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.
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.