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Saratov Center for Advanced Study and Education

Phenomenology of Power: State, Society, Individual Destiny (Russian and World Experience)

The Saratov CASE was established in November, 2001 as a research center within the framework of a program Inter-regional Research in Social Sciences. The Program is being implemented by the ISE-Center, Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation, Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies (USA), Carnegie Corporation of New York, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (USA), Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation).

Saratov CASE Stuff

Velikhan S. Mirzekhanov   Dean, Department of History, SSU, Ph.D, Professor of History.

Administrative Director
Ludmila M. Strahova  Vice-Rector for International Affairs and Public Relations, SSU, Associate Professor;

Program Coordinator
Oleg Abakumov  Associate Professor, Department of History, SSU;

Irina Shipitko

Dmitry Kleschov.

Phone/Fax: (8452) 27-13-26
-mail: , ,

The research work within the framework of the Saratov CASE is oriented towards studying the phenomenology of power, theoretical research of the ways that power influences the destiny of the state, society and individuals.

Research objectives:

  • Studying the processes of formation and evolution of the modern system of power in Russia; studying federalism, regionalism and media-processes;
  • Modeling new ways of analyzing the development of the Russian state system;
  • Analyzing problems and sore spots in the development of modern society and figuring out strategies of power directed towards solving these problems;
  • Mapping forms of power within the relations of Russia and other world civilizations;
  • Studying the semeo-spheres of power, cataloging the language of power within the relations of State-Society-Individual.

Areas of Research

1. The formation and evolution of the modern system of power in Russia. Federalism, regionalism and media processes.

Research supervisor of the discipline: Victor Mikhailovich Dolgov, Ph.D, Professor of History, the Chairman of Political Science Department, Dean of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, SSU.

Thematical Priorities:

  • The nature of power; forms and contents of power relations; state and non-state forms of power.
  • The formation and evolution of political power in Russia: from autocracy and totalitarianism to democracy.
  • Constitutional projects, reforms and contra reforms, the role of law enforcement structures in the power system.
  • Socio-cultural, economic, informational, party, and political-psychological components power of Russian (mentality, political culture, political behavior, national character, etc.).
  • Studying elites: Russian and foreign tendencies; typology of elites  political, technocratic, military, economic, intellectual, etc. Russian elites in the past, present and future. National and local elites.
  • Political upper strata in retrospective view; Russian non-official centers of power.
  • Branches and levels of political power in Russia. Public awareness and power.
  • Regions in the system of political power in Russia; regional economies; managing risks in the region; political system and local self-government. Federalism as an instrument of modernizing the political system in Russia.
  • Power and society Regional. Socio-cultural peculiarities and natural resources of regions. Demographical factors in the development of regions. The ethnic and religious factor and problems of socio-political stability in the Russian regions.

2. Odyssey of the Russian State System.

Research supervisor of the discipline: Igor Rudolfovich Pleve, Ph.D, Professor of History, the Chairman of History of Russian Civilization Department, SSU.

Thematical Priorities:

  • Microphysics of Power in the East European Plain: landscape, forest and steppe, izba and kibitka, raids and defense zones, violence and resignation;
  • Historical experiences in forming the state and state entities in Russia, eastern and western impacts; strangers in power;
  • People and power, their interrelations throughout the course of Russian history; cooperation and clash of interests, love and hatred, revolt and patient resignation;
  • The Russian Empire: features of the Russian colonization, the role of the state and free people in the settling of remote areas, forms of the Russian imperial policy: conquests, peaceful settlement, Russianization and modernization. Russian and European colonialism: general and special features. Empire and the idea of Empire in world history.
  • Structural units of the Russian state system: monarch, court, church, army, bureaucracy, representation, the system of control and safety. Emergency institutional bodies throughout the history of Russia.
  • From the Russian Empire to the Soviet Empire.
  • Changes in the Russian state system in the XX century: from monarchy through the dictatorship of the proletariat and totalitarianism to the new state system.
  • Authoritarianism as a political and socio-cultural phenomenon. The idea of heavy-handed power as a distinctive feature of Russian political awareness.
  • The development of the Russian state system in a transitional period.
  • Polyethnicity and multiculturalism.
  • Recent local military conflicts and Russian participation in them. National safety in a post-Soviet territory.
  • Ideology of the Russian state system and national concept.

