LCSR International Conference - Day 2
Maria Batishcheva provided a summary of the day
Maria Batishcheva (research assistant at LCSR) tells about the second day of the 3rd International Research Conference “Cultural and Economic changes under Cross-National Perspective”.
The plenary lecture of Ronald Inglehart (University of Michigan, USA; LCSR HSE, St. Petersburg) on “Modernization and the Decline of Violence: The Mass Basis of the “Democratic Peace” became the major event of the day. He presented three possible explanations for long-term decline of violence, from domestic murder to wars, which is observed all over the world since the end of the World War II. The Democratic Peace theory argues that the decline in inter-state violence is a result of democracy diffusion. Modernization theory suggests that the 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, professor Inglehart pointed to a pervasive mass-level cultural change that is making violence less acceptable. Analyzing cross-sectional, longitudinal, and multi-level evidence from the World Values Surveys, he argues that rising existential security brings growing tolerance of out-groups and diminishing willingness to fight for the country, providing an increasingly solid mass basis for international peace.
Bogdan Voicu (Romanian Academy of Sciences, Research Institute for Quality of Life) was the second key speaker at the plenary session. In his presentation “On values change under the influence of international migration” he mainly focused on the two compelling hypothesis: socialization and institutionalization, and used international migration as a “natural experiment”. Besides, the research was focused on work values of stayers (individuals 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. In the end of the lecture Professor Voicu discussed the implications of his study for both value change and assimilation theories.
Concerning the sessions, the first progress report of the second day was “Disentangling Trust and Perceived Trustworthiness. Towards a New Typology of Trust” by Anna Almakaeva (LCSR HSE, Moscow) and Nicolas Griesshaber (Humboldt University Berlin). Their research aimed to contribute to the debate in two ways. Firstly, they introduced a new two-dimensional typology of trust, encompassing trust and perceived trustworthiness as separate concepts. Secondly, they tested whether such a typology works better than previous concepts.
Balazs Telegdy (“Sapientia” Hungarian University of Transylvania; University of Bucharest) delivered a guest presentation on “The interconnection between the institutional trust and welfare attitudes in the former communist countries of Europe”. His principal hypothesis was that the trust towards the state institutions is strongly influenced by the citizens’ value orientation regarding the state welfare politics.
Niels Michalski (Humboldt University, Berlin) closed the morning session with his paper “Associations between Social Trust and Human Values across Europe” investigating the relationship between social trust defined as general trust in unknown people, and Schwartz’ human values scale on European countries data. The results of his research show that correlation patterns concerning correlations of trust with prevalence of universalism and security values vary considerably across countries. He argues that variations across countries remain stable when controlling for other covariates and that social unequality (GINI) and wealth (GDP) can account for variations across countries.
The afternoon working session on Modernization, Values Change and Racial Intolerance was opened by Yuri Saveliev (National Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv, Ukraine) who presented his progress report on “Modernization and variations in value change in European societies in 1995-2008”. His research was aimed at revealing patterns in variations of emancipative values in European societies and testing Inglehart’s socialization hypothesis.
Then Olga Mitina (Moscow State University), Victor Petrenko (Mosow State University of Psychology and Education) set forth a guest paper “Multidimensional image of a country: the main categories of perception and the results of the empirical cross-cultural study” that presented results of a comparison of images of the various countries as social representation of people living in these countries (inside view) as well as representations of people from other countries (outside view).
Alexander Seymer (University of Salzburg) carried out the project on “Measurement of social milieus in a cross-sectional context”. It primarily contributed to cross-sectional research and promoted consideration of social groups as important moderators of micro-macro level interactions.
The new project conducted by Carolin Rapp (University of Bern) “The Causes and Consequences of Racial Intolerance in Comparative Perspective” analyzing how the negative attitudes may be overcome by means of racial tolerance finalized the session. The first step is how the three B-s of religious commitment (belonging, behaving, and believing) contribute to racial intolerance. Further steps include analysis of specific role of individual attributes such as values, conformity, conservatism, and authoritarianism in the formation of racial intolerance. The researcher also takes a closer look at the social and political consequences of racial intolerance.
The last working session of the day was called “Welfare Regime, Social Justice and Social Change”. Progress report on “Welfare Policy, Successful Aging and Social Justice” by Julia Zelikova (LCSR HSE, St. Petersburg) has opened the session. In her opinion, the welfare state exerts a direct effect to the extent that individuals experience real impact on their quality of life.
Zsófia Ignácz (Humboldt University, Berlin) in her progress report “Socialization and Justice Attitudes: To What Extent Does Socialist Legacy Determine Justice Attitudes towards the Wage Distribution after the Transition in Post-socialist Countries?” posed research question that is investigated in two steps. As a first step of the analysis, the difference between post-Socialist and Western European countries is identified based on comparative analysis. As the second step, the effect of social legacy is analyzed by looking at the generational effect on justice attitudes within the post-Socialist countries.
Olga Gryaznova (European University at Florence) delivered a progress report on “Social position, values and support of different government welfare programs. A comparison of six types of welfare cultures”. The main question of this research is whether the effect of values and social position on demand for basic social guaranties, government regulation of family and labor market policy varies across different types of welfare cultures.
The final report of Andrey Shcherbak (LCSR HSE, St. Petersburg) and Svetlana Borinskaya (Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow) “Exogenous Shock, Genetic Diversity and Social Change: the Case of Alcohol and European Colonization” was the last in the second day. The paper was aimed to link genetic diversity and social change. Although some studies associate certain genes with pro-social behavior, it is hard to say that any genetic polymorphisms are responsible for social change. The authors assume that some existing differences in particular genotypes could be explained by extent of ancient urbanization, change in population density and historic pathogen prevalence. The pathogen load might have led to some genetic mutations that in their turn might have caused difference in frequency of one allele responsible for low consumption of alcohol.
Evening reception became an informal continuation of the scientific program where all participants continued their discussions in a friendly atmosphere.
by Maria Batishcheva