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Regular version of the site

Keynote Speakers

Ronald Inglehart (University of Michigan; Higher School of Economics)

Modernization and the Decline of Violence: The Mass Basis of the “Democratic Peace”

Ronald Inglehart   is famous American political scientist. He was the President of World Value Survey Association in 1988 – 2013. He is also the winner of the 2011 Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science (together with Pippa Norris). Now he is Amy and Alan Lowenstein Professor in Democracy, Democratization and Human Rights at the University of Michigan and Professor at the Higher School of Economics, and also the Scientific Supervisor of the LCSR. 

Abstract: Although violence remains widespread, the world is experiencing a long-term decline in the use of violence, from domestic murder to inter-state war. Three possible explanations have been advanced.  The Democratic Peace thesis argues that the decline in inter-state violence results from the diffusion of democracy; the Modernization thesis suggests that economic development-- particularly the rise of the knowledge society-- pacifies inter-human relations by shifting the basis of wealth and power from land and coercion to knowledge and creativity; while the Globalization thesis suggests that growing interdependence raises the costs of violence relative to its benefits. Supplementing all three interpretations, this article points to a pervasive mass-level cultural change that is making violence less acceptable— and, more specifically, is bringing a decline in people’s willingness to fight for their country. Analyzing cross-sectional, longitudinal, and multi-level evidence from the World Values Surveys, we argue that rising existential security brings growing tolerance of outgroups and a diminishing willingness to fight for one’s country-- providing an increasingly solid mass basis for international peace. 

Christian Welzel (Leuphana University; Higher School of Economics) 

The Paradox of Democracy: Why Mass Desires for Democracy Easily Coexist with Lack of Democracy

Christian Welzel is a leading professor of LCSR. He is also a Vice President of the World Values Survey Association, and the Professor of Political Culture Research, Institute of Political Science and Center for the Study of Democracy at the Leuphana University in Germany, as well as Adjunct Professor at Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany.

Abstract: Public opinion surveys around the world show that large majorities of almost any country express a strong preference for democracy over its authoritarian alternatives. Nevertheless, many authoritarian and semi-authoritarian regimes persist despite these mass preferences and often do not even face serious opposition. I will demonstrate that, wherever this coexistence paradox is in place, people's democratic preferences lack a solid grounding in emancipative values. Detached from these values, democratic mass preferences are irrelevant for a given regime's actual level of democracy. The reason why emancipative values are important for the chances of democracy to emerge, persist and flourish are threefold: (1) emancipative values focus people's notion of democracy on democracy's defining liberal qualities; (2) emancipative values make people critical of their country's democratic performance; (3) emancipative values encourage people to publically express trheir criticism and to take action for their ideals, thus fueling mass pressures on those in power to listen to the voice of the people.

Eduard Ponarin (Higher School of Economics)

Russia’s Elite: What They Think of the United States and Why

Eduard Ponarin is the director of the LCSR. He is also a Professor at the Department of Sociology of HSE branch in Saint-Petersburg. Professor Ponarin holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Michigan, USA. The key topics of his research are nationalism, ethnicity and religiosity.

Abstract: This paper is devoted to the change in anti-American attitudes among Russian elites and masses during the post-Soviet period. We found that the share of people who consider the U.S as a threat to security and order in Russia had significantly increased over the last 20 years in both groups. We explain this trend through the notion of ressentiment suggested by Liah Greenfeld. According to the ressentiment hypothesis, growth of anti-Americanism in Russia results from the disappointment in consequences of political and economic reforms of the early 90-ies. We perform quantitative analysis of the data from the New Russian Barometer and William Zimmerman’s survey of Russian elites to support our claim. Logistic regression models confirm the ressentiment hypothesis. However, it is worth noting that some other factors also affect attitudes of Russians toward the USA, including elite’s propaganda and occasional tensions in U.S – Russia relations.   

Malina Voicu (European Data Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (EUROLAB), GESIS)

Social Diversity and Social Values. Does Religious Diversity Differ of Ethnic and Linguistic One?

Malina Voicu  is postdoctoral researcher with the European Data Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (EUROLAB), GESIS. She is also a member of the International Sociological Association, European Sociological Association, and some other sociological organizations.

