudolf Schuessler - specialist in just war theory, theory of international negotiations, and ethics in economics. The course is the result of the cooperation agreement recently signed between HSE and the University of Bayreuth.
On November 7, HSE hosted a delegation from the Jülich Research Centre in Germany. Scholars from both countries came together to discuss joint research opportunities, including transformation of energy systems for sustainable development; future studies of energy technologies, including foresight studies; and methodological issues related to big data analysis and modelling.
On October 17-21, a delegation from HSE St. Petersburg, including Sergey Kadochnikov, Director of the HSE Campus in St. Petersburg, and Olga Krylova, Head of HSE St. Petersburg International Office, visited Korea during a trip sponsored by the St. Petersburg Committee for Science and Higher Education.
In addition to providing research and expert support for the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), HSE will also develop educational programmes on the most pressing problems of Eurasian integration. As well as this, HSE and the EEC are launching a regular exchange of information and analytics.
Department of History at HSE St. Petersburg is focusing on a global, comparative and transnational approach to historical studies, and cooperates with several European and American research centers. One of its primary partners is German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), which sponsors a position of an Associate Professor for a German scholar, and Dietmar Wulff, the current resident, told The HSE Look about his three years at the department and plans for the future.
Mr. Pengcheng Li, Director of CNIS (China) and Chair of the APEC Expert Group on Energy Efficiency & Conservation (EGEE&C), recently took part in the 50th anniversary meeting of the EGEE&C held at HSE Moscow. Following the event, he spoke with the HSE News Service about some of the topics covered, including the role he sees Russia playing in sustainable energy development.
We continue talking about universities that are alongside HSE in the 51–100 group in various subject areas in the QS ranking. Today we have sociologists speaking about their ‘neighbours in the ranking’.
The fourth HSE International Summer University has drawn to a close. The programme continues to grow and evolve. This year over 160 students from 46 universities came to HSE to take courses in International Relations & Politics, Computer Science, Russian Studies, Economics, Culture & History.
On July 17-28 an intensive course titled ‘In-transition lab: Structure as an Urban Catalyst’ by the Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism (Moscow) and the Architectural Association School of Architecture (London) was held at Moscow’s Shukhov lab.
On July 17-23 the Third Machine Learning summer school organized by Yandex School of Data Analysis, Laboratory of Methods for Big Data Analysis at the National Research University Higher School of Economics and Imperial College London was held in Reading, UK. 60 students, doctoral students and researchers from 18 countries and 47 universities took part in the event.