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Postdoctoral Fellow in Business-State Relations with a Regional Focus on Russia and/or China

International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development (ICSID) in Moscow, Russia

HSE University


The Higher School of Economics Laboratory for International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development (ICSID) in Moscow, Russia, invites applications for postdoctoral research positions in the field of business-state relations with a regional focus on Russia and/or China.


How and when do employers cooperate with the state in order to further local economic development? Traditional work on business-state relations has highlighted the commitment problems that bedevil attempts by firms and the state to co-invest in cooperative programs to improve the local business climate and foster local development. These problems are particularly severe in settings where weak institutions make it difficult for firms to hold local officials accountable for breaking agreements or acting opportunistically. Traditional work on institutions and investment would suggest that under such circumstances, cooperation between firms and the state should be non-existent absent political connections to guarantee property rights, exit options, or duress. Contrary to theory, however, emerging evidence on vocational education in Russia and China suggests that firms and the state can work together on joint projects, despite weak accountability environments. Just as crucially, while these models borrow heavily from continental European models of vocational education, they also tend to adapt previous models of skill development (e.g. Soviet practice in the case of Russia) developed under Communism to market conditions. Thus, these developments pose interesting questions for scholars of both the political economy of development and of historical institutional adaptation.


The post-doctoral position entails working with ICSID scholars Dr. Thomas Remington and Israel Marques II to produce a comparative study of public-private partnerships and understand their integration into broader vocational education regimes. The goal of the project is to better understand the conditions that lead to their emergence and facilitate their persistence, as well as to understand how they adapted historical practices to rapidly changing institutional contexts. The post-doc will assist ICSID scholars in conceptualizing and developing data on public private partnerships (specifically) and vocational education (more broadly) in Russia and/or China, expanding ICSID’s current database to increase temporal coverage and include key elements of vocational education – intermediary organizations, organizational principles, financing, past practices, etc. – beyond the current focus on public-private partnerships. The post-doc will also be encouraged to develop original data on their country of expertise. Although the primary purpose of the post-doctoral project is comparative, the successful post-doctoral candidate should have an active research agenda relating to vocational education or business state relations and is highly encouraged to pursue individual projects. In addition to ICSID’s data on public-private partnerships, post-docs will also have access to ICSID’s databases of regional elites, socio-economic variables, and survey instruments.


Current ICSID projects concentrate on a variety of topics, including empirical studies of political elites, collective action, trust and cultural norms and their link to economic development, institutional quality and historical roots of institutions. Candidates are welcome to participate in ongoing projects or offer other topics of research that will be of mutual interest. 


About HSE University

The Higher School of Economics (HSE University) is a young, dynamic and fast-growing Russian research university. Over the past 25 years, HSE University has become a leader in Russian education, while also being recognized globally.

For instance, we were the first state-run university in Russia to begin recruiting on the international academic market. We aim at being a university with a highly attuned approach to training new professionals. Therefore, we are eager to hire people with real experience, as well as basic and applied knowledge. Committed to high-quality research, HSE University now has more than 100 research institutes and centres and over 30 international research laboratories collaborating with international specialists from all over the world.



The general requirements for the postdoctoral fellowship positions are the following:

  • a PhD from an international research university in such fields of social science as: economics, education, sociology, political science, public policy or government (got during last 5 years but before the start of the program);
  • a strong interest in the fields of business-state relations and vocational education;
  • a strong background in data processing and data analysis using classical statistics;
  • ability to work in a team;
  • strong English communication skills;
  • a regional focus on Asia, Post-communist, or Latin American countries is an asset, but not required;
  • fluent English is an obligatory condition as research and other activities are conducted in English;
  • Relevant experience will be an asset although not required.


The position involves:

  • working under the direct supervision of Dr. Thomas Remington and Israel Marques II, imarques@hse.ru
  • participants are encouraged to pursue their own research in parallel with working on ICSID’s research projects in any of three broad areas:
    • Business-state relations and the role of firms in influencing the development of vocational education and retraining
    • The institutional and organizational prerequisites of intrafirm cooperation and business-state cooperation in vocational education.
    • The adaptation of historical practices and models of vocational education to changing institutional and market contexts and modern circumstances
  • writing research papers for international peer-reviewed journals in co-authorship with the members of the Institute
  • participation in organization of events and other contributions to the Institute’s development
  • teaching and public presentations of candidate’s own research are also encouraged



Appointments are normally made for one year (from September 2021). Postdoctoral fellows have an opportunity of renewal of the contract (no more than two times).

HSE University offers postdoctoral fellows a competitive salary, the standard medical insurance plan, a working space equipped with a computer and free Internet access at the University.


The Center offers access to its unique databases on socio-economic indicators of the Russian regions, political elites and historical roots of institutions in Russia. ICSID also provides all necessary support for research such as up-to-date analytical software, funding for attendance at international conferences and research assistantship. Moreover, the HSE library provides access to a large collection of academic journals.

Application Process

Applications must be submitted online. Please provide a CV, a statement of research interest and a recent research paper submitted via the online application form. At least two letters of recommendation should be sent directly to the International Faculty Recruitment Office at fellowship@hse.ru before the application deadline. Please note that direct applications to the hiring center may not be reviewed.

Read more about the application process here.


The deadline for the applications is February 14, 2021.

Apply Now

For more information:

or contact Valeriya Kotelnikova, a manager of the center directly

If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact the International Faculty Recruitment Office at fellowship@hse.ru


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