Abstract: During last decades social scientists paid more attention to social diversity and its effects on social life. The increasing in diversity in Western societies due to higher influx of external migrants makes social diversity and its effects on social life a hot issues for scientific community and policy makers. Previous studies either consider different types of diversity as being very similar with respect to their effects on social life or focus mainly on ethnic and linguistic diversity. Moreover, previous studies paid attention mainly to the connection between ethnic and linguistic diversity and social capital and civic participation. Consequently, the impact of religious diversity on different sphere of social life is very few investigated, while the general effect of diversity on other areas of social life then social capital and civic participation is underexplored.

This research aims at filling in these gaps by exploring the effect of religious diversity on different values such as support for democracy, support for gender equality and political participation. Using data provided by consecutive waves of World Values Survey and European Values Study, this research investigates how the effect of religious diversity on different values differs of the one of ethnic and linguistic diversity. The relationships between different types of diversity and social values are investigated from cross-sectional and longitudinal perspective. Results of Multilevel Regression Models and of Changing Parameter Models show that religious diversity has different impact on various values and this effect varies over time in a different way as compared to the effect of ethnic and linguistic diversity. These differences are caused by the specific character of religious institutions and religious beliefs, as well as by secularization process that has affected only religious diversity and its social consequences. 

Arye Rattner (University of Haifa)

Crime and Immigration: Socialization and Acculturation of the Russian Immigration to Israeli Society

Arye Rattner is a professor of sociology and criminology at the University of Haifa. He is also Director of the Center for the Study of Crime, Law & Society

Abstract: Immigration has been documented in the literature as a process that involves many aspects of crisis. On many instances mass immigration of a group of population from one country to another is followed by a difficult process of acculturation and socialization into a new society and sometimes into a completely different culture. Immigration involves on many occasion loss of employment which results in temporarily decrease in socioeconomic status and other social and financial difficulties.

Between 1989-1996 close to 1 million citizens, mostly Jews, have immigrated from the Former Soviet Union to Israel. This wave of immigration has constitute at its peak close to twenty percent of the entire State of Israel population. This Russian wave of immigration is considered to be perhaps the most successful one in the history of immigration to Israel since 1948. As of 2010, more then 66% percent of the immigrants have expressed a high degree of satisfaction from many aspects of their life in israel, employment especially among the age group of 25-59 was almost full, and their sense of identity with Israel and the Israeli society was very strong and increasing together with their length of stay.

Despite the many positive aspects of the absorption of Russian immigrants in Israel many negative stereotypes have developed with regard to the Russian immigrants especially by the media. One of the stereotypes was with regard to the involvement of Russian immigrants in criminal activity in Israel. A recent study on crime in Israel has examined whether this stereotype was a myth or based on evidence. 

Bogdan Voicu (Romanian Academy of Sciences; Lucian Blaga University)

On Values Change under the Influence of International Migration

Bogdan Voicu is principal research fellow at the Research Institute for Quality of Life of the Romanian Academy of Sciences and Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology of Lucian Blaga University in Sibiu. He is also a member of the Romanian Group for the Study of Social Values

Abstract: The literature on value formation and change was dominated for more than half a century by the assumption that values are stable features (Jagodzinski, 2004). Mannheim’s (1952) generational replacement explanation and Ryder’s (1965) focus on cohorts provided grounds for Inglehart’s (1971, 1997) socialization hypothesis to become core of his postmaterialist theory. Conditions during early yearly are said to be key for value formation, and individuals tend to maintain their values over the entire life. This strong assumption is considered as given by most of the literature devoted to defining social values (Ester et al., 1994; Ester et al., 2006; Featherstone, 2011; Hitlin&Piliavin, 2004; Jagodzinski, 2004; van Deth&Scarbrough, 1994).

However, the assimilation theories, irrespectively if in their classic, neoclassic or segmented versions, claim that immigrants daily interact with the dominant culture and acquire new ways of doing, memories, behaviors, attitudes, values specific to the dominant group (Alba & Nee 1997, 2003;Esser, 2010; Portes et al., 2005; Portes&Rumbaut, 2006). This involves a strong assumption related to value change in adult time. The idea is also to be found among scholar of social values and/or social change. Ogburn’s (1973) macro-level lag theory is such an example.Inkeles’s (1969: 213-214) view of factory as school for modernization, stresses the informal learning that occurs at the work place and in school as drivers of modernization, that change values in a consistent manner. Gundelach (1994) is the one to coin institutions as containers of value patterns to be interiorized by immigrants. This institutionalization assumption in value formation (Arts, 2011) is also to be found in Beck and Beck-Gernsheim (2001, chapter 13). The strength of contextual factors in value change is also underlined by the regulatory focus theory (Higgins, 2011) developed in psychology, as well as in Inglehart & Baker (2000) and Inglehart&Welzel (2005) who show that values are subject to change when experiencing high inflation or persistent economic recession. As Welzel (2007) puts on, culture is adaptive to contextual changes.

