CGES conducts and supports a broad range of scientific conferences, methodological and research seminars, sessions, round tables, and many other meetings thematically corresponding to our main research areas. One of the essential tasks of the CGES is also organizing and fostering educational events, specifically, trainings, guest lectures, workshops, as well as summer and winter schools for Russian and international students. The archive of the CGES events is available here.
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Within the area ‘Network Structures in Germany, Europe and Russia’, CGES runs the main conference on network analysis in Eastern Europe, entitled ‘Networks in the Global World’ (NetGloW). Every 2 years about a hundred of participants from dozens of countries all over the world pass through a rigorous selection of applications to gather in St. Petersburg, discuss the frontier issues in network analysis, and search for responses to the cornerstone challenges faced by network analysis today. NetGloW also helps junior researchers to orient themselves in the complex landscape of network analysis.
The first NetGloW conference, subtitled ‘Structural Transformations in Europe, the US and Russia’, took place in 2012. It brought together more than 150 sociologists, philosophers, cultural scholars, management specialists, and economists - to discuss the growing role of network structures in the world. The conference programme is available here. The 2014 conference ‘Networks in the Global World. Bridging Theory and Method: American, European, and Russian Studies’ aimed to encourage connections between theoretical and methodological developments in network analysis. More than 160 participants, representing a variety of backgrounds, registered for the conference. Find out more in the conference programme, including abstracts of the talks. The 2016 NetGloW conference focused on relations between diverse networks, such as interpersonal, semantic, organisational, and material object networks. The participants discussed how network structures and their dynamics can be compared across cultures, states, economies, and cities, - with a primary focus on European societies. More than 150 people from 30 countries registered for the conference. In 2017, the conference has been officially endorsed by the International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA). The main topic of NetGloW 2018 was ‘Principles behind Structures: Patterns of complexity in European societies and beyond’, devoted to the mechanisms that drive structural dynamics of various kinds of networks: interpersonal, semantic, online, organizational, material, spatial, and others. More than 200 applications from 32 countries were submitted to the conference.
Another example is the international conference ‘Science, Education and Business Cooperation: The Innovation Landscapes of Europe and Russia’. It took place at St. Petersburg State University and European University at St. Petersburg on October 25-27, 2013. The goal of the conference was to discuss the recent trends in science, education and business cooperation in Russia and Europe, as a basis for the development of Russian and European innovation landscapes. More information on the event is available in the conference post-release and in its programme including abstracts of the talks.
CGES also co-organizes a number of conferences falling within our research scope and run by our partners. An example associated with the research area ‘Creativity, Communities, and Public Spaces in Germany, Europe and Russia’ is the international conference ‘Fast forward to the future’, organised together with The Creative Association of Curators ‘TOK’ in St. Petersburg in 2017. The conference gathered speakers from Russia, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Netherlands to analyze how various artistic and social practices might be involved in creating new ways of interacting and exchange with young people. Within the research area ‘Europe in World Society’ , the biennial international conference ‘The First World War, the Versailles System, and the Contemporary World’ is organized jointly by the School of International Relations of St. Petersburg State University, Russian Association of the First World War Historians, and Institute for General History, Russian Academy of Sciences. Similarly, the international conference ‘Comparative Media Studies in Today’s World’ is organized by the Higher School of Journalism and Media Communication of St. Petersburg State University with support from the CGES as a part of the Annual Forum ‘Media in the Modern World’.
Workshops, Seminars and Sessions
Moderated by international experts and leading scholars, the CGES methodological workshops comprise a solid ground for fruitful discussions, facilitate a multicultural dialogue, and stimulate knowledge sharing on the methodology in the field. For example, the annual workshop on ‘Research Methodology, Research Conceptualisation, Design and Presentation’ has been taking place in St. Petersburg every spring since 2008. The workshop addresses Russian early-career scholars who carry out comparative research projects on Germany and Europe. It provides students with an opportunity to discuss their research design in English with international experts and to compete for financial support from the CGES to conduct a research trip to Europe. In total, about 100 junior researchers participated in the workshop and 15 were granted the support.
