The international workshop ‘The Varieties of Power in the Economy’ was held from July 3 to 4, 2020 in Moscow, Russia. The seminar was organized by the Laboratory for Studies in Economic Sociology (LSES) at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow. The seminar primarily aimed to initiate a discussion on power practices, modes of influence, compliance, and governance structures in the economy.
The keynote speakers of the workshop were Alena Ledeneva, Professor of Politics and Society at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (University College London, UK) and Valery Yackubovich, Professor at the Management Department (SSEC Business School, France). In their lectures they shared their understanding of the topics and how they can be incorporated in various conceptual frameworks within economic sociology.
Apart from LSES, the seminar engaged researchers from various research institutions, backgrounds, and traditions. Invited speakers included Elena Bogdanova (University of Gothenburg), Tamara Kusimova (Central European University), Aleksei Pobedonostsev (The European University Institute in Florence), Olga Sidenko (Voronezh State University), Daria Shcheglova (HSE University—Institute of Education), Maria Tysiachniouk (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Ulla Paper, Stanislav Klimovich, and Katharina Bluhm (Freie Universität Berlin), and Maya Shmidt (Uppsala University).
The researchers took a closer look at their academic fields and identified the issues of power practices, forms of influence, and control in economic exchange. By examining completely different social spheres and institutional fields, the participants discussed the ambivalence of power and the variety of power relations and practices in the economy.
The first International Seminar on Environment and Society was held from March 2nd to 3rd, 2020 in Lisbon, Portugal under the motto of “Current Challenges and Pathways to Change.” The seminar was organized by the Environment and Society Section of the Portuguese Association of Sociology in collaboration with the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon and the PhD program in Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policies.
The seminar aimed to engage social science researchers in a discussion of global environmental agendas, thus establishing complicated relationships between environment and society (both natural and anthropogenic), their consequences for sustainable development, and critical assessment of the current and forthcoming risks of decision-making for the future.
The program was organized in two days: the main sections were held simultaneously in five auditoriums, and the presentations of keynote speakers opened and closed each day. Apart from researchers in sociology and social sciences, the seminar was attended by a wide range of participants from a variety of disciplines including geology, philosophy, and legal studies, representing 19 countries around the world.
The keynote speakers of the conference were Alan Irwin (Professor, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark), Luísa Schmidt (Professor, Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal), Matthias Gross (Professor, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research — UFZ and University of Jena, Germany), Noel Castree (Professor, School of Environment, Education and Development, University of Manchester, United Kingdom). They shared their understandings of the relationships between social groups and the environment and the environment and society as a whole. This seminar has established itself as a crucial event for productive discussion, demonstrating that social scientists around the world are responsive to environmental issues and stand ready to contribute to solving them.
Economic systems of the developed societies, which traditionally are labeled 'capitalist' or 'market' ones, are rather heterogeneous in reality. There are several independent economic models that differ in socio-economic, political and ideological respects. The paper covers a range of methodological approaches to the comparative analysis of economic systems, and sketches its basic typology comprising 'liberal capitalism' of Anglo-Saxon world and 'non-liberal capitalism' of continental Europe, Japan and some other countries. Two models of capitalism are differentiated by the type of economic agents and institutional setting. Each of them holds specific competitive advantages, which enables them more or less successfully to reduce socio-economic problems. Unfolding globalization does not imply convergence and unification of economic practices. Rather hybridization takes place implying institutional changes that enable economic models to meet the new challenges.
The regular workshop “Economic Policy during the Transitional Period”, organized by professor Gregory Yasin (academic supervisor of the Higher School of Economics), was held on January 30, 2014. At this workshop professor Vadim Radaev (first vice-rector of HSE) delivered a report on “Is It Possible to Save Russian Apparel and Textile Industry?”, initiating a discussion of the current problems faced by the industry and development perspectives. Prominent experts in this sphere took part in debates on the future of Russian apparel and textile industry: Vugar Isaev (president and founder of the chain stores “Snezhnaya Koroleva”), Andrei Razbrodin (president of The Russian Union of Entrepreneurs of Textile and Light Industry, board member of The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs), Andrei Yakovlev (director of the Institute for Industrial and Market Studies). The central issue discussed at the workshop dealt with the reasons of the Russian textile and apparel industry survival after Soviet Union collapse despite sharp productivity decline. Nevertheless textile and apparel industry still vulnerable, facing the risks posed by global competition. Vadim Radaev suggests modernization strategies for textile and apparel, facilitating its growth. Do we have chances to enter in global supply chains? What role should government and companies play in this process? This article provides an overview of answers to those questions.
