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.
Pivot to the East: A Comprehensive Study of the Cultural and Civilisational Centres of the Non-Western World is the Top Priority
China and the Chinese world, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Arab countries, Iran, Turkey, Central Asia and Africa are gaining new significance in Russia’s foreign policy. However, we do not know enough about the Eastern countries. It is necessary to change the priorities in education, starting from grammar school. Prospects for the development of domestic Oriental studies in the context of the new stage in the development of the system of international relations were discussed at a round table at HSE University.
Robert Romanowski was a ‘Digital Professor’ at HSE University in November 2021. In his interview for the HSE News Service, he talked about the specifics of online teaching, his course on Strategic Branding, and the skills that are essential for marketing professionals today.
There is major potential for economic and humanitarian cooperation between Russia and African countries. Particularly, Russian organisations and universities can help transfer competencies and knowledge in the fields of agriculture, energy, industrial production, environmental management, climate change, and public administration. Experts and representatives of African embassies in Russia discussed these issues at the round table ‘Russia-Africa Sharing Knowledge’ hosted by HSE University.
As part of an international project conducted with the participation of Roscosmos and the European Space Agency, a team of researchers used differential tractography to analyse dMRI scans ofcosmonauts’ brains and found significant changes in brain connectivity, with some of the changes persisting after seven months back on Earth. The paper is published in Frontiers in Neural Circuits.
HSE University-Perm and the Training Centre of the Uzbek Ministry of Finance Sign Cooperation Agreement
HSE University in Perm has become the first academic partner of the Training Centre under the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The parties have signed a cooperation agreement in education and research.
On November 9, 2021, HSE University signed a memorandum of understanding with Wageningen University & Research, a major university in the Netherlands and one of the leading agricultural research institutes in the world. Participants of the signing ceremony included HSE University Rector Nikita Anisimov, President of the Wageningen University & Research Executive Board Professor Louise Fresco, and Dutch Ambassador to Russia Gilles Beschoor Plug.
The majority of Russians would not agree to being fitted with microchip implants for any purposes—medical or otherwise. A joint study conducted by HSE University’s International Laboratory for Applied Network Research and Aventica found that respondents believe the risks of personal data leaks and misuse to be too high.
The 10th International Moscow Finance Conference, organized by HSE ICEF, took place on October 29–30 online. Vladimir Sokolov, Head of the International Laboratory of Financial Economics, which hosted the conference, talks about the participants, the key presentation topics and how they will impact the global economy.
The UN Climate Change Conference is taking place from October 31 to November 12 in Glasgow. The conference focuses on preventive measures against the catastrophic and irreversible consequences of rising average global air temperatures. Igor Makarov, Head of the HSE Laboratory for Economics of Climate Change, will be taking part in the Glasgow conference. In the following interview, he speaks about the pressing problems Russia and the world are facing, and the research HSE scholars are doing on climate change.
HSE University and Coursera are bringing together the world’s leading researchers, professionals, education and technology leaders, and business community representatives for the fourth international research conference eLearning Stakeholders and Researchers Summit 2021 (eSTARS). This topic of this year’s summit, which will run from December 1–2, 2021,is ‘Digital Transformation: Global Challenges to the Education System’.