Another annual event is a training on ‘International papers writing and publishing’ that takes place every autumn at the CGES in St. Petersburg. MA and PhD students from Russia and Europe learn how to write and prepare their papers for publication in international peer-reviewed journals. Overall, more than 30 students took part in this training since 2014.
The research workshop ‘Methodology of comparative studies on civil society in the EU, Germany, and Russia’ has been gathering NGO representatives and scholars from different EU countries and Russia since 2016. The participants traditionally discuss a variety of participatory methods applied in civil society studies and decide on the most appropriate ones to prepare annual analytical reports on civil society in different countries of the EU and in Russia.
One more regular activity run by the CGES is the final of the annual Russian-European Research Papers Competition for Junior Social Scientists, the main prize being a grant to conduct empirical research in Europe for Russian participants and in Russia - for European students. The event traditionally takes place every November in St. Petersburg, following a rigorous selection of the papers to participate in the final. Since 2014, over 30 early-career scientists from France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Russia, the Netherlands and other countries became finalists of the competition and 10 won the research mobility grants.
Another group of activities carried out by the CGES are research seminars and workshops falling into one of our main research areas. For instance, as a part of the research area ‘Network Structures in Germany, Europe and Russia’, in 2017 we organized the seminar on ‘Socio-semantic Patterns’ at Sciences Po, Paris. The seminar brought together leading scholars in the fields of socio-semantic network analysis, ‘networks and culture’ studies and social network modeling from all over the world. The main objective of the seminar was to discuss how social and semantic/meaning/cultural structures interact and how this interaction can be studied empirically. The programme of the seminar is available here. In 2016, CGES conducted a workshop on ‘Social and semantic network analyses of the European public sphere’. The invited speakers, Elena Pavan, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa and Adina Nerghes, VU University Amsterdam presented their research and demonstrated how network analysis can be applied to study different aspects of the European public sphere. MA and PhD students from St. Petersburg had a chance to present their own projects and to discuss various network analysis techniques suitable for their research.
Within the CGES research area ‘Creativity, Communities, and Public Spaces in Germany, Europe and Russia’, a major project ARTS4CITY was launched in 2015 in collaboration with the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) network. Having held 42 public events with a total of over 3,000 participants since the start of the project, ARTS4CITY aims to develop urban spaces in St. Petersburg. Among the events organized within the project are workshops, such as ‘Meeting Point’ for Okhtinsky College students, ‘Feel the Space’ aimed to regenerate a public park in St. Petersburg with the help of local citizens, and ‘Genius Loci’ that showcased creative labour research and creative practices undertaken in various transitional institutional, political, and cultural environments. Other ARTS4CITY events have been organized as part of the Arte Punctura (2017-2018) project. Aiming to stimulate creative regeneration of the post-industrial zone of the ‘Red Triangle’ area, the project ran numerous events, including, for instance, ‘Art Revitalization of Industrial Territories’ workshop conducted in St. Petersburg in 2017.
A number of smaller events organized by the CGES also fall within this research area. One example is the workshop ‘European Creative Labour Revisited: Cultural Production in Distinct Institutional Environments’ held in 2016 at the Museum of Sound in St. Petersburg. Another one is the workshop on ‘Artistic Training Between Tradition and Experiment’, conducted in 2017 at the ‘Mayak’ School for Creative Industries in St. Petersburg.
A distinct type of activities which the CGES organizes and supports are sessions and round tables at larger events, such as the continuous sessions on ‘Advances in socio-semantic network analysis’ taking place every year at the International Sunbelt Social Network Conference of the International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA) and at the European Conference on Social Networks.
Finally, every spring CGES organizes series of events within the framework of the ‘German Week’ in St. Petersburg held by the Consulate General of Germany in St. Petersburg, Goethe Institut in St. Petersburg, and Russian-German Chamber of Commerce. For instance, in 2018, CGES conducted a roundtable ‘Dual Diploma Programs: Theory and Practice’ in cooperation with DAAD Information Centre in St. Petersburg and an open training ‘Education and career in Germany: How to write motivation letters and CVs’.
