Springer series “Societies and Political Orders in Transition” is now completed with a new collective monograph “Social Capital and Subjective Well-Being: Insights from Cross-Cultural Studies” edited by Anna Almakaeva, Deputy Head at the Ronald F. Inglehart Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (HSE University), Alejandro Moreno (Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México — ITAM) and Rima Wilkes (University of British Columbia).
Eduard Ponarin has decided to leave the position of the head of the Ronald F. Inglehart Laboratory for Comparative Social Research. Since October 1st, 2021, Boris Sokolov, Senior Research Fellow, has taken over the responsibility.
Department of Political Science and International Relations, HSE in St. Petersburg in association with the Ronald F. Inglehart Laboratory for Comparative Social Research and the International Political Science Association (IPSA) are continuing to accept applications for the 4th instalment of the IPSA–HSE Summer School for Methods of Political & Social Research. The School will be held online from August 9 to August 22, 2021.
Ronald Inglehart, the founding father of the Laboratory for Comparative Social Research, passed away on May 8th. Despite a serious illness, he worked until the last days of his life: last December, his book Religion's Sudden Decline was published by Oxford University Press, and in recent months he has been working on a new monograph on China. The death of the world-famous scientist was responded by the World Values Survey Association (WVSA), the World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR), the International Political Science Association (IPSA), the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), the University of Michigan, as well as many other organizations, associations and a huge number of colleagues around the world. The words of memory and recollections about Inglehart were also published by his colleagues from the LCSR, which has recently been named after him.
In the memory of Ronald Inglehart
In Russia, 2021 was declared the Year of Science and Technology. HSE has always paid special attention to the development of science, and more than 40 international laboratories have played an important role in the development of the university as a world research centre. One of the University’s first such laboratories was theRonald F. Inglehart Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (LCSR), named after its academic supervisor at the time, American sociologist and political scientist Ronald Inglehart. HSE News Service spoke with LCSR Laboratory Head and professor of sociology Eduard Ponarin (HSE – St. Petersburg) about the Laboratory’s work over the past decade.
Violetta Korsunova, Junior Research Fellow at LCSR, has received a PhD in Sociology. Congratualtions!
The World Values Survey Association has announced the first release of the brand-new World Values Survey dataset. Fieldwork for this 7th wave was conducted from mid-2017 to early-2020. This includes 78 countries and societies on all inhabited continents around the globe.
Types of childfree and how society contributes to this trend
The series of recent crises (EURO, refugees, backsliding, Brexit) challenge the self-portrayal of the European Union (EU) as a community of shared values. Against this backdrop, we analyse European Values Study data from 1990 till 2020 to assess the level and change in publics’ acceptance of the EU’s officially propagated values: personal freedom, individual autonomy, social solidarity, ethnic tolerance, civic honesty, gender equality and liberal democracy. We find that EU publics support these values strongly and increasingly over time. The EU-member publics are also remarkably distinct culturally from Eastern European non-EU-nations, especially concerning individual freedoms and gender equality. Simultaneously, however, member nations internalize EU-values at different speeds – alongside traditional religious fault lines that continue to differentiate Europe – in the following order from fastest to slowest: (1) Protestant, (2) Catholic, (3) Ex-communist and (4) Orthodox countries. In conclusion, the EU writ large evolves into a distinct value-sharing community at different speeds.
Various models of subjective culture (measures of self-reports) have been proposed since Hofstede’s original work but none of them have been validated by showing that they have analogs in objective culture (measures of societal practices). Inspired by Bardi and Schwartz’s discovery that Schwartz’s individual-level circumplex values model has an exact equivalent in a model of behaviors, we develop a test for the purpose of validating models of culture. We apply this test to Minkov’s revised two-dimensional variant of Hofstede’s subjective-culture model, consisting of individualism-collectivism (IDV-COLL) and flexibility-monumentalism (FLX-MON) (formerly “long-term orientation”), as Fog recently found that an analog to this model incorporates and summarizes all major validated models and dimensions of national culture. We analyze national measures of important social practices associated empirically and theoretically with IDV-COLL and FLX-MON: transparency-corruption, gender equality, political freedom, road death tolls, homicide rates, family structures, innovation rates, and educational effort and achievement. These yielded close analogs to IDV-COLL and FLX-MON, with similar factor structures across nations and across the 50 US states, explicable in terms of IDV-COLL, FLX-MON, and life-history strategy (LHS) theories. Thus, subjective culture structures have mirror images in objective culture structures. This provides validation for our test, for the Minkov-Hofstede two-dimensional model of culture, for the use of nations and some sub-national political entities as units of cultural analysis, as well as for IDV-COLL, FLX-MON, and LHS theories.
Are investors in electoral authoritarian regimes discriminated against for political activism? In this paper, we implement a simple experiment to test whether affiliation with the ruling party or the political opposition affects the probability that investors receive advice from investment promotion agencies in Russian regions. Between December 2016 and June 2017, we sent 1504 emails with a short question and a number of randomized treatments to 188 investment promotion agencies in 70 Russian regions. Although investment promotion agencies are nominally depoliticized in Russia, we find that switching the political affiliation of a potential investor from the opposition party “Yabloko” to the government party “United Russia” on average increases the chances to receive a reply by 30%. The effect strongly depends on regional levels of political competition, with higher levels of discrimination in regions that are less politically competitive.
