On March 18, 2019 Cyril Lemieux (France), sociologist, the director of Research of the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) made a presentation on the topic ‘Should we finish with сomparativism?’. The presentation was held within the framework of the scientific seminars on sociology organized by the Institute for Social Policy HSE and the Center for French-Russian Studies, Moscow.
Today comparative studies themselves can be seen more rarely than claims of their importance for the social science. The most common type of research is monographs, which examine only one country, one region, or one epoch. Indeed, the comparativism has faced a lot of criticism in recent years. Cyril Lemieux pondered on the crisis of comparativism and made a connection between the said crisis and the revision of the idea of a national state, both from political and state-centric epistemological views. He reminded that comparativism, at least due to its aspiration for reflexivity, was at the foundation of the social sciences. The current revision of these ideas strives for applying truly comparable concepts, not just ‘half-comparable’ ones.
Cyril Lemieux, sociologist, Director of Research of School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS), Head of the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for the Study of Reflexivities – Jan Thomas Fund (LIER-FYT).
The author of the papers on journalism and media (La subjectivité journalistique, Editions de l’EHESS, 2010), sociological theory (Le devoir et la grâce, Economica, 2009; Pour les sciences sociales, Editions de l’EHESS, 2017; La sociologie pragmatique, La Découverte, 2018). An issue of Politix journal on globalization and modernization was published under editorship of Cyril Lemiuex and historian Pablo Blitstein («Paradoxes de la modernité», vol. 31, n°123, 2018).
The presentation was made in French with translation into Russian.
On March 14, 2019, the Center for Longitudinal Studies within the Institute for Social Policy presented Basic skills for working with RLMS-HSE.
The Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey - Higher School of Economics (RLMS-HSE) is almost the only longitudinal data base in Russia which contains the results of 26 rounds of nationally representative household surveys conducted on the basis of a probability stratified multi-stage area sampling. The data cover the period of 1994-2017.
A unique feature of the monitoring is the broad coverage of socio-economic indicators: the database gathers information about the structure of income and expenditures, wealth, employment structure, migration behavior, health status, family planning and educational behavior, social well-being etc. The monitoring survey includes a number of indicators that are not covered by state statistics.
The RLMS-HSE gives an opportunity of cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. Panel data as a component of longitudinal survey suits for analysis of economic, behavior and social factors which influence Russian families’ life, their well-being, health and psychological status of adults and children.
The event is first of all devoted to those who are new to RLMS-HSE but willing to use the data. The speakers explored sample design features and household numbering; data structure, i.e. work with different data levels (individual, household, community). The discussion was focused on the specific problems which arised during the file preparation for longitudinal analysis and aimed on practice of methodical researches which should be conducted to get the maximum result for goals of publications, Bachelor or Master thesis preparation.
The workshop moderated by Polina Kozyreva, Director of the Centre for Longitudinal Studies within the Institute for Social Policy heard the presentation by Zlata Dorofeeva, Research Fellow at the same Center. Alfia Nizamova, Chief Expert at the same Center, participated as a panelist.
Presentation is available here.
On February 6, 2019 a collective book “Income Stratification Model of Russian Society: Dynamics, Factors, Cross-country comparisons” was presented.
The book is devoted to the analysis of the specifics and dynamics of the income stratification of Russian society . A detailed overview of approaches to income stratification that are used in foreign and Russian practice is provided; the methodology of defining income groups that is effective for Russian conditions is presented .
The authors also focus on the dynamics of the model of income stratification in Russia over the past few decades, the factors of falling into certain income groups, the specifics of life and behavior of the representatives of different income groups .
Comparative analysis of the model of income stratification in Russia with models in other countries of the world, including dynamic analysis, is of particular interest.
The analysis is based on data collected by several research centers in different years – Monitoring of Institute of Sociology FCTAS RAS, Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey - Higher School of Economics (RLMS-HSE), International Social Research Program (ISSP) .
The event was opened by Lilia Ovcharova, Vice Rector of HSE, Director of the Institute for Social Policy. Then main results were presented by the book’s authors from the Center for Stratification Studies of the Institute for Social Policy NRU HSE Natalia Tikhonova, Vasiliy Anikin, Yulia Lezhnina, Ekaterina Slobodenyuk. Yuriy Latov (Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences), the panelist, took part in the discussion.
On December 13, 2018, the Institute for Social Policy held a scientific seminar on the topic “Digital public space and new ways of disseminating information”
The seminar moderated by Alexander Lutsenko (LIERR, EHESS) heard a presentation by Dr. Dominique Cardon, Professor of sociology at the Institute Sciences Po (Paris), Director of the Laboratory Médialab.
