Challenges for Social Development
Challenges for Social Development
PhD, Leading Research Fellow at the HSE International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development
Marshall D. Shulman Professor of Post-Soviet Foreign Policy at Columbia University
Structure and Management of the Strategic Academic Unit
The 'Challenges for Social Development' Strategic Academic Unit belongs to the first type of HSE Strategic Academic Units.
Management Committee (Heads of major subdivisions):
Deputy Director of the Institute of Demography, Head of the Department of Demography
Head of the School of Public Administration, Faculty of Social Sciences, Director of the Institute of Public Administration and Municipal Management, Head of the Chair of Theory and Practice of Public Administration
Head of the International Laboratory of Positive Psychology of Personality and Motivation
First Vice-Rector, Head of the Department of Economic Sociology, Head of the Laboratory of Economics and Social Research
International Advisory Council:
Creation and advancement of the clusters of cutting-edge interdisciplinary studies, educational programs and applied research in order to provide solutions to the challenges of global and national social development.
- To implement a program of studies on global issues that focuses on Russia's national priorities in the areas of social policy, demographic and migration policy, comparative analysis of transitional societies, social psychology, economic sociology, global and national risks of social and political destabilization, etc.;
- To participate in international comparative studies on global issues of social development and social policy;
- To implement an effective system of networking and management for interdisciplinary studies and educational projects on the issues of contemporary social development in order to raise the quality of research and in turn strengthen the quality of academic degree programs;
- To transfer the results of the cutting-edge studies on the issues of contemporary social development to the educational process, as well as expert support of modernization of programs of economic and social policy and public administration in the Russian Federation;
- To increase the research productivity of interdisciplinary clusters on Strategic Academic Unit priority issues expressed in the increasing number of scientific publications in leading peer-reviewed journals indexed in the Web of Science and Scopus databases, as well as improvement of the position of the HSE in the QS Rankings by subject;
- To develop interdisciplinary educational programs, including master's programs in English in the areas of the Strategic Academic Unit, to improve their competitiveness in the Russian and global educational markets, contribute to financial stability of the university and strengthen their research quality.
Main Anticipated Outcomes
- Advanced interdisciplinary comparative studies of global and national issues of social development, particularly in transitional societies, recognized by the international academic community, with the special focus on:
- Mechanisms of reproduction of elites in transitional societies;
- Models for measuring of political status and influence of states and their groups in the modern world;
- Patterns and risks of social and political destabilization at the global, regional and national levels;
- Factors of poverty and inequality caused by technological, demographic, geopolitical, and other changes in the modern world;
- Patterns of contemporary demographic and migration processes and their implications for global and national development;
- Social and psychological mechanisms of personal development in the times of crisis.
- The role of a leading Russian center of expertise and consultancy in the areas of social and economic policy and public administration based on the results of the advanced interdisciplinary studies;
- Nationally and globally competitive educational programs in Strategic Academic Unit areas, which actively implement the results of advanced research of STRA-U’s interdisciplinary clusters in the educational process;
- System of professional training in the areas of the Strategic Academic Unit based on the model of integrated educational track 'Master – PhD' with a PhD awarded by the HSE; experience can be replicated;
- HSE international academic reputation is confirmed by entering the Top 100 of the QS World University Rankings for Social Sciences & Management, Top 100 of the QS World University Rankings for Development Studies and Sociology, Top 150 of the QS World University Rankings for Politics & International Studies, Top 150 of the QS World University Rankings for Psychology.
Key Subdivisions and Associated Units
- Faculty of Social Sciences (including major subdivisions)
- Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (Ronald Inglehart)
- Institute for Industrial and Market Studies: International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development (Timothy Frye)
- Laboratory of Studies in Economic Sociology
- International Laboratory for Applied Network Analysis (Stanley Wasserman)
- Institute of Demography
- International Laboratory of Positive Psychology of Personality and Motivation (Kennon Sheldon)
- HSE Institute of Social Policy
- Center for Sociocultural Research (Klaus Boehnke)
- Institute for Public Administration and Municipal Management
Grant proposal (PDF, 891 Kb)
Roadmap (DOCX, 163 Kb)
Key Educational Programs and Their Development
The Strategic Academic Unit has four bachelor programs (1606 students, including 97 foreign students) and 17 master's programs (933 students, including 129 foreign students).
