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Regular version of the site

Education as a Vehicle for Peace

The 5th annual LCSR conference was organized  from 15th - 21st November at HSE. One of the keynote speakers at the conference on Cultural and Economic Changes under Cross-national Perspective was the Director of the Social and Economic Survey Research Institute at Qatar University, Darwish Al Emadi. Dr. Al Emadi’s talk was on The Challenges of Surveying in Countries with Unorthodox Population Pyramids. He spoke to HSE English News about his long term goal to improve education on a global level and about his cooperation with HSE. 

The main education problem on the global level is that so many people around the world are deprived of what we consider basic education. The other problem is war zones which bring challenges of their own to providing decent levels of education. The third problem is how to make education a vehicle of peace and stability in the world. I think if we genuinely try we can spread a culture of peace and reconciliation regardless of our differences.

How should we go about improving standards?

As for the quality of education, there are benchmarks that need to be met. Resources must be allocated to facilitate good education. Top students lured to the profession. Dedicated and highly trained teachers are key elements in the process if we want to prepare the next generation for what is a tough market.

Definitely the attitudes of teachers, the levels of motivation are key and matter regardless of where we are talking about. Local context normally determines the level of competition among students and hence the level of motivation. Normally when the job market is very competitive and there is a high degree of fairness we find students are motivated and keen to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed, the opposite is also true, when there is a high level of corruption, when people get good jobs not due to their qualification, knowledge and skills but due to connections or other means we find that the motivation among students is very low.

International cooperation no doubt helps to improve standards. How is your cooperation with HSE proceeding?

SESRI at Qatar University has already signed a memorandum of understanding with LCSR. It started a couple years ago when we had the WVS meeting in Doha. At that time both parties expressed an interest in collaboration and we worked it out. It took a while but last year we signed the MOU. On more than one occasion we had students from LCSR attending workshops at SESRI. Those workshops are normally organized in partnership with the University of Michigan. We hope that further collaboration will take place as we go on.

Have you enjoyed the conference and how do you like Moscow?

I am very grateful for the kind invitation I received to attend this conference. This is my first time here in a Moscow. It is a very beautiful city with hospitable and nice people. The conference was great. I met a few people for the first time, learned a few new things and am looking forward to coming back again next year at same time.

Anna Chernyakhovskaya, specially for HSE News service

See also:

Central Asians Happier Than Russians

In Central Asia, subjective wellbeing and life satisfaction tend to be higher than objective wellbeing, and people in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan appear to be more content than Russians about their material circumstances and life in general. According to Tatiana Karabchuk, Deputy Head of the HSE Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (LCSR), and Daria Salnikova, Research Assistant of the same laboratory, relatively low levels of economic inequality in Central Asian countries may be one of the reasons for this paradox.

Settlement History Determines Regional Development

In many countries, including but not limited to Russia, frontier regions, populated more recently than the country's core territory, tend to lag behind in terms of socio-economic development. This phenomenon can be explained by legacies such as state formation in remote regions and the autonomy traditionally enjoyed by new settlers, according to Roberto Foa (Harvard University) and Anna Nemirovskaya, Senior Research Fellow of the HSE Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (LCSR).

Mapping Social Mechanisms in a Civilized Public Sphere

On March 16, Apostolis Papakostas, Professor of Sociology at Södertörn University in Stockholm, Sweden gave a presentation of his book ‘Civilizing the Public Sphere: Distrust, Trust and Corruption’ at the HSE Laboratory for Comparative Social Research. Examining the interplay between distrust, trust and corruption, this book maps out the social mechanisms that make actors and organizations in the public sphere perform their activities in a civilized manner.

Social Well-being Worsens with Age

An elderly person can be described as aging successfully when they maintain good health and engage in fulfilling social activities. According to Larisa Kosova, Director of the HSE Joint Economic and Social Data Archive, poor health and a lack of savings often prevent older people in Russia from enjoying retirement.

Migrant Flow from Central Asia to Russia Will Increase

In the near future, the number of migrants from Central Asia coming to work in Russia will increase – particularly from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, countries where remittances from their citizens working in Russia stand at almost half of their respective GDPs, according to a joint study by the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the HSE Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (LCSR), and the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS).

One Year of Science and Technology Studies Fieldwork in HSE

Ian Lowrie, visiting PhD-student from Rice University spent last academic year at HSE doing anthropology of Russian Science & Technology.

International Not Only in Name

The International Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (LCSR) was established in 2010 in the first wave of a competition for government mega-grants to attract major academics from abroad to Russian universities. The famous American sociologist and political scientist Ronald Inglehart, Founding President of the World Values Survey and professor at the University of Michigan, became the laboratory’s first Academic Supervisor.

'Urban Movements and Local Civic Activism are the Most Flourishing and Productive Sides of Contemporary Russian Society'

Christian Frohlich has been a Research Fellow at the Centre for Studies of Civil Society and Non-Profit Sector since 2014. This year he is being fast tracked for tenure in the HSE Faculty of Social Sciences in the School of Sociology. Dr Frohlich has a DPhil in Sociology from Leipzig University, Germany. He spoke to HSE English News about his research into civic activism in Russia and about why he likes living and working in Moscow.

LCSR Summer School on ‘Introduction to Factorial Design and Data Visualisation with R’

As the 5th LCSR Summer School on ‘Introduction to Factorial Design and Data Visualisation with R’ came to a close on August 3, participants commented on their experience and shared their impressions.

Measuring Well-Being and Happiness

On April 30, the Laboratory for Comparative Social Research sponsored a seminar in St. Petersburg by Associate Researcher Francesco Sarracino on ‘Do people care for a sustainable future? Evidence from happiness data’. Sarracino is an economist at Luxembourg’s National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (STATEC) and specializes in social capital, economic growth and well-being; he recently spoke at length with the HSE news service about his research interests, implications of measuring happiness and wellbeing for policymakers, and his experience collaborating with the Higher School of Economics.