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National Research University Higher School of EconomicsNewsResearch&ExpertiseHSE Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism Publishes New Journal

HSE Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism Publishes New Journal

The new academic journal is entitled ‘Urban Studies and Practices’. The first issue came out this September.  Now a call for papers for special issue on Migrants and the City has been announced. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2017.

Urban studies as a scholarly, interdisciplinary field in Russia are rather young. This is primarily due to Soviet history, when spatial planning was ‘top-down’. There was no need to study cities. This is why urban studies as they are known to the global academic community did not exist during the Soviet era. They were not really in demand later as well; separate researchers would publish some sporadic papers, but this area did not evolve as a field of knowledge. The Soviet Union crisis of late 1980s led to a fantastic outburst of self-governing urban organizations and to the search for new problem-solving mechanisms. Now the urban topic will also gain importance.

The HSE Graduate School of Urbanism has probably become the first institution to implement Master’s programmes in urban studies and planning that are not based on an architectural university and architectural perspective. Currently, the School has one Russian-taught programme in Urban Development and Spatial Planning and two English-taught programmes: Advanced Urban Design and City and Technology. Now the School is publishing a journal dedicated exclusively to urban studies. The journal welcomes papers from researchers whose interests relate to urban problems.

Many geography and sociology departments across the country have been closely involved in urban studies for a long time, but without knowing and seeing each other. The journal is an opportunity for scattered researchers to enter a common field, to start networking and to understand the environment together. It will primarily focus on Russia, since no one, including Russians, knows what is going on in Russia. If the journal manages to change it, Russia will probably be discovered by international researchers in the same way that Africa or China once were.

Various options were considered for the editorial board. At first, there was the idea of creating a structure that would include many executive editors from various institutions and fields of study. But then it appeared that such a structure would lead to contradictions and conceptual disagreements, which would negatively affect the operations. That’s why a special editorial board has been formed, which is responsible for interdisciplinary self-reflection. The editorial board meetings are open for HSE staff and students who have something to say on the development of urban studies. The editorial staff responsible for the journal’s publishing operations is rather small and consists of Alexei Novikov, Dean of the Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism, Egor Kotov and Alexander Strepetov from HSE, Evgeny Varshaver and Anna Rocheva from the RANEPA Centre of Migration and Ethnicity Studies, Alexander Ostrogorsky from the Museum of Moscow, as well as journal’s manager Diana Kodzokova and executive secretary Alexandra Petrukhina.

The journal is initially planned to be quarterly. This format is optimal, since it would allow the editorial standards to be followed, including double peer-reviewing of submitted papers. The journal is bilingual with papers in both Russian and English. The papers are available online on the journal’s website. More information about the call for papers for the new issue can be found on the journal website.

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