E-mail Print PDF

Concept and Program of Activities

2008-2009 program year

Project Title

Modernity and the Futures of Capitalism in Eurasia: Scholarly Debates and Teaching Practices

Host Institution

Economic Sociology Chair, Faculty of Sociology, St. Petersburg State University

Project Director(s)

Alberto Martinelli, Yuri Veselov

Grant Period

1 July 2008 – 31 May 2009



The participants and the faculty will be engaged in an around-the-year cycle of activities. The core activities of the first year are contact sessions: two weeks intensive Summer Session and two follow-up workshops (each 3 teaching days). Inter-Session activities will be organized via Internet as on-line discussions, on-line forums, email exchanges. The specific internet-site will be establish in order to support internet-activities of the Project. The organizers plan to help participants to develop on the constant base an up-date literature and Internet sources on the subject matters. Participants will be provided by audio version of the sessions and other materials on CDroms. Participants will be encouraged to involve into internet-activities colleagues and students from their home universities. Also Resource faculty will be strongly encouraged to invite their colleagues to participate into Forums and internet-discussions.

In order to formulate and organize proper inter-session activities, during the Fall Workshop these issues will be discussed in details.

Extra-Curricular Activities:

a) Special intention will be devoted to

-Creating a web site of the Project in order to organize a space for developing professional dialog

-Creating a Project Newsletter to cover the impressions of the participants, resource persons and guests (e-version)

-Creating a multimedia presentations on CD.

-Creating date base of students, researchers and teachers in the field

b) Activities oriented towards informal professional communication during Summer Sessions and workshops, evening sessions upon participants’ request, team work on participants’ projects, informal meetings with senior and young teachers from the universities located in St. Petersburg

c) Various cultural activities and St. Petersburg sights seeing will be organized, excursions to museums, and cultural and historical places

Project organizers will strongly encourage and will support all the activities of the Project participants to develop on-going teamwork and joint research projects.

Topics and Themes of the Year’s contact sessions:

Summer Session (two weeks)

Rethinking the Project of Modernity: Theoretical Approaches, Debates and Problems for Teaching

Follow-up Workshops and Round tables:

Fall semester 2008-2009 academic year

The Entanglement of Modernities and Capitalisms in Europe and Asia

Spring semester 2008-2009 academic year

Teaching classes on Modernity and Capitalism: Sociology and IPE visions

The participants will be fortunate to have a possibility to get information from the first hands and to participate in the debates between two schools/approaches to Modernity in Contemporary Social Theory: that are Martinelli’s and Therborn’s approaches.

Two seminal texts that represent two approaches to Modernity, Modernization and Globalization will be our basic texts for discussion during Summer Session:

1. Alberto Martinelli, Global Modernization. Rethinking the Project of Modernity. SAGE, London, 2007. (It was translated into Russian and published by St. Petersburg State University)

2. Goran Therborn,. European Modernity and Beyond. The Trajectory of European Societies l945 - 2000. SAGE, London, l995. (There are translations in Polish, Belarussian languages).

Contact sessions will allow all the participants to meet, present and debate extensively their work with peers as well as to discuss specific issues together with the resource faculty.

During the year, participants are expected to develop through discussion and peer collaboration, an on-going linkage between their project work and their research and teaching.

We intend to group the activities around three foci:

1) Debates of theoretical and empirical research on the subject

2) The on-going pedagogical transfer debate

3) Personal projects of everyone involved into the Project ( resource persons, participants, guest speakers)

The First Day of the Summer session is planned as detailed presentation of each participant’s and resource faculty member's professional work and intended contribution to the Project. It will be geared towards formulating basic schemes of a joint work that should be maintained throughout a three year Program.

During the first and the second day of the First Summer Session we plan to organize participants’ collegial work on the bases of small groups that will be headed by a specific resource person.

Each participant will have a possibility to describe their theme in detail and then to name those members of the resource faculty that he/she wishes to begin working with. These groups will remain in operation until the end of the Summer session. However, it is our strong intention that each participant colleague should have the opportunity to work with each member of the resource faculty.

The afternoon sessions of the Third and the Fourth days of the first Summer Session will be totally devoted to tutorials.

Participants will meet with their resource faculty members in order to discuss their themes of interest, their teaching work, and detailed plans of cooperation that should result in a goal-oriented production: a publishable paper, a construction of a new syllabus, etc.

This mode of grouping and cooperation is designed to provide the participants with guidance, collegial criticism, and help on their work.

Afternoon sessions of the second week will be oriented towards working on position papers and on preparing participants to make his/her final presentation.

The last two days of the Summer Session will be devoted to a collegial discussion of the presentations made by participants.


Modernity and the Future of Capitalism in Eurasia

Comparative Study of Everyday Life