My talk focuses on the two compelling hypothesis: socialization and institutionalization, and uses international migration as ‘natural experiment’ (Dinesen, 2013) that may be used to test for their complementarity. I focus on work values, and I use data from the values survey and cross-classified multilevel models to see if international migrants keep being influenced by the values of their society of origin, while being exposed to the culture of the host country. Second, I switch perspective and focus on stayers (individual from emigration country which choose not to migrate), which might be exposed to influence of other societies due to their emigrants fellows and foreign-born friends. Multiple membership multilevel models are used in this respect, while data from Romanian 2012 version of the WVS is employed.

In the end I discuss the implications for both value change theories and assimilation theories

Francesco Sarracino (National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies  of Luxembourg)

All That Glitters ain't Gold! A Beyond GDP Strategy for Well-Being

Francesco Sarracino is an economist collaborating with STATEC, the national institute of statistics of Luxembourg, the GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, and an associate member of the scientific network of the Laboratory for Comparative Social Research – Higher School of Economics, Russia

Abstract: Is economic growth the way to pursue to improve people's well-being? After the second world war industrialized countries experienced an unprecedented economic growth that dramatically improved people's living conditions. However, raising wealth did not result in higher well-being: figures confirm that people in rich countries are not more satisfied with their lives than previously. This evidence suggests that modern societies should not expect durable improvements for their well-being from economic growth. This is inconsistent with the long-lasting belief that economic growth is the solution to improve the human condition and raises the question: if not GDP, what does explain the trends of subjective well-being and their differences across countries?

Recent studies show that social capital, and particularly people's social interactions, plays a major role in determining people's well-being. Social research explored the relationship between social capital, economic growth and well-being both across and within countries. Results document that people's well-being asks not only for material needs, but also for further aspects coming from the delicate connection of human relationships with others and with the surrounding environment. Hence, to pursue durable improvements in people's well-being, policy makers should focus on something else - such as social capital - the attention and the resources that modern societies have been employing to support economic growth.  

Musa Shteiwi (University of Jordan, Amman;Jordanian Center for Social Research)

Identity and the Right of Return among Palestinian Refugees: an Empirical Investigation

Dr. Musa Shteiwi  is a lecturer in the Sociology Department and Women Studies Program at the University of Jordan in Amman. He is the founder and Director of the Center for Strategic Studies.  His main fields of research are growth, poverty, social policies, social inequality, women’s studies, and civil society.

Abstract: The main purpose of this study is twofold: 1.toexplore thePalestinian refugee’s self-assessment of their identity; 2) to explore the Palestinian refugees’ attitudes towards the right of return and the different alternatives for solving this issue. This project was conducted by the Center for Strategic Studies (CSS) at the University of Jordan. The survey was implemented with partners in the respective communities with the exception of Jordan where CSS implemented the surveys. A specially designed questionnaire was applied to samples in four countries/areas that host Palestinian refugees: Jordan (one inside and one outside camps), the West Bank (one inside and another outside refugee camps), Lebanon and Gaza (one survey each).In addition to these refugee communities, a survey was administered to Palestinian Israelis for the first time. A representative sample of 1200 respondents 18 years or older was taken from each community. The survey was not implemented in Syria because of the current crises. All surveys were implemented in the first half 2011.The main findings of this study reveal the resilience of the Palestinian identity after more than 60 years of living in different countries.Howevere,the results reveal that in countries where refugees were given citizenship of the host countries(Jordan) and in Israeli where Palestinians were granted Israeli citizenship, there is a significant percentages  who identify themselves as Jordanians(in Jordan) and Palestinian/ArabIsraelites  inside Israel. Also while the overwhelming majority still upholds the right of return, there are variations in terms of its actual implementation

Peter Schmidt (Justus-Liebig-University Giessen; Higher School of Economics)