The educational programs provide fundamental training on the basic (bachelor) and advanced (master's) levels. Certain educational programs play a major role in the Strategic Academic Unit as they train research personnel, and foster internationalization and commercial success.
Major areas of the development of educational programs are related to:
- early academic and professional orientation of students, including engaging the most motivated students in the integrated Master - PhD' track;
- social, professional and international accreditation of the programs;
- improvement of the structure of the program administration by engaging in the academic council representatives from alumni, partner employers and professionals hired from the international market for implementation of best educational practices;
- curriculum improvement by focusing on the development of competencies that are in high demand by employers in the respective Strategic Academic Unit’s areas of training by integrating relevant scientific knowledge and expertise, including those derived from the unit's activities.
Undergraduate programs in the areas of Sociology, Political Science, Psychology and Public Administration are popular among the best applicants from Russia and CIS, as confirmed by high Unified State Exam scores of the enrollees and a large number of Olympiad winners among them. Program curricula are built in accordance with the new educational model focused on high share of research work and project activities. Graduates of undergraduate programs are in demand both in the master's programs of the Strategic Academic Unit and other universities, including foreign universities, as well as on the labor market (Chamber of Commerce of the Russian Federation, Public Opinion Foundation, Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM), Levada Center, Center for Political Technologies, and others).
1. Population and Development, in English
This interdisciplinary master's program focuses on training of professionals in the field of social and demographic studies. Students of the program undertake internships in public authorities (Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Russian Federation), Russian and foreign universities, research institutes (Institute of Demographic Studies (France), Sapienza University of Rome (Italy)). Guest lecturers and practitioners from the National Center for Public Opinion Research (USA), UNFPA offices in Eastern Europe and CIS take part in the educational process.
2. Political Analysis and Public Policy, in English
This program is aimed at acquiring the interdisciplinary knowledge in the field of research and the formation of public policy in Russia and abroad. Students of the program undertake internships with subsequent employment in public authorities (Government of Moscow, etc.), major companies (Lukoil, etc.). Exchange programs with the International University College of Turin (Italy), University of Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), George Mason University (USA) are implemented as well as a double-degree program with the University of Bologna (Italy).
3. Applied Social Psychology, in English
This interdisciplinary program is aimed at training of competitive experts in the field of social psychology that are in demand in global companies and research organizations focusing on cross-cultural analysis of values. Guest lecturers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel), Queens University (Canada) take part in the educational process. Double-degree program with the University of Tilburg (Netherlands) is implemented.
4. Politics. Economics. Philosophy, in English
The graduates of this type of interdisciplinary programs have a high level of recognition in the international labor market due to the fact that the model for this program was set up in Oxford and is implemented in many European universities. This program is aimed at training scholars and practioners for national and international academic markets and public policy domain. Students of the program undertake internships in research centers (Center for Political Technologies, INION). Guest lecturers from Witten/Herdecke University (Germany), University of Helsinki (Finland) take part in the educational process. Students have the opportunity to undergo training for two modules at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po; France), University of Passau (Germany).
5. Comparative Social Research, in English
This program is aimed at training researchers of social and economic issues in the comparative perspective based on unique empirical databases. Students of the program undertake internships in the leading Russian and foreign research institutes and centers, including University of Michigan (USA), Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Master's students have the opportunity to undergo training for two modules at the Free University of Berlin (Germany), University of Cologne (Germany).
This program brings together leading domestic and foreign lecturers and practitioners in the field of psychoanalytic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, different schools of psychoanalysis (Anglo-Saxon and French models), profound theoretical training and intensive practice. The program is commercially successful. Master's students undertake internships in major European universities, research centers and international companies: INSEAD Business School (France), European School of Management (Germany) and London Institute of Management (UK), McKinsey&Company, Molten, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
The program is designed for the effective integration of clinical, psychoanalytic and organizational psychology and gives profound psychological knowledge combined with best practices in HR management form the basis for a new, innovative level of organizational business consulting. The program has a high commercial potential. The internships for students will be organized in the leading Russian and foreign research institutes and centers: Open Medical and Psychological University, Medical Rehabilitation Department of the Research Institute of Psychiatry, Lumiere University Lyon (France), Paris West University Nanterre La Defense (France), French University (France).