This chapter summarizes the main findings presented in the volume. The volume investigates similarity of social capital and well-being trends in different geographical locations and test stability of associations between social capital, well-being and their determinants across time-points, countries and regions. Overall, the book further contributes in the field in several directions. First, it allows to trace the impact of communist legacy on social capital in the long run. Second, it discovers the role of exogenous shocks and turbulent times on erosion and reviving of social capital and well-being. Third, it reveals how country conditions change the roots of social capital and shape relations between social capital and well-being.
Co-playing, or playing video games together, is a social practice that enriches relationships and game experience by providing the players with informational and social support. This study explores how co-playing integrates into friendship in two small (6–7 people), male communities of adolescent and adult friends. Both communities are local and school-based; both focus on co-playing Dota 2. The study focuses on the leadership in these small networks, compares their co-playing patterns, and the ways in which co-playing affects the relationships in both communities, enhancing their bonding social capital. We apply network analysis and personal interviews to compare and contrast how the co-playing communities emerged, are maintained and evolve along with the friendship. The main conclusion is that such co-playing communities emerge around a single Dota 2 enthusiast in the early secondary school as a common pastime, but co-playing video games increases bonding social capital among the community members. Network analysis demonstrates the differences in leadership in the teen and adult communities. The research shows how video games are embedded in collective everyday friendship and how co-playing communities function in support of such a relationship. The findings could be further tested against female and mixed co-playing communities.
We present the reaction of the EU and eight member states to the refugee crisis 2015/16 as a case of ‘defensive integration’. In the absence of a joint EU solution, the member states were left to their own devices and took a series of national measures that varied from one country to the other, depending on their policy heritage, and the combination of problem pressure and political pressure which they were facing. As a result, debordering responses prevailed at first. Only in a second stage a set of national and EU measures aiming at internal and external re-bordering were introduced. At this stage, destination states proved to be the most important drivers of a joint solution, with Germany taking the lead. The overall outcome is an example of ‘defensive integration’, aiming squarely at joint solutions to stop the refugee flow outside the EU but not to manage it inside the EU.
Recent accounts of democratic backsliding are negligent about the cultural foundations of autocracy-vs-democracy. To bring culture back in, I demonstrate that (1) the countries’ membership in culture zones explains some 70% of the global variation in autocracy-vs-democracy and (2) that this culture-bound variation has remained astoundingly constant over time – in spite of all the trending patterns in the global distribution of regime types over the last 120 years. Furthermore, the explanatory power of culture zones over autocracy-vs-democracy roots in the cultures’ differentiation on “authoritarian-vs-emancipative values.” Against this backdrop, lasting regime turnovers happen as a corrective response to glacially accruing regime-culture misfits – driven by generational value shifts into a pre-dominantly emancipatory direction. Consequently, the backsliding of democracies into authoritarianism is limited to societies in which emancipative values remain under-developed. Contrary to the widely cited deconsolidation-thesis, the prevalent generational profile in people’s moral orientations exhibits an almost ubiquitous ascension of emancipative values that will lend more, not less, legitimacy to democracy in the future.
The nation-building literature of the early 1960s argued that decolonized countries need to overcome pre-colonial ethnic identities and generate national cultures. Africa is the most critical test case of this aspect of modernization theory as it has by far the largest ethnolinguistic fractionalization. We use data from the Afrobarometer to compare the cultures of 85 ethnolinguistic groups, each represented by at least 100 respondents, from 25 African countries. We compared these groups and their nations on items that address cultural modernization and emancipation: ideologies concerning inclusive-exclusive society (gender egalitarianism, homophobia, and xenophobia), submissiveness to authority, and the societal role of religion. Previous research has shown that these are some of the most important markers of cultural differences in the modern world. Hierarchical cluster analysis yielded very homogeneous national clusters and not a single ethnolinguistic cluster cutting across national borders (such as Yoruba of Benin and Yoruba of Nigeria, Ewe of Ghana, and Ewe of Togo, etc.). Only three ethnolinguistic groups (3.5%) remained unattached to their national cluster, regardless of the clustering method. The variation between nations (F values) was often considerably greater than the variation between ethnolinguistic groups. Medial distances between the groups of each country correlated highly with GDP per person (r = −.54), percentage men employed in agriculture (r = .64), percentage men employed in services (r = −.63), and phone subscriptions per person (r = −.61). In conclusion, economic development and modernization diminish cultural differences between ethnolinguistic groups within nations, highlighting those between them.
How are candidates without official party affiliation able to succeed in authoritarian elections? We analyzed 1,101 independents who took part in city council elections in Russia’s regional capitals between 2014 and 2018. We found that independent candidates’ electoral fortunes depended both on their personal resources enabling them to attract voters’ support and pre-electoral deals with the regime. We also discovered that the chances of being elected were higher for those formally independent candidates who were the regime’s hidden representatives. For the latter group, the chances to win the race were boosted mostly by pre-electoral deals, rather than their personal resources.
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Лаборатория сравнительных социальных исследований, Национальный исследовательский университет «Высшая школа экономики».
Laboratory for Comparative Social Research, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russian Federation.
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Статья/монография/глава подготовлена в ходе/в результате проведения исследования/работы в рамках Программы фундаментальных исследований Национального исследовательского университета «Высшая школа экономики» (НИУ ВШЭ).
The article/book chapter/book was prepared within the framework of the HSE University Basic Research Program.