Research

The European University at St. Petersburg and the regional centers share not only responsibilities, but they also conduct joint research projects. Both sides take part in intellectual collaboration and exchange, participate in common events, discuss research findings with each other and collaborate on common studies.

On the 17th of September 2014, in Perm, David Woodruff, a professor from the London School of Economics, held an open seminar. His presentation was on the issue of the monetary and value policy of the Bolsheviks in 1920s. It was entitled ‘Golden Hammer.’ He addressed the question of why NEP did not become a sustainable tendency in Soviet economic growth and why industrialization took the shape which is now attributed to it. Professor Woodruff argued Bolshevik policies were caused not by  economic illiteracy on their part, but due to their willingness to hold the growth of prices and keep the gold standard of the 10 Rubles banknote. These decisions had a serious effect on international trade especially.

On the 15th of September 2014, professor David Woodruff hosted an interdisciplinary seminar in the Department of political science and sociology at EUSP with a lecture on ‘The compatibility of capitalism and democracy: four approaches.’ His paper was devoted to the urgent issues of capitalism and democracy in an historical perspective, as well as to their contemporary forms. Beginning from the 19th century, many scholars have analyzed the prospects of capitalism and democracy, paying special attention to controversies over the economic and social inequality that capitalism provokes, and underlining the crucial role equal citizenship plays for democracy. Professor Woodruff gave an overview of the pessimistic and optimistic views on capitalism and democracy within both left and right segments of the political spectrum .

On the 19th of May 2014, the Centre for Cultural Studies of Postsocialism in Kazan hosted an open a workshop of EUSP’s professor Mikhail Krom on the theme ‘Comparison in History and Social Science: Commonalities of the Method and Specificities of Disciplines’ Practices.’ The workshop aimed at uncovering of specificities of comparative methods in history and social science. Examples of comparative studies of the past by historians, economists and sociologists provided grounds for claiming differences in goals and functions of the employment of this method by respective scholars. This is due to epistemological bases of their disciplines. Professor Krom also regarded the difficulties of comparative methodology that shared a common nature but are, nonetheless, thought of differently within the frameworks of different disciplines.

On the 15th of April 2014, Theory and Practice published Mikhail Sokolov’s interview ‘Institutional Science: How to Become a Professor in the US, Europe and Russia.’ What is the difference between academic institutions in Europe and Russia? What does one’s career path depend on and who controls the academic market? Answers to these and other questions are available here http://theoryandpractice.ru/posts/8761-sokolov-euspb

On the 25th of March 2014, in Perm, CCHPS hosted an open lecture by EUSP’s professor Nikolay Vakhtin in ‘Petersburg Northern Studies.’ It discussed questions such as how northern studies emerged in St. Petersburg and how it functions today and  what northern studies scholars actually do.

On the 5th of March 2014, at the N.I. Lobachevsky Science Library in the Kazan Federal University, EUSP’s research fellow Ekaterina Borozdina gave a public lecture. She presented her paper ‘Combining the Language of Science and Heart: The Ideology of Post-Soviet Independent Midwifery.’ The paper chronicled the emergence and development of independent midwifery in Russia as a dynamic and important institution. Ekaterina described public discourses around this topic, be they medical, liberal, spiritual or gender related.

On the 1-2 of March 2014, Kazan hosted a workshop ‘Care: Between Private and Public’ organised by the Gender Research Programme (EUSP) and three regional centres; The Centre for Cultural Studies of Postsocialism (KFU), The Centre for Policy Analysis and Studies of Technologies (PAST-Centre, TSU), The Centre for Comparative History and Political Studies (PNRU) with participation of DDPP. In the event, research fellows from the centres-organisers (V. Galindabaeva, I. Kuznetsova, A. Reznik, L. Kuznetsova, A. Kuznetsov, O. Mel'nikova and O. Stolyarova) and EUSP’s researchers and professors (E. Borozdina, E. Zdravomyslova, A. Kondakov) took part. Apart from this, participants from other institutions arrived for the workshop: Yu. Gradskova (Stockholm University), A. Kimerling and A. Chashchukhin (HSE, Perm), E. Isabaeva (Zurich University) and others.

