Denationalising social issues: metamorphoses of the Russian public sector on an international scale
The commercialisation of the state, reforms in education, neoliberal management of urban space, the formation of critical intellectual cultures and a repertory of active protests are all part of a highly internationalised process that is generating forms of shared management and common subjectivities, and even key global operators. The systems of access to local fieldwork allowed to sociologists often predispose them to describe these phenomena as “particular cases”, limited by national focus. Russian society, like many others, thus remains stuck with “its” historical dilemmas, such as authoritarianism versus democracy, projected on the most recent developments, whose origin is not rooted in national history. Conversely, the methodology of sociology itself is based on a universalist vision that predisposes researchers to transfer issues and findings from one society to another.
The seminar intends to explore the possibilities of a denationalised study of the public sector outside the framework of traditional comparative sociology. This means cross-referencing the findings and methodologies of “case study” research in a number of societies relating to transformations in the social sector and public space over the last thirty years. Research findings will be discussed with guest researchers and participants.