While at first perceived as a space of political emancipation, the web is now considered a danger to public life. Topics like fake-news, trolls, filter bubbles, and polarization of the public space have become important issues. The digital space is described as an unregulated market of information, controlled by the algorithms of powerful internet actors. In my speech I would like to show how the social sciences can use digital methods to understand informational practices on the internet and the new ways of disseminating digital information. The central argument will be that, despite having been drastically altered by new web practices, the digital public sphere continues to be governed by structural constraints linked to the issues of popularity and authoritativeness of information sources. By referring to research on the digital media in France, we will try to draw a picture of the new architecture of the informational ecosystem.
On November 20, 2018 the Institute of Social Policy held the seminar ‘The Modelling of Russian Pension System Scenarios’.
The seminar moderated by Oksana Sinyavskaya, Deputy Director of the Institute, heard Dmitry Pomazkin, Leading Expert of the Center for Comprehensive Social Policy Studies, and Evgeni Yakushev, Executive director JSC NPF “SAFMAR”, who presented the forecasts of possible pension reforms in Russia: the increasing of retirement age, the abolishment of new early retirement schemes, increased pension indexation, etc. The authors developed the practical tool for the evaluation of changes in various parameters of Russian pension system. The invited pannelists Yuri Gorlin, Deputy Director of the Institute of Social Analysis and Forecasts at the Russian Presidential Academy of national Economy and Public Administration and Tatyana Omelchuk, Senior Research Fellow of the Analytical Center for Financial Studies of the Financial Research Institute, noted the importance of different demographic and macroeconomic scenario in the model, pointed out the differentiation of early retirement schemes in the context of new law on the increasing of retirement age. The participants also discussed the perspective ways of model developing (assumptions, scenario, estimation accuracy, etc.
On November 14, 2018, the Institute for Social Policy at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, the European Dialogue Expert Group, and the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Russia held the International Scientific Conference “Basic Income as a Prologue to Social Policy of the 21st Century”.
The Conference was inogurated by
The debate on basic income has a long history but it is only now, in the 21st century that this discussion has become more pragmatic. A number of countries including Finland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, etc. are piloting state-provided income for a range of social groups. Those experts who study unconditional income have already moved far away from a primitive understanding of this phenomenon as a guaranteed payment to all members of society regardless of the level of their income, employment, health, and other factors. Although important, this is not the only functional component of the emerging social system that is still taking shape under the impact of fundamental factors. Social inequality, which widens as the economy keeps growing, disruptive technologies, which tend to quickly change labor markets and the employment structure, and the ageing population as well as increasing life expectancy, must also be taken into account.
The programm is available on the link.
On October 2, 2018, the Institute for Social Policy held a scientific seminar on the topic “Healthy lifestyle in old age: barriers and opportunities”
The seminar moderated by Oksana Sinyavskaya, deputy director of the Institute, heard a presentation by Dr. Elena Selezneva, Senior Research Fellow of the Center for Comprehensive Social Policy Studies.
Good health is a prerequisite for active longevity. Process of ageing, life expectancy and well-being in old age are determined not only by access to medical services but also by health behavior. As compared with the peers in Europe, Russian elderly pay less attention to their health. The research is aimed of identifying barriers that hamper using health practices by elderly population in Russia. The cluster analysis conducted on the RLMS-HSE data has shown that more than half of older Russians (52.4%) adhere to a lifestyle characterized by rejection of both, destructive and preventive behavior. The other 47.6% are almost equally divided between these who actively strengthen their health, and those with bad habits. The regression analysis has indicated that income is the most important predictor of the healthy lifestyle, but its influence is contradictory. The barriers to adopting a healthy lifestyle also include:
· family composition (elderly living with relatives care less about their health),
· low level of education and lack of information,
· prevention as an unpopular strategy,
· underdeveloped health infrastructure.
On September 4, 2018, the Institute for Social Policy held a scientific seminar on the topic “Inequality and Welfare Dynamics in Russia during 1994-2015”
The seminar moderated by Alina I. Pishnyak, director of the center for studies of income and living standards, heard a presentation by Dr. Kseniya R. Abanokova, Junior Research Fellow of the Center for Comprehensive Social Policy Studies.
Russia offers the unique example of a leading centrally planned economy swiftly transforming itself into a market-oriented economy. A comprehensive study of inequality and mobility patterns for Russia using multiple rounds of the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Surveys over the past two decades spanning this transformation was presented. Is was found rising income levels and decreasing inequality, with the latter mostly caused by pro-poor growth rather than redistribution. The poorest tercile experienced a growth rate of 476 percent over the past 20 years, which is ten times more (43 percent) than that of the richest tercile, leading to less long-term inequality than short-term inequality. It was also found that switching from a part-time job to a full-time job, or from a lower-skills job to a higher-skills job is statistically significantly associated with reducing downward mobility.
