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Social Capital (International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development)

The Higher School of Economics  International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development (ICSID) in Moscow, Russia, established in cooperation with the Harriman Institute (Columbia University), invites applications for a postdoctoral research position in political economy with a special focus on topics of social capital.

A significant body of empirical and theoretical research has demonstrated the importance of social capital for economic and institutional development. Much less attention has been devoted to identifying the precise mechanisms that generate and change components of social capital and foster their formation. Moreover, mostly developed countries received attention in the literature.

Russia offers a fertile ground for research on social capital as it has a vibrant history with economic and political shocks, diverse institutions and populations affected by different types of norms – from Soviet and traditional to quite modern ones. Our work is based on unique datasets that allow us to study modern social capital and link it with data from archives. Among them are surveys of 34,000 individuals in almost all Russian regions conducted in 2000-2011 and designed to be regionally representative. We also use other valuable sources of information such as Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS), World Values Survey, European Values Study, European Social Survey, and Life in Transition Survey. Projects concentrate on a variety of topics including social capital and preferences for redistribution, naming patterns and their consequences for trust, role of history and geography for social capital in Russia, connection between components of social capital, distinctive features of social capital in Russia. Candidates are welcome to participate in these or other topics that will be of mutual interest. 


The responsibilities attached to the position include:

  • working in a research group with Dr. Ekaterina Borisova, Dr. Denis Ivanov, and Irina Levina;
  • collaboration with other ICSID researchers, including those from foreign Universities;
  • taking part in the ICSID’s research projects/pursuing independent research;
  • publishing papers in peer-reviewed academic journals in economics, political science, regional science, public policy, history, sociology;
  • presenting research results at seminars and conferences;
  • participation in organization of ICSID events and other contribution to the Lab’s development.


The Center offers access to its unique databases on the socio-economic indicators of 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.



  • a PhD in economics, sociology, political science, public policy, or government;
  • a strong interest in the field of social capital;
  • strong quantitative skills, ability to carry out research using Stata/R/similar software to meet standards of academic journals;
  • ability to design lab and/or survey experiments is an asset;
  • peer-reviewed publications, working papers or a job market paper in the fields of social capital or culture will be a strong advantage;
  • ability to work in a team;
  • ability to understand and communicate in Russian is not a requirement but will be a plus.


General conditions for Post-Doctoral Research positions can be found here. Appointments will be normally made for one year.

A CV and research statement should be submitted via online application form while two letters of recommendation should be submitted by the referees directly to fellowship@hse.ru by February 15, 2019. Please note that direct applications to the Center may not be reviewed.

About HSE

HSE is a young, dynamic, fast-growing Russian research university providing unique research opportunities. For more information about HSE, please visit: International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development (ICSID)

Apply now


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