The VII Annual Conference on Methods in Social Sciences “Sociological Research Methods (A Tribute to Alexander Kryshtanovsky)” was held from September 23 to 24, 2016, at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow. The aim of the conference was to highlight the main trends and challenges in methods for collecting and analyzing sociological data, as well as to discuss the most important issues concerning the methodology and methods of acquiring knowledge about modern society. A special section of the conference was devoted to the methodology in qualitative research. Several main issues were discussed, including the validity of qualitative research results, gaining access to gatekeepers and hard-to-find informants, and ethical and moral dilemmas in field research.
The keynote speakers of the section were A. Vanke (Institute of Sociology Russian Academy of Science), E. Zdravomyslova (European University at Saint Petersburg), V. Ilin (Saint Petersburg State University), I. Kozlov (St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University, Institute of Sociology Russian Academy of Science), I. Kozina (National Research University Higher School of Economics), Claudio Morrison (Middlesex University, UK), M. Podlesnaya (St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University, Institute of Sociology Russian Academy of Science), M. Semina (Moscow State University), I. Tartakovskaya (IS RAS), A. Temkina (European University at Saint Petersburg), I. Shteinberg (Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences), and S. Yaroshenko (European University at Saint Petersburg).Citation: Kusimova T. (2016) Moral'naya kar'era issledovatelya-«kachestvennika». VII Mezhdunarodnaya nauchno-prakticheskaya konferentsiya pamyati A. O. Kryshtanovskogo «Metody i protsedury sotsiologicheskikh issledovaniy», 23−24 sentyabrya 2016 g. Moskva, Rossiya [Qualitative Research as a Moral Career. VII Annual Conferenceon Methods in Social Sciences “Sociological Research Methods (A Tribute to Alexander Kryshtanovsky),” September 23−24, 2016, Moscow, Russia]. Economic Sociology, vol. 17, no 5, pp. 138-146 (in Russian)
The paper presents an overview of the Moscow market of centers for sexual education (CSWB). In the study, these centers were defined as economic organizations that educate and advise people about sexual and psychological well-being, carrying out their activities in a commercial way. It is an emerging market where demand is constructed by economic organizations providing counseling services in matters of sexual and psychological well-being. Now there are no scientific papers devoted to the analysis of these centers from the position of their role in the design of a new market niche. Moreover, there is no understanding of the legitimization strategies of these organizations for their activities and the benefits to consumers, which they need for the creation of a sustainable demand for their products and a loyal audience. These legitimization strategies are deeply rooted in the culture of society. Their identification and description allow establishing the role of centers for sexual education in the construction of social and moral orders of human relationships and different psychological concepts that are used by centers in their work.
In the study, a content analysis of the websites of eight Moscow centers was conducted. As a result, based on the coding matrix the dominant patterns and features of strategies for legitimizing these centers were identified.
The overall result of the work is a detailed description of the CSWB market, rules and principles of functioning of participants in this market, a rich description of their legitimation strategies. This work can be useful for researchers interested in studying emerging markets on which producers through certain strategies of legitimizing themselves and their specific «good» construct demand. In addition, this work is useful to all those who are interested in studying the organization of the construct of sexual education on a commercial basis and the associated spectrum of economic and psychological services.
The paper examines the phenomenon of office workers’ overwork. Statistical data demonstrates that modern Russians tend to work more than 40 hours a week, thereby exceeding the legal time allowance that traces its roots back to a period when largescale manual labor was the norm. Increasing proportions of tertiary and quaternary sectors in the Russian economy suggests that the “normal” 40-hour work week is a redundant constraint and workers perceive the “norm” differently. According to the existing literature, overwork can reflect a worker’s personality traits, and institutional or economic changes. In the research article, an analysis of the motives of overwork is provided. Also, evidence of the differences in perceptions of what constitutes a “normal” work day and mental borders between work and overwork is presented. It appears that employees perceive overwork not only as overtime work (the number of hours that they work in addition to their contractual hours), it can also be understood as a work-life imbalance, undesirable dramatic change in lifestyle due to the demands of work, and a psychological and/or physical fatigue that can lead to the loss of a “zest for life.” The following motives were identified: economic (working additional hours for career advancement, salary growth, or at least job security in the future), social (adherence to corporate norms and values), and psychological (escaping from family problems). Special attention was paid to the analysis of institutional working conditions (organizational characteristics) which can lead to overwork.