Key Research Projects and their Development
Research projects of the Strategic Academic Unit focus on the global agenda and are relevant for the Russian national priority projects. The results of the Strategic Academic Unit research projects are the basis for the expert recommendations for efficient implementation of social programs and social reforms in the Russian Federation.
Each Strategic Academic Unit's project is implemented by well-established research groups that bring together researchers from the international laboratories and international projects who develop fundamental and applied research, support empirical databases, present their results in the leading international peer-reviewed journals, monographs, conference presentations, etc.
Strategic Academic Unit develops the following research projects:
Comparative interdisciplinary research with a focus on the global agenda and the analysis of big datasets
1. New Factors and Components of International Influence and Risks of Social and Political Destabilization.
The project has two main research areas:
Political Atlas of the Modern World 2.0 (Fuad Aleskerov; Mikhail Ilyin; Andrei Melville).
The project further builds on the results of the previous research stage (see: Political Atlas of the Modern World (2010), Ed. A. Melville. Wiley-Blackwell). In this project an innovative system of empirical indicators and databases for validating methods of measurement and comparative evaluation of the power and status of modern states will be developed on the basis of new indices which take into account the network interactions. The main scientific result is the use of new methods (like 'big data' analysis, network analysis, etc.) for the development of new models of the power and interaction of the states and groups of states and other participants in modern world politics, as well as the model of the dynamics of the statuses of great and 'rising' powers in the world. Experts from the Russian International Affairs Council, Russian Political Science Association and the International Studies Association are involved in the project implementation.
Patterns of social and political destabilization in the modern world. "Arab Spring" as a trigger of the global phase transition (Andrey Korotaev; Askar Akaev; Sergei Malkov).
The aim of the study is to identify the causes and patterns of social and political destabilization in the modern world, particularly, in the world-system periphery states. New methods for social and political prediction, in particular, a new index of social and political destabilization in the global, national and regional contexts will be developed and validated. The practical significance of the study is the possibility to use the results to predict and prevent the risks of social and political destabilization in the modern world. This research is being developed in collaboration with a number of RAS institutes (Institute for Oriental Studies, Institute for African Studies, and others) and foreign universities (Yale University, as well as branch campus of New York University in Abu Dhabi). Joint publication of articles in leading international journals and collective monographs are expected with the colleagues from these institutions.
2. Comparative Analysis of the Systems of Management and Mechanisms of Decision Making in an Imperfect Institutional Environment
Drivers of the management system and the mechanisms of reproduction of elites in transitional economies (Andrei Yakovlev).
This project aims to study the institutional drivers which develop and produce changes in the management system of transitional economies. In line with the concept of Douglass North, a Nobel laureate, and his co-authors on the "limited access orders", the project examines the impact of the renovation of elites on economic development in the absence of democratic institutional mechanisms. The main result of the study is the model which explains the key drivers of the renovation of elites in an imperfect institutional environment. Experts from the University of Science and Technology of Hong Kong (China) are involved in the project. They will provide empirical data on the Chinese elites and Chinese management economics system.
Political representation, competition and decision-making at the subnational level (Nikolay Petrov; Rostislav Turovsky).
This project studies the main institutional patterns of the key political processes in complex (federal and federalizing) states at the subnational level. The analysis of the institutional processes of complex states is based on the following cases: Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, Spain, Germany and others. Joint publications with researchers from the Free University of Berlin (Germany) and Kharkov State University (Ukraine) are expected. Practical recommendations for the Office of Domestic Policy of the Russian Presidential Administration, as well as the Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies (ISEP) will be offered based on the study results .
3. Social Aspects of Personal Development in Hard Times in Cross-Cultural Context.
The project aims to study the social aspects of personal development and psychological consequences in the times of crisis caused by global financial crisis, as well as global political and religious conflicts. In the project the following research areas will be developed:
Mechanisms of motivation and goal-orientation in a cross-cultural context in the times of crisis / (Dmitriy Leontiev, Kennon Sheldon).