Explaining Germans’ Segregation Preferences: A Factorial Survey Approach on the Role of Immigrant Group Size,  Intergroup Contact and Anti-Immigrant Prejudice (with Elmar Schlüter and Johannes Ullrich)

Peter Schmidt – is a famous German sociologist, professor at Justus-Liebig-University Giessen He is also the supervisor of International Scientific-Educational Laboratory for Socio-Cultural Research at HSE

Abstract: This study attempts to contribute to the explanation of segregation preferences through three improvements. First, we seek to better understand not only if, but also under what conditions and how contextual-level immigrant group size contributes to individual-level segregation preferences. To achieve this goal, we focus on a promising, but relatively neglected concept in the study of segregation preferences: interethnic contact. In brief, we argue that a larger immigrant group size increases natives’ segregation intentions, but that intergroup contact will ameliorate this influence through a reduction of anti-immigrant prejudice.

Second, we seek to make empirical progress as well. We examine our predictions not only for explaining natives’ segregation preferences regarding residential areas (Study 1), but also for explaining natives’ segregation preferences regarding school choice (Study 2). This cross-validation across two distinct, but highly relevant socio-spatial contexts helps to establish the generalizability of our findings. In addition, we note that most extant research on segregation preferences deals with intergroup relations in the US, mainly between whites and blacks (Emerson, Yancey & Chai, 2001; Krysan, Couper, Faryley & Forman, 2009, St. John & Bates, 1990). However, it is not obvious whether or to what extent the cumulative findings from the US literature apply to interethnic relations between natives and immigrants in other immigration societies as well. We contribute to remedy this gap in the literature by using Germany as our test case. In contrast to the demographic conditions of many US cities, in Germany it is relatively rare that a single immigrant group prevails in a specific residential environment or school (Friedrichs & Triemer, 2008). Also, levels of ethnic/racial residential segregation in the United States are commonly far higher than segregation levels between natives and immigrants in Germany (Schönwälder & Söhn, 2009). Thus, the German research setting appears well-suited to yield insights on the cross-cultural generalizability of previous results.

Third and finally, in testing the validity of our predictions, we also offer methodological contributions. We use a factorial survey approach (Rossi & Nock, 1982; Krysan et al., 2009; Wallander, 2009) for embedding a within-subject experimental design (West, Biesanz & Kwok, 2008) into a large national-level survey. We then analyze these data taking advantage of two-level structural equation modeling (SEM) (Muthén & Asparouhov, 2011). Unlike conventional hierarchical linear regression modeling techniques (Raudenbush & Bryk, 2002), two-level SEM allows for a simultaneous test of the direct, moderating and mediating relations our theoretical model implies(Preacher, Zyphur & Zhang, 2010).

Elena Prutskova (St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University, Moscow)

Orthodox Monitor: Toward a Holistic Model of Religious Influence on Values and Attitudes in Countries with Forced Secularization Experience

Elena Prutskova is a lecturer at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University, (Moscow); and associate researcher at Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (HSE). She also participates as a researcher at “Sociology of Religion” project.

Abstract: Orthodox Monitor is a research project, aimed at studying religious influence on values and practices in various spheres of life (such as family and social networks, civil and political activity, etc.), and the attitudes of population towards Church initiatives in various fields (education, culture, health, social work, etc.). The research methodology has been developed by the “Sociology of Religion” project at St.Tikhon’s Orthodox University to answer several problems which arise in contemporary surveys of religiosity in countries which have undergone forced secularization. We propose that in the modern world there are at least three ways an individual gets connected to religion which are important to study the influence of religion on attitudes, values and behavior: (1) individual acquirement of religious values, norms, and the contents of beliefs (religious conversion and socialization), (2) connection through social networks – contacts with religious people on various, not necessarily religious occasions, (3) reacting to the statements by or about representatives of religion in mass media (the public sphere). Three waves of the survey were conducted in Russia during 2011 and 2012. The fieldwork was carried out by the “Public Opinion Foundation”. The first wave was a detailed study of the general population attitudes towards the Russian Orthodox Church, religious involvement characteristics and motivation, values, practices. The second wave was a shortened replication of some questions from the first wave. The third wave is a study of the core Church members, which contains questions on values (Shwartz 21-items PVQ), Church social work participation, social networks.



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