Why are Russians unhappy; who serves the dictators; how to reform control and supervision;Trade versus wars; Russia’s new citizens; what do Russian and Chinese banks have in common; why analysts don’t predict recession; the provincial social environment and physical isolation of rural settlements: the most interesting research by HSE in 2014. According to Opec.ru.
Followers of older, more established religions are less likely to commit suicide than adepts of newer faiths. Factors influencing the risk of suicide include a feeling of isolation from the majority and a belief in life after death, according to a study by Eduard Ponarin, Director of the HSE's Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (LCSR) in St. Petersburg, and Vassily Usenko, M.D., Ph.D., from Dnipropetrovsk.
Most research into social change limits itself to social factors causing change. However, other factors, such as natural disasters, climate and geographical peculiarities of the particular place, or infectious diseases also have a significant impact on societal evolution.
Universities decline not only due to a lack of money, enrollment of weak students, lack of ties with professional communities, and brain drain. Conservatism of their administration, lecturers and scholars is also an obstacle to the life-saving ‘reset’ of universities, Isak Froumin, Academic Supervisor of the HSE Institute of Education, and Mikhail Lisyutkin, Junior Research Fellow at this Institute, say in their paper ‘The Phenomenon of Degrading Universities in Russia. Stating the Problem’.
In the past year, 57% of adult Russians have donated money to charity or to strangers in need. Health, religion, disaster relief, and orphanages were the most popular causes, according to Irina Mersiyanova, Director of the Centre for Studies of Civil Society and Non-Profit Sector, and rina Korneyeva, researcher with the same Centre.
The values of migrants in Europe are more affected by their host country than by the country where the migrants were born and raised. In other words, the sociocultural environment migrants live in changes their value systems, Maksim Rudnev, a Senior Research Fellow in HSE’s Laboratory for Comparative Studies in Mass Consciousness, said in the study ‘Value Adaptation among Intra-European Migrants. The Role of Country of Birth and Country of Residence’.
Poverty in Russia is particularly difficult to overcome since it is very heterogeneous. The Russian poor include groups as diverse as villagers who do not seem to fit into the post-industrial environment, low-skilled workers, university professors, and parents of young children. Each category of the poor requires a separate approach and a different type of state support, according to HSE Professor Nataliya Tikhonova and Associate Professor at the Faculty of Economics, Vasiliy Anikin.
Generally, Russian businesses are fairly resistant to external shocks. Many enterprises have not only survived the 2008 crisis, but have increased their market share since then. Major companies with foreign owners and those investing in restructuring and modernisation have a better chance of success, according to Boris Kuznetsov, Professor at the Department of Economic Analysis of Organizations and Markets and co-author of the study 'The impact of industrial strategies on resilience to external shocks and on the post-crisis development trends'.
Family is a more significant institution for Russians than it is for residents of a number of other European countries. Amid ongoing demographic modernization – the liberalization of marriage and the emancipation of women – ideas are still popular in Russia concerning the necessity of a stable union, procreation, and the mostly familial function of women, according to Marharyta Fabrykant, Junior Research Fellow with HSE’s Laboratory for Comparative Studies in Mass Consciousness.
Most Russian company owners invest in the continuing education of their employees, but not all of them. The lucky ones are 10-20% of all staff. Such spending looks risky even though the return on it is high. Continuing education increases salary by 8% on average, which is an indirect sign of the same improvement in the labour productivity of the educated staff, Pavel Travkin, Junior Research Fellow at the HSE Laboratory for Labour Market Studies, found.