IPSA Summer School - St.Petersburg

1st Annual IPSA-HSE Summer School in Concepts,
Methods and Techniques in Political Science
July 30-August 13, 2017
National Research University Higher School of Economics, Pushkin, St. Petersburg, Russia

The first annual IPSA-HSE Summer School on Concepts, Methods and Techniques of Political Science was presented at the Higher School of Economics’ Management Training Center in Pushkin, St. Petersburg (Russia) from July 30 to August 13, 2017. The school was jointly organized by the International Political Science Association (IPSA) and National Research University Higher School of Economics, with support from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the U.S. Consulate General in St. Petersburg.

The school’s mission is to develop student competencies, specifically in the use of modern methods of political science to advance political and social research, and to promote further cooperation within the global political research community. Overall, the School drew 24 students from eight countries, most of whom were PhD students and young researchers.

Six one-week courses on methods were offered. Instructors included Prof. Dirk-Berg-Schlosser (Philipps University of Margburg, Germany), Prof. Werner Patzelt (Dresden University of Technology, Germany), Prof. Cameron Thies (Arizona State University, U.S.), and Professors Eduard Ponarin and Boris Sokolov (HSE, Russia). Students were given a chance to take one or two courses in quantitative and qualitative research methods, with courses on qualitative comparative analysis and case study proving to be the most popular this year.

All students received a certificate of attendance and a transcript of records with ETCS (one credit for each course), and all had an opportunity to master their research skills. The school schedule was quite intense, with lectures before lunch and study groups in the afternoon.

Over and above the general program, students participated in four workshops under the aegis of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, broadly titled “Hybrid Regimes Era: Social and Political Transformations in Post-Authoritarian Societies.” Prominent scholars and experts were invited to share ideas on issues of authoritarian modernization, digital technologies and media development, and historical legacies. Guest speakers included Prof. Vladimir Gel’man (University of Helsinki, Finland), Prof. Alexander Libman (University of Munich, Germany), Prof. Indra Overland (Norwegian Institute for Foreign Affairs, Norway), Artem Filatov (Echo of Moscow radio) and Mikhail Tyurkin (Rosbalt news agency).

Courses were given at the HSE Management Training Centre in Pushkin, a picturesque town near St. Petersburg. Students and experts learned about Russia’s cultural heritage by visiting the famous Catherine Palace and its Amber Room, as well as other attractions, including the Hermitage. Two sightseeing bus tours of the city centre were organized for participants.

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2nd Annual IPSA-HSE Summer School on Methods in Political Science: Social & Political Transformations in Eurasia
July 25-August 10, 2018
National Research University Higher School of Economics, Pushkin, St. Petersburg, Russia

The second annual Summer School on Methods in Political Science: Social and Political Transformations in Eurasia was held during 25 July – 10 August 2018 at the HSE Kochubey Centre in Pushkin, St. Petersburg, Russia. The School was co-organized by the International Political Science Association (IPSA) and National Research University Higher School of Economics.

The primary mission of the School is to master students’ abilities related to the use of the modern methods of political and social research, as well as to develop cooperation of young scholars from all over the world and enhance their understanding of the global political affairs. Overall, the School gathered 62 students from 20 countries, including Russia, Germany, Brazil, France, India, Kazakhstan, the USA and others. The majority of participants are PhD students and young researchers.

Nine one-week courses on methods were organized. The School instructors were prof. Werner Patzelt (TU Dresden, Germany), prof. Cameron Thies (Arizona State University, the USA), dr. Markus Siewert (Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany), prof. Eduard Ponarin, dr. Boris Sokolov and dr. Kirill Maslinsky (HSE University, Russia). Students were able to take one or two courses, devoted to various cutting edge techniques of social research, including the Qualitative Comparative Analysis, Case Study, Regression, Text Mining, Grounded Theory and the others. Apart from this, an introductory course on Statistics in R was held to help students be better prepared for the general courses.

The methodological part of the School was very well supplemented by a course on How to Study Russian Politics, a series of after-lunch sessions organized under the aegis of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. Among the invited experts who delivered their lectures were prof. Vladimir Gel’man (University of Helsinki, Finland), dr. Anna Tarasenko, dr. Andrey Starodubtsev (HSE University and the University of Helsinki, Finland), prof. Dmitry Goncharov, prof. Alexander Sungurov (HSE University, Russia) and others. This course has become very popular, having brought 32 students to attend it.

Two evening FES-Workshops have been organized. The first one arranged on August 4, was held by prof. Daniel Alexandrov and senior lecturer Ilya Musabirov (HSE University, Russia) on the topic of “Social Network Analysis and Digital Media in Political Science”. During the workshop the experts gave a talk on how the social media are changing the political and social environment, and how social research can use digital traces to develop their own theories. The experts also gave students some practical hints to use the software for the social network analysis.

Despite the academic program, two receptions for participants were arranged at the Kochubey-center, as well as two receptions for instructors and experts.

All students received a certificate of attendance, as well as a transcript of records with ECTS credits. The feedback from participants was positive, as they had had a chance to improve their research, get to know Russia and become more abreast of the global political issues. Experts also evaluated the School positively. Many availed themselves of the opportunity to get acquainted with the Russian cultural heritage by visiting the famous Catherine Palace with the Amber Room and other attractions, including the Hermitage. Two sightseeing bus tours were organized for the participants to get an overview of the city center.

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