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Public-Private Partnership (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 invites applications for a postdoctoral research position in the field of business-state relations with a regional focus on Russia and 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. Moreover, evidence from the US implies that this model of cooperation – in which local governments facilitate partnerships between local firms and schools – travels more broadly and can also shed light on cooperation in the infertile ground of Liberal Market Economies.


The post-doctoral position entails working with ICSID scholar Dr. 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 categorize models of public-private partnerships in vocational education and to better understand the conditions that lead to their emergence and facilitate their persistence. The post-doc will assist ICSID scholars in conceptualizing and developing data on public private partnerships (specifically) and vocational education (more broadly) in Russia, expanding ICSID’s current database to increase temporal coverage and include key elements of vocational education – intermediary organizations, organizational principles, financing, 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.


The position involves:

  • working under the direct supervision of Dr. Israel Marques II (imarques@hse.ru)
  • participants are encouraged to pursue their own research in parallel with working on ICSID’s research projects in two 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.

  • 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


The Institute offers access to its databases (please see website), analytical software, and technical support. The center will also offer the Post-doc research assistants for data collection and maintenance tasks related to the center’s project areas.



  • a PhD from an international research university in such fields of social science as: economics, sociology, political science, public policy or government;
  • 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.


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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