Summer and Winter Schools
CGES organizes Summer and Winter Schools for Russian and international students. For example, the St. Petersburg Summer School on Network Analysis gathers social sciences and cultural studies students from Russia and Europe every two years since 2015. A team of prominent scholars and experts from the leading European universities introduces the participants to basic methods, tools, and techniques of network analysis. The programme of the School consists mainly of intense hands-on activities related to data collection and analysis, including usage of the corresponding software. Participants also present and discuss their own research projects with other students and teachers in order to get feedback and receive useful recommendations for their studies. In addition, the school features a workshop on publishing network-analytical papers in the leading journals.
The three-week annual Winter School takes place in Bielefeld and the European Academy of Otzenhausen and aims at giving the first-year students of the MA programme ‘Studies in European Societies’ (MA 'SES') a deeper understanding of the different aspects of life in Germany and Europe. The programme includes intense German-language courses and study visits to different political, cultural, and social institutions. As a result, students both improve their language skills and get to know German and European politics, history, economy, culture, and social life.
Annual Joint German-Russian Academy consists of two parts: Russian Spring Academy takes place in St. Petersburg and Summer European School resides in Otzenhausen. The Academy gathers German and Russian students in order to give the participants from Europe a deeper understanding of Russian politics, history, society, and culture, while Russian students learn about different aspects of Germany and the EU as well as the relations between Russia and the EU. The programme of the Academy includes lectures, interactive trainings, and group work as well as visits and study trips to various organisations, creative spaces, museums, political and social institutions in Germany and Russia. Since 2013, over 100 students participated in the Academy.
The main goal of the Summer School for Postgraduate Students in Strelna established in 2008 is to provide early-career scholars from around the world with theoretical and methodological background in European studies and to train their analytical skills. In 2017, the School brought together junior researchers from Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, and the UK, who sought to learn about civil society in Europe and to deepen their knowledge about the theoretical and methodological frameworks in European civil society studies.
Open Discussions, Trainings, and Public Lectures
CGES organizes a number of events for the broad public. The discussions arranged by the CGES concern topics relevant for the public debate on Germany and Europe. For instance, the annual ‘Fall meetings’ co-organized with the German-Russian exchange attract students, scholars, artists, intellectuals, and those interested in gaining a better understanding of the major societal changes taking place in Europe, the challenges it faces, and the different cultural and historical aspects that constitute today’s European identity. In 2018, the theme of Fall meetings was ‘How is Europe Changed by Information Technologies?' and focused on the changes in the social and political life of Europe caused by the rapid development of information technologies and having long-term effects.
Intercultural communication and conflict resolution are the main topics for most of the CGES training sessions, where participants learn how to be open-minded and tolerant towards representatives of other cultures. They also study specific tools to prevent and resolve conflicts. In 2017, a training ‘World citizens’ gathered participants from Russia, Germany, Italy, Austria, Sweden, the USA, and India, who strove to deepen their skills of intercultural communication in a friendly, international environment.
CGES public lectures focus on political, social, economic, and societal problems and challenges faced by Europe and Russia today. With the public lectures, CGES aims at bringing current research questions into attention and at stimulating open discussion among researchers, stakeholders, and broader publics interested in a particular topic of German, European, and/or Russian studies. For instance, in 2016, in cooperation with the Council of Young Scientists at the Faculty of Sociology of St. Petersburg State University, CGES organized a public lecture by Lester Salamon, Johns Hopkins University, USA on ‘10 myths about NGO sector in Russia and in the world’ and in 2015 - a series of public lectures ‘Sociology as a calling’ by an ex-president of the International Sociological Association Michael Burawoy, University of California, Berkeley at the Faculty of Sociology of St. Petersburg State University . In 2018, together with the Higher School of Economics and the German-Russian exchange in St. Petersburg, CGES organized a public lecture on ‘What Online Advertising Data Reveals about People in Europe and Beyond?’ by Ingmar Weber, Social Computing Group at Qatar Computing Research Institute.
CGES also supports similar events organized by our international partners, such as the public lecture series by Elena Belokurova and Anna Tarasenko ‘Civil society and participation in Europe, Russia, and the post-Soviet neighbourhood’, or Alexander Kondakov’s lecture ‘Everyone Hates Politics in Russia: How the legacy of the USSR influences the political engagement of LGBT citizens’ held at Bielefeld University, Germany.