Research Projects

SAS relies on multidisciplinary research teams integrated into global academic networks; structurally, these teams replace traditional disciplinary departments and ensure intensive communication among faculty members within and across disciplines.
Deadline for applications — 15.12.2018

About Project

This project investigates the links between citizenship and conflict historically, theoretically, and empirically. A number of expanding global historical trends pose profound challenges to the conventional liberal model of citizenship, which tends to place a premium on shared values, rights, legal protections, and, to a lesser extent, civic engagement. Challenges to the classical notion of citizenship stem largely from:

  • The rise of statelessness, refugee and migration crises, and the concomitant expansion of denizenship
  • The securitization and commodification of naturalization
  • The proliferation of civil conflicts and global terrorism, which leads to the entrenchment of communities of fear
  • The emergence of risk societies that are reactionary and largely organized around perceived threats

Recent decades have witnessed diverse civil conflicts, from domestic polarization to civil war. The liberal model of citizenship presupposes the ability of citizens to be actively engaged in the governance of their communities. Conflict is usually seen as preventing people from achieving consensus, as effective adjudicatory mechanisms are deemed a necessary precondition for successful “citizenship practice” from below. On the other hand, the absence of conflict may lead to the stagnation of politics, as the practice of citizenship may thrive in moments of contestation and conflict. Historically, it has been through conflict, at times violent, that popular movements to expand citizenship rights to such groups as workers and women have been most effective. Some theorists see conflict as an inevitable and necessary part of political life. In this sense, the relationship of conflict to citizenship remains an open question.

This project will establish empirical connections between citizenship and conflict by investigating the links between citizenship and conflict at the historical level of nation-state development, examining “legal citizenship” and “active citizenship” models within contemporary states, looking at the representation of citizenship in state propaganda both historically and in the present, and considering the cognition of individual citizens. A primary aim of our interdisciplinary empirical research is to generate normative responses to the contemporary crises in citizenship.

Research Team

political science
art history
media studies, sociology

Call for Researchers

We are interested in supplementing our team project with additional researchers in:

  • A civics-minded professional biologist or neurobiologist who is interested in studying how natural environments and brain structures impact the desire of people to actively participate in community affairs, civil society, and/or political life. Alternately, we would also welcome a biologist who is interested in researching how the evolution of the Anthropocene has influenced the conceptualization of the identity, rights and duties of “proper citizens” in different countries
  • An IT specialist who is interested in a critical assessment of e-citizenship and electronic governance. Ideally, we would prefer a researcher who would be willing to develop quantitative and graphic models of data analysis and presentation in citizenship studies

The deadline for applications is December 15, 2018.

E-mail: sas_citizenship@utmn.ru

Deadline for applications — 15.12.2018

About Project

Education systems, social media, business logistics, international diplomacy, and even global tourism are overlapping zones of encounter where people with very different value-systems and structures of consciousness try to do business with each other. Their sometimes competing objectives lead to conflict and misunderstanding when these differences are not properly identified, as they frequently are not within the ideologies of ‘diversity’ that currently hold sway among the university educated intelligentsia. Although the problem is sometimes addressed by calls for more “intellectual diversity” in education systems, we contend that it won’t be adequately addressed by encouraging, for example, conservatives and liberals to occupy the same educational and professional spaces, unless there are better models for understanding why they tend to talk past each other.

To this end we propose to bring two theoretical models into conversation. The first is Richard N Haass’s ‘non-polarity’ theory as introduced in a 2008 essay in Foreign Affairs. It proposes that in the era of globalization, the advent of new non-state actors with financial and opinion-making powers equivalent to those of nation-states has inaugurated a non-polar world where it is difficult to locate the direct lines of tension making up the world order. The second model is ‘integral theory’ as elaborated by Jean Gebser, Clare Graves, Ken Wilber and others. Integral theory is a developmental model that has identified a series of ‘structures of consciousness’ that dictate how individuals and societies experience the world. It differs from social constructivist theories currently popular in academe by recognizing that individuals can be more or less evolved than their communities, and that they can be forced to speak the values-language of a particular structure of consciousness from a personal position that is at odds with it. This allows one to develop ‘skillful means’ for dealing with individuals in politically fraught situations where interpreting their actions in terms of superficial cultural knowledge might be counterproductive.

Integral theory also allows us to recognise that in different communities where different structures of consciousness are dominant, rational decision-making looks very different. Therefore we have coined the term ‘cultures of rationality’ to describe professional, ethnic, national and other communities that have distinct assumptions and values that are often poorly understood by themselves or by the people they are in political communication with. Developing a complex vocabulary for describing these distinctions is imperative in a global scene where the terminology of left and right, or conservative and liberal, or secular and religious, is too blunt an instrument to cope with the shifting political landscape.

Our team comprises Ph.Ds in literature, physics, international relations and anthropology.

Integral theory is largely unknown within these fields. We believe it provides some of the needed concepts and vocabulary, and that by bringing it into conversation with our own academic fields we can contribute to a variety of interdisciplinary conversations across the humanities and sciences.

E-mail: sas_cultrats@utmn.ru

Research Team

political science
IT, computer science, physics
anthropology, GIS
literature
Deadline for applications — 15.12.2018

About Project

The broad goal of this multidisciplinary project is to critically investigate the concept of free will in natural science (neuroscience and physics), and to study the implications of an upgraded theory of free will for the most relevant disciplines of the social sciences and humanities. In detail, in the first phase, the project aims to investigate the most important empirical findings in natural science, notably in neuroscience and (quantum) physics, relative to free will, with the aim of contributing to an enhanced definition and theory of free will. In the next phase the project will theorize the most relevant implications of the obtained results for society at large, namely, for disciplines in the social sciences and humanities, such as philosophy, history, legal theory, moral theory, etc.

Important questions are:

  • How to reconcile our obvious feelings of being free agents, with recent findings in natural science that challenge these phenomenological starting points?
  • How to conceive of moral and legal responsibility/autonomy in view of a refined concept of free will?
  • What are some of the most important consequences and lessons the humanities and social sciences can draw from an informed debate on free will?

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Research Team

philosophy, physics
history, international relations, economics

Call for Researchers

We are interested in supplementing our team project with additional researchers in:

  • Neuroscience (neurobiology, neuropsychology, artificial intelligence, neuronal networks etc.). We are keen on collaborating with researchers interested in investigating consciousness and free will within the field of their discipline. In neurobiology, we are particularly interested in performing Libet-like brain-monitoring experiments with equipment available in Tyumen.
  • Social sciences and humanities. We look forward to collaborate with any researcher interested in investigating the consequences of science-informed research on free will for her or his discipline. E.g: psychologists, social scientists, legal theorists, economists etc.

If you are interested in either remote collaboration with us or in joining our team at SAS, please, contact us via the team e-mail below, or via one of our personal emails (l.vervoort@utmn.ru, t.blusiewicz@utmn.ru, g.andreoletti@utmn.ru).

E-mail: sas_freewill@utmn.ru