On June 28, 2018, the Institute for Social Policy held a scientific seminar on the topic “Study of structural imbalances of regional labor markets.”
The seminar heard a presentation by Sergey Smirnov, PhD, director of the Center for analysis of social programs and risks, and by Alexey Kapustin, PhD, chief analyst of this Center.
The issue mentioned above is one of the most important for predicting possible unemployment and developing retraining programs. The principal items discussed during this seminar are as follows:
· What statistical sources can be used to study this issue?
· Are there differences between the labor market tracked by the Federal Service for Labor and Employment and the labor market tracked by the Survey of Labor Force?
· How big are the interregional differences?
· What proposals can be made in the context of “policy implications”?
The presented paper was elaborated within the research project “Updating the model of the public employment service in various scenarios of economic development taking into account the characteristics of regional labor markets", held under the program of the CFI-2017 (Terms of reference-146).
On June 22, 2018, the Institute for Social Policy held a scientific seminar on the topic “Public social protection of elderly Russians in the field of health care: instruments and beneficiaries”
The seminar heard a presentation by Elena Gorina, PhD, senior research fellow at the Centre for Studies of Income and Living Standards of the Institute.
According to the Healthy Aging goals the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends to all the countries providing the universal health coverage of ageing populations in such a way that access to needed health services should not entail the risk of financial hardship. Social protection is important for ensuring this aspect of financial security.
At the workshop it was presented some preliminary findings of the research which primary question was if the social protection policy in Russia is aligned with the goals and recommendations of WHO concerning the health care for the elderly. From the Healthy Ageing perspective, it was discussed three issues:
- how social protection should contribute to the health-related services’ and goods’ supply of the elderly;
- in what extent the elderly Russians have access to the goods and services which can directly help maintain and reverse losses in intrinsic capacity and increase functional ability;
- what instruments of public social protection in Russia are aimed to facilitate the access to and to meet the elderly’s demand for the health-related goods and services and how they and their beneficiaries vary across Russian regions.
On June 19-20, 2018, over 20 researchers from the Institute for Social Policy, HSE, took part in the training workshop “Analytical tools for poverty reduction programs and social policy objectives in the Russian Federation”
Lilia Ovcharova, Director of the Institute for Social Policy, HSE, and Aleksandra Posarac, Lead Economist at the World Bank, opened the workshop conducted by Ruslan Yemtsov, Lead Economist and Team Leader for Social Safety Nets in the World Bank Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice, conducted the workshop with the unevaluable help of Maria Nagernyak, Coordinator of social protection projects in Russia of the World Bank.
The new objectives to reduce poverty and to promote the welfare of the Russian population set higher requirements for the analytical tools of assessing the results of the social policy as a whole and the organization of the social support and service in particular. The new requirements demand to redefine existing paradigms and approaches to the social policy analysis and to implement up-to-date methods of social policy’s quality assessments. To achieve a leading edge level of program performance evaluation, we need to advance the analytical tools and enhance the knowledge and the competences of the analysts who provide objective result assessment and develop guidelines for the progress of the reforms. Among other goals should be a gradual revision of the legislative and methodological framework of providing social support to those in need.
During the workshop, the participants learned about the latest research methods and tools to evaluate social policy, found out about new ways of working with the international databases and carrying out benchmarking analyses, and discussed analytical assessment methods of poverty reduction policies. The workshop also presented the lessons learned from the attempts to improve the social support system aimed at reducing the risk of poverty and improving the welfare. Through the discussions and practical trainings, the experts of the World Bank and the Higher School of the Economics exchanged their experience of carrying out research programs, the data collection and analysis, and modeling social programs’ adaptation scenarios. They also covered the subject of organizing educational activities dedicated to various social policy issues such as prosperity promotion, improvement of the living conditions and enhancing health, longevity, and education. During the open debates, the workshop participants inspected their approaches to the analytical support of the decision-making process by analyzing the cases from the experience of several countries. The participants also shared their ideas on disseminating progressive approaches of social policy performance evaluation.
On June 5-9, 2018 a seminar for young researchers from Germany and Russia "Dialogue between Russian and German scientific schools. Topics, methods, theories, approaches" was held at the Center for Qualitative Research of the Institute for Social Policy of the Higher School of Economics.
At the seminar the research projects were presented by the participants. Young researchers discussed the methodology of their research and the first results. At the seminar, Dmitry Oparin made a presentation on "Muslim practices in Moscow".