On the 28th of January 2014, assistant professor from the EUSP Alexander Kondakov presented a paper at an open seminar at the Centre for Comparative History and Political Studies in Perm. He shared with the audience his research on ‘Re-establishing Moral Boundaries of Sexual Citizenship after the Fall of the USSR.’ The paper dealt with sexual citizenship as a heteronormative order in the USSR and Russia. Several levels of analysis provide the groundwork for research into practices under the constraints of market, state bureaucracy and politics.

On the 18th of October 2013, an open seminar by EUSP’s professor Mikhail Sokolov was held in Kazan Federal University. Mikhail presented a guide ‘Design of Comparative Studies in Historical Sociology: from Weber to Skocpol and Back Again.’ In the paper, several different approaches to systematisation in sociology were analysed, including the catalogue of functions by Skocpol and Sommers; Ragin’s method based on Boolean algebra, as well as the ways scholars carry this out in comparative history (Block and his school).

On the 30th of September 2013, in Perm National Research University, the last day of the workshop entitled ‘Comparative Method in History and Social Science: Possibilities of Interdisciplinary Research’ took place. The workshop was attended by historians, political scientists and sociologists from Russia (Moscow, Perm, Tyumen, Yekaterinburg, Ufa, etc.), Serbia, Germany, Check Republic, Ukraine, and Poland. Lectures were held by EUSP’s Vladimir Gelman, Mikhail Krom and Mikhail Sokolov.

From the 28th of June to 2nd of July 2013, in Zelonogorsk, a summer school in ‘Cultural Studies of Post-Socialism: Methods and Approaches’ was organised by The Centre for Cultural Studies of Post-Socialism. One of the lecturers was Alexander Etkind, a member of the DDPP’s International Council and professor of Cambridge and EUI.

From the 15th to the 17th of May 2013, a three-day workshop ‘Policy Papers: How to Write Analytic Documents in Various Spheres’ took place at the Centre for Policy Analysis and Studies of Technologies (PAST-Centre) in Tomsk. The event was hosted by Maria Nozhenko, an associate professor of Department of Political Science and Sociology at EUSP. The programme included the following topics: (1) The key features of practically oriented research; (2) what an analytic document is, who reads them and how write them; (3) the rules of writing policy papers.

On the 19-20th of April 2013, at Kazan Federal University, the International Conference ‘Still Post-Socialism? Cultural Memory and Social Transformations’ took place. The main goal of the conference was to discuss whether the notion of post-socialism still worked for analysis. It was important to find out how different approaches to various visions of current changes in post-communist countries could be combined. Is it possible to speak of post-socialism as a term that has particular theoretical meaning or is it just a description of a period in the past that has started after the fall of the USSR? Mikhail Sokolov and Ekaterina Borozdina presented their papers at the conference.

On the 27th and 28th of March 2013, a series of seminars ‘Physiology of Ratings’ was hosted in the Tomsk PAST-Centre. Mikhail Sokolov’s paper ‘Russian University ratings: Who Wins and Why?’ and Anastasia Kincharova’s paper ‘How University Ratings Work: Global and Russian Experience’ were presented. Mikhail Sokolov presented an analysis of data on the structural determinants in the position of various universities in the Russian ratings (regional location, foundation period, and profile) and placed them in the more broad context of the evolution of Russian and Soviet higher education, such as patterns of migration, concentration of academic personnel and the nature of the demands placed on educational services. In Anastasia Kincharova’s report, the Russian experience of university ratings was compared with the same situation in other countries.

On the 21st of February 2013, in Kazan, an open lecture by Cambridge’s Alexander Etkind entitled  ‘Internal Colonisation: How History Comes together with Literature’ was held as a part of a series of interdisciplinary seminars organised by The Centre for Cultural Studies of Post-Socialism. The lecture focused on the notion of a certain logic inherent to internal colonisation as part of the governance of territories by the authorities. A combination of postcolonial and Russian cultural history approaches provided grounds for showing how the Russian Empire conquered foreign territories and mastered its own lands by colonisation of peoples, including those who were of Russian ethnicity.

The Political Economy of Universities is a common research project by DDPP and PAST-Centre. This project is a collaborative research of the PAST-Centre and the Department of Political Science and Sociology of European University at St. Petersburg. The focus of the project is on universities and other research institutions as a playground where different agents interact with each other and try to use academic arrangements to achieve their goals. Among these agents are students, state officials, faculty, university management, professional experts, and others. See details at PAST-Centre web site: http://en.past-centre.ru/research-2/political-economy-of-universities/.