This is a review of the new book by ethnographer Jeremy Morris entitled Everyday Post-Socialism: Working-Class Communities in the Russian Margins. The book is based on the ethnographic study of the life and work of the population of the provincial industrial Russian town of Isluchino in the period from 2009–2012. Characteristics of the phenomenon of Soviet and post-Soviet single-industry towns are given. These settlements have many social problems now because of the deindustrialization period during the 1990s. The author analyses the social positions of Isluchino’s inhabitants and describes their families, labors, and biographical traces. This study shows the importance of the transition from the Soviet to the post-Soviet period for the Russian working class. Workers lost their respected status and stable employment during the 1990s and moved to the survival mode, and the elderly and younger generations came to have misunderstandings about the perceptions of their positions in the social and occupational structure. Morris speaks of the women’s role in working class families, describing how their function is to care for and maintain family integrity. The author pays special attention to labor relations at local enterprises and demonstrates the transformation of local businesses into corporate cultures. Rigid managerial models of the business administration changed former soft paternalism in the management of Soviet enterprises. The book also contains a methodological reflection of Morris on his professional role as an ethnographer. This book is of particular interest to sociologists, anthropologists, ethnographers, and experts in gender studies and labor relations.
The Russian practice of implementing decisions of administrative authorities, including their challenging in the judicial system, provides a unique opportunity to study the impact of institutional changes on the effectiveness of legal norms. This article is aimed at describing the main features of the Russian system of contesting decisions of administrative authorities (in this case, we are considering cases of contesting indictments of an antimonopoly body); it also considers key parameters that are characteristic of Russia as a country in a transitional stage of institutional development. The analysis is based on data obtained from the Arbitration Card File of the Federal Arbitration Courts of the Russian Federation on decisions of the Russian arbitration courts of first instance with respect to contesting the decisions of the antimonopoly body on all types of charges for the period 2012-2018.
The considered statistics of contesting antitrust decisions of arbitration courts of the first instance demonstrate a high level of differentiation of the institution of judicial regulation of disputes arising from the relationship between the antimonopoly body and companies. Subsequently, such features become one of the essential parameters that determine the differences in the processes of law enforcement and the quality of the institutional environment. At the same time, significant differences in the levels of judges' workload relative to average values make it possible to determine both the insufficient and excessive composition of judges both in general for the courts of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation and for groups of judges considering disputes arising from administrative legal relations.
In article possibilities and mentoring problems in the large industrial companies of Russia are considered. Approaches to mentoring definition, its functions in firm and society are analyzed. Types and mentoring updatings in modern personnel management and need for their application are systematized, the facts and practical examples of efficiency of systems of mentoring in the business organizations are given. On experience of consulting projects features of introduction of programs of mentoring at the modern Russian enterprises understand
Ebru Kayaalp’s book is a rare example of ethnographic research in which the reader will find everything in one place: an unusual mobile object, daring experimentation with fieldwork methods, a productive combination of the latest theoretical approaches, thought-provoking analysis, and a fascinating story. Using tools from actor-network theory and Сallon’s anthropology of markets, the author reveals the role of international experts and Western institutions (“devices”) in the neoliberalization of modern Turkey’s tobacco market. She claims that the devices experts employ to translate global standards into Turkish contexts did not just transform the tobacco market: they also depoliticized policy and created new “regimes of citizenship.” At the same time, the researcher shows that global standards and institutions as devices never match the conditions in their host countries and are never truly “localized.” They depend on multiple actors in their new assemblages, and those actors give meaning, content, and action programs to the imported institutions. The author believes that this complicates any comparative analysis of developing countries’ economies paving the way for liberalization. However, I want to believe that, with the growing number of ethnographies, there will be opportunities to compare and verify some of Ebru Kayaalp’s extremely interesting and controversial assumptions. Is the process in which institutions are “settled” as qualitatively different from “localization” or “naturalization” as the author claims? Is there any place for a “gift” relationship between Western financial institutions and economies in crisis? Are international experts really the key actors helping the West’s “traveling rationalities” to settle in the developing world? In my opinion, this remarkable ethnography is an important event, and the book could be a source of inspiration, a role model, and a good cause for debate, not just among anthropologists, sociologists, and historians but also among those who produce the expert knowledge that transforms policy and markets.