On May 15, 2018, the Institute for Social Policy held a scientific seminar on the topic "Modern problems of preservation and use of cultural heritage: the formation of the cultural framework as a method of inclusion of heritage in modern economic reality (on the example of the Tyumen region)"
The seminar heard a presentation by Pavel Shulgin, PhD, director of the Centre for Regional Programs of Social and Cultural Development of the Institute.
Modern realities make it possible to set the following strategic objective: culture and cultural heritage represent a special economic resource which should provide the basis for economic specialization for a number of cities and territories, become one of the new impetus to the development of the regional socio-economic complex. The solution of this issue may be associated with forming a cultural framework of the region considered as a system of interrelated centers of cultural and tourist development of various ranks.
The conceptual approaches to forming the cultural framework on the example of the Tyumen region (an interesting region, underestimated in terms of its potential of culture and cultural heritage) are considered. The paper substantiates the construction of the region cultural framework with the allocation of the centers of the first rank (historical cities), second and third rank (up to small rural settlements). A possible "cultural specialization" of various nodes and sections of the frame is also traced.
Initial outputs of the project are examined. The entire project implementation is evaluated from the point of view of heritage preservation as well as in connection with an eventual shaping of a driver for socioeconomic development of some peripheral areas of the region. The project would include new investment proposals (up to two hundred investment projects) both for individual heritage sites (including hotel facilities, social and transport infrastructure, reviving traditional crafts and industries, restoring and adapting historical buildings for modern purposes) and for the integrated development of historical and cultural territories.
The International Scientifi Conference "Active Age: Seniors on the Labour Market in Germany and Russia" organized by the Institute for Social Policy of the Higher School of Economics and the Department of Labour, Social Affairs and Health of the German Embassy in Russia, was held in Moscow on 22 January 2018.
The Conference was inaugurated by Alexey Vovchenko, First Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Security of the Russian Federation, Lilia Ovcharova, Director of the Institute for Social Policy of the Higher School of Economics, and Jerzy Bohdanowicz, Head of the Department of Labor, Social Affairs and Health of the German Embassy in Russia. Olga Tkacheva, Chief Geriatrist of the Ministry of Health of Russia and Aleksandra Pоsaraс, Leading Economist of the World Bank, also spoke in public at the conference.
During the conference day, leading German and Russian experts discussed the issues of active ageing, population ageing, its impact on the labor market in our countries, features of the older workers’ employment. Also, representatives of civil society and business shared with the audience their positive experience in the sector of employment of the elderly population.
For more information about the conference please click here
On the 26-27th of October 2017 the conference “Migration: new trends and directions” took place in the Higher School of Economics. The conference was co-organized by the Higher School of Economics, Oxfam in the Russian Federation and Centre for Franco-Russian Research in Moscow (CEFR).
Among 240 participants of the conference there were migration specialists from academia, Russian and international civil society organizations, international organizations and governmental institutions. More than 40 research reports, based on empirical studies and covering a wide range of issues pertaining migration and migration policy were presented within the 2 days of the conference. The conference became a multi-disciplinary platform for discussions on methodology of migration research, studies of transnationalism, issues of integration and adaptation of migrants as well as economic, social and cultural aspects of migration.
Heaven Crawley, Professor of International Migration in the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University was a keynote speaker of the conference. In her report “Refugees, Migrants, Neither, Both?” Professor Crawley presented the findings of the research project titled “Unravelling the Mediterranean Migration Crisis”, conducted in 2015 . The report offers a critique of using words "refugee" and "migrant" as objective terms, which are often employed to define level of protection to provide to a person on the move. The report offers to shift the perception of migration from viewing it simply as a move from point A to point B, and to instead focus on social, political and economic drivers of migration. According to Professor Crawley: "...dychotomy "refugee" and "migrant" in reality is out of sync. One person may decide to flee their country because of the war, and then move to the third country in search of livelihood opportunities, and vice-versa". Moreover, she called to pay attention to the fact that words "refugee crisis" or "crisis of migration" should be viewed not only in the context of population influx into Europe, as it tends to, but in the global context, where larger burden is carried by low- and middle-income countries such as Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon.
On the 27th of October 2017, the round table "Children of migrants: problems of adaptation and integration" took place as part of the conference. Participants of the roundtable emphasized the importance of state assistance in the programs of integration and adaptation of children of migrants, including programs of teaching Russian as a foreign language, observance of enforcement of the right to education, enshrined in the legislation of the Russian Federation, to all children living in Russia, and programs for building teachers’ capacity in inter-cultural communication. The research-to-practice session on integration and adaptation of migrant children preceded the round table. Within the session researchers from Greece, France and Russia shared their experience and challenges in integration and adaptation of migrant children.
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