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About LCSR

The Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (LCSR) was established in the Higher School of Economics, a National Research University, in November 2010 when professors Ronald Inglehart and Eduard Ponarin were awarded a mega-grant from the Russian government.

Table of Content:

The Purpose of LCSR

The focus of our research is on comparative studies of social change – the analysis of cross-sectional and longitudinal data based on World Values Survey (WVS) data. The WVS study includes about 100 countries all over the world. The participants in this project are numerous research centers and scientists across the globe. The academic supervisor of the LCSR, Ronald F. Inglehart - besides being one of the most renowned sociologists and political scientists in the world - is also the founder and the president of the World Value Survey organization during 1988-2013. Christian Welzel, an LCSR professor, is a President (emer.) and Vice-President of World Values Survey Association, Stockholm (Sweden). The Russian part of the LCSR management is headed by Eduard Ponarin – professor of sociology at the Higher School of Economics at St. Petersburg (Ph.D., University of Michigan).


The LCSR studies norms and values at the international level, which includes comparing data within regions and classes in Russia as well as between Russia and other countries. It also analyzes and compares the results of different waves of World Value Survey. The key goal of the Laboratory for Comparative Social Research is the evolution of quantitative comparative studies and instrumental analytical methods of large data sets in Russia. More information about LCSR projects can be found here. Apart from this, LCSR conducts regular conferences, workshops, and summer schools, which focus on discussions of methodological questions of comparative macro-sociology and on presentations of research results.


The Laboratory’s foci are the following research areas:

  • To describe and explain value shifts in Russia and other post-soviet countries in the past 30 years;
  • To put these shifts in the global context by comparing the values of the Russian population and world trends;
  • To find out the differences in values among Russian regions;
  • To clarify the role of economic development against cultural and historic characteristics of Russian regions via interregional comparison.

International Research Network

The LCSR international network is based on the principle of international academic mobility. Young foreign and Russian scholars who have already received European and American degrees work in the Higher School of Economics as associate professors and junior researchers in the Laboratory. Russian Ph. D. students have brilliant opportunities to continue their education and to build their careers in partner universities while retaining the option to return to Russia. Access to top experts, international databases, and contemporary methods help our LCSR staff to quickly build the research skills and competencies of its students.


The LCSR aims to be an international center for comparative social analysis. As of now, the Laboratory has become one of the most important research institutions studying social values in a quantitative perspective in the post-soviet space. The international network of researchers, which developed in the Laboratory, has participants who regularly gather together at conferences and workshops. The organizational network has three levels:

  • The first level (staff) – researchers, professors, post-graduate and graduate students of HSE at St. Petersburg and Moscow who are involved in LCSR projects on a permanent basis
  • The second level (associate researchers) – a network of associate researchers from Russian regions and other countries all over the World who take part in summer schools and conferences and who conduct various kinds of research
  • The third level (experts) – an international network of colleagues from different countries who participate in various projects of the Laboratory in consultation with researchers in their respective fields.

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