The aim of the project is to link motivation and goal-orientation in socio-cultural context in the times of crisis. The main result of the project is an integrated explanatory model of socio-cultural and psychological regulators of goal-oriented behavior. This model explains the effect of socio-cultural context on individual behavior and explores the possibilities of individual compensation to overcome such an effect. The University of Missouri (USA) and Tomsk State University will be involved in the project for empirical data collection in the United States and Russia.
Psychological consequences of socio-economic and cultural changes (Nadezhda Lebedeva; Klaus Boehnke).
The aim of this interdisciplinary project is to identify the socio-psychological consequences of the economic and cultural changes in the modern world based on the cross-cultural value analysis. A comparative cross-country analysis of the values of Russians in a number of states has been conducted within this project (Russia, Germany, Latvia and others). The main result is the model which explains the universal cultural features of intergenerational transmission of the Russians’ values in different states, and explores those features dependent on the socio-cultural context. The project methodology is developed in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Tilburg (Netherlands) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel). Jacobs University of Bremen (Germany) and the Baltic Institute of Psychology and Management (Latvia) are involved in the data collection process as international partners.
Comparative interdisciplinary research with a focus on applied studies and practical recommendations.
Facilitating Legalization of Business in the Russian Markets.
(Project head: Vadim Radaev).
The project aims to study the relationship between legal and illegal markets of food and nonfood products, including “shadow” industry and household production and production and distribution of counterfeit goods with intellectual property rights infringement. The result of the study is to find the incentives for the actors to come out of the "shadow" and to transfer the economic activities in legal markets with tax accounting. The study offers practical recommendations for the Ministry of Industry and Trade and for a number of Russian business associations (Retail Companies Association (AKORT), RusBrand).
The effectiveness of result-based management systems and government regulation
The purpose of this project is to develop the methodology for measuring an effective state – the system for assessment of public authorities based on using both quantitative and qualitative methods. The system for assessment of a state as a whole, particular public authorities, their structural subdivisions and public officials will be developed based on the study findings. Practical results are used by the Office of Domestic Policy of the Russian Presidential Administration in the benchmarking systems for evaluating federal and regional public officials, as well as for evaluating the strategies for regional development.
Management of Social Development and Institutional Modernization in the Sphere of Social Policy.
(Project head: Lev Yakobson).
The project has the following research areas:
Trends and scenarios of transition to a mixed system of production of public goods based on the development of partnership between the state and civil society (Lev Yakobson, Irina Mersiyanova).
The aim of the project is to identify the patterns, factors and ways of transition from the dominant role of state institutions in public sphere to a mixed system of public goods production with the participation of public and non-profit organizations, as well as commercial actors. Based on the study findings, a number of possible scenarios for this transition to a mixed system of public goods production will be developed. Experts from the Center for Civil Society Studies at Johns Hopkins University (USA) and the International NGO Training and Research Center (UK) will be involved in the project. The main practical result of the project is developing recommendations for the Russian Presidential Administration which can increase the efficiency of social welfare programs’ funding and management under budgetary constraints.
Poverty and Inequality (Lilia Ovcharova)
The research aims to identify new global challenges and factors of inequality conditioned by technological, demographic and geopolitical changes in the modern world. The main result of the project is a new model of decomposition of social and economic inequality and poverty at the global and country level. The applied result of the project is developing recommendations for the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection and the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation to increase the efficiency of the social development management system and social policy towards regional and country inequality.
Reproduction and migration of the population in Russia and the neighboring states (Anatoly Vishnevsky; Mikhail Denisenko).
The aim of this research is to find the global patterns of contemporary demographic and migration processes and their causal relationships with other processes in society, and to predict regional and global demographic changes. Practical recommendations on the social development of the Russian Federation and other neighboring states will be developed and can be used in strategic responses to the global challenges of population reproduction and population migration. Recommendations are developed for the World Bank and the UN Population Fund. This research is implemented in collaboration with the Institute of Economic Forecasting of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IEF RAS).
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