Call for project participants, Nation-building in Russia

From: MINELRES moderator <>
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2000 09:39:44 +0200 (EET)
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Subject: Call for project participants, Nation-building in Russia

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Original sender: Pal Kolsto <>

Call for project participants, Nation-building in Russia

The research project 'Nation-building and common values in Russia',
jointly financed by the Norwegian Research Council and the Norwegian
University Council, is looking for five project participants working
and living in Russia. Each participant will be assigned with the task
of writing a book length chapter on a given subject (appr. 12,000
A first draft of the chapter must be completed by 1 Jan 2001. The
final version must be completed by 31 Sept 2001. The research
participation will be remunerated with 2,000 Euro, half of which will
be paid upon the presentation of the first draft, the second half when
the final version has been accepted and the book is ready for
publication. Together with contributions written by Norwegian
participants the chapters will be compiled into a book that will be
submitted to an American publisher.
Brief project outline: "Nation-building can be defined as the
societal, cultural, and political processes that together bring about
a common identity among the population in a given polity. In our study
we want to examine how and to what degree a <italic>commonality of
values</italic> among the residents is a crucial element in the
establishment of such a common identity in a population. We note that
Russian politicians from various parts of the political landscape have
repeatedly expressed concern that the gradual disappearance of common
ideas, laws and values among Russia's population may lead to the
country's disintegration as a distinct community.
At the same time, not all disagreements about values, obviously, are
equally detrimental to nation-building. A nation may presumably hang
well together even if its members have widely different esthetical
values or disagree about the best way to use their leisure time. And
what is more: attempts to foist common cultural values upon a
multicultural population may even have the effect of breaking up a
brittle national identity. Thus, many strategies of nation-building in
plural societies may turn out to be counterproductive. In some areas,
however, such as the rules for how a government should be elected and
other basic political principles, one would think that a high degree
of value consensus is important.
In our project we will discuss the relationship of nation-building to
values in Russia on two levels, sociological and political. We will
first ask: 1. Which values are actually common and which are different
among various groups in Russia's population? Answers to this question
we will find by means of large scale surveys conducted in several
different regions. Next we ask: 2. which national-building strategies
are the Russian authorities pursuing and what are the implications of
these strategies with regard to values? Are they trying to inculcate a
high degree of common values in the population, or do they accept a
high degree of pluralism? Which values are they fostering, and by what
means? Answers to these questions we find by analyzing political
programs and speeches of political leaders, as well as through content
analysis of public policies and school curricula."
The five chapters written by Russian participants will be devoted to
the follwing topics:
1. Comparative analysis of the survey data, with particular emphasis
on the issue of 'ethnicity and values'.

2. Nation-building and common values as they are presented in Russian
text books, in particular within the school subjects of 'ethics and
religion' and 'contemporary history'.
3. Nation-building and common values in one of the subjects of the
Federation in the Volga-Ural region or Northern Russia.
4. Nation-building and common values in one of the subjects of the
Federation in Siberia.

5. Nation-building and common values in one of the subjects of the
Federation in Northern Caucasus or Southern Russia.
Each applicant must specify which of the five research slots he or she
is applying for.
Except slot (2) each participant should be prepared to work with
survey data.
Each participant is expected to contribute to the progress of the
overall project, by commenting upon the drafts of other participants,
contribute with advice to each other, etc.
All participants are expected to take part in a work shop that will be
arranged in Tampere, Finland, 1-2 August 2000, in conjunction with the
VI ICCEES congress. Travel and accommodation expenses to the workshop
will be covered by the project.
Applications should include:
professional biography, publications lists, list of other relevant
qualifications. Level of language profiency in English should be
specified. (Book chapters may be submitted in Russian, but under
otherwise equal circumstances participants with a good command of
English will be preferred).
For a fuller project outline and more information, please contact
Professor Pal Kolsto
Dept. of East European and Oriental Studies
University of Oslo
Box 1030, Blindern
N-0315 Oslo, Norway
fax (+47)22 85 41 40
Application deadline: 5 March 2000

Professor Pal Kolsto
Dept. of East European and Oriental Studies
University of Oslo
Box 1030, Blindern
N-0315 Oslo, Norway
tel (+47) 22 85 67 99/22 85 67 97
fax (+47)22  85 41 40
home address: Ramsvig 50 g, N-4015 Stavanger, Norway
tel/fax home (+47) 51  56 20 82


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