3. Power and Social Pathologies of the contemporary Society

Research supervisor of the discipline: Gennady Vasilievich Dylnov, Ph.D, Professor of Sociology, Chairman of the Department of Theory and History of Sociology; Dean of Department of Sociology, SSU.

Thematic priorities:

  • Power interaction and human living space: city and settlement, dwelling and work place. Anthropology of organizational environment and organizational culture. The human being in the world of the net enterprises;
  • Body politics of in contemporary society: socio-anthropological dimension of power interrelations problem. Class, race and gender politics of the body. Postmodern politics of body.
  • Socio-cultural content in information technology revolution. From the power over nature to the power over culture: social problems and contradictions of the transition into the information society. The human being in the culture of real virtuality;
  • Power, illness, health. Health in modern society politics. Role of biomedical knowledge and technologies in I century;
  • Power and social pathologies of contemporary society (poverty, alcohol, and substance abuse problems, family degradation, disabilities, archaization of language): analyses, predictions and solutions;
  • Fragmentization of contemporary society. New status groups. Social differentiation, social mobility, social exclusion in modern Russia. Power and problems of external and internal migrations;
  • Modern city and problems of social urban science: territorial management, bio- ecopolitics, security structures;
  • Problems of the modern Russian family: law, financial, educational, and others. Public Health care, care for mothers and children, Problems of power and violence in the family;
  • Social issues of education: resources, management, new technologies, and relations with power.
  • Inequality within the educational system.

4. Power and reality of individual existence.

Research supervisor of the discipline: Vladimir Borisovich Ustyantsev, Ph.D in Philosophy, Full Professor; Chairman of Theoretical and Social Philosophy; Department of Philosophy, Saratov State University.

Thematic priorities:

  • The individual on the face of power. Institutional and value structures of space: confrontation and balance. Social bases and value structures of space. The individual in living space. Living space of Russia;
  • Space of Power. Phenomena of power in the living space: thematic horizons. Power as a value and values of power in contemporary society. Freedom and violence in power space;
  • Social memory and historical reality of power. Subjects of social memory and subjects of management. Traditions, myths, and doctrines of power. Informational elites and outlines of new social order.
  • City in transitional society: heterogeneous space, institutional structures, value world citizens.
  • Living world of personality: value structures, forms of power. Life and destiny as forms of value being of the individual;
  • Motives of individual destiny in the history of Russian and Western culture. Personality in philosophical paradigms of the West and Russia. Destiny of the hero in living strategies of contemporary Russia;
  • Personality and question about meaning of life in contemporary world. Decadence and Renaissance of spirituality. Political technologies of consciousness. The individual literate and post-literate culture. Culture and power: personality in cultural politics

5. Russia in the family of the world civilizations: forms of power and search for identity.

Research supervisor of the discipline: Dmitry Victorovich Mikhel, Ph.D, Professor of Philosophy, SSU.

Thematic priorities:

  • Civilization as a phase of social development and as a process of changing of human behavior. Strategy of spirituality and bodyliness of modern civilization. The human revolution in Russia: shapes of society modernization and aspiration to a new quality of life;
  • Russian civilization: reality or myth. Europeanhood and Asianhood in Russia. Eurasianhood and Neoeurasianhood. The particular and the universal in the civilized image of Russia. Civilized essence and waves of modernization;
  • East, West and Russia as products of social imagination: symbolic representation of Russia in other-cultural environments. Russia in the gallery of images of Russian barbarism/Russian mafia, Elder Brother/business partner. Russian civilization in the system of intercivilizational and intercultural contacts;
  • Problems of national self-identification: crisis and breakdown of traditional identity and search for new types: ethnical, professional, territorial, and racial. Tools and mechanisms for national identity formation;
  • Globalization of power. Over-state centers of power and place of Russia in the system of contemporary world order. Strategic effects of Russia involvement and exclusion from the processes of globalization.
  • Russia and global capital markets, intellectual resources, energy resources. Deformation of global security structures and Russia;
  • Ethno-cultural diasporas in world historical processes. Russian diasporas: inclusion into the world context, destiny, adaptation to the new human environment. Diasporas as an element of world globalization;
  • Russia and the arrival of the information age: crisis of industrial etatism and development of informational capitalism. Perspectives of the information technology revolution and the destinies of Russian civilization in the I century.

6. Semiosphere of power: State-society-personality in communicative representation of consciousness.

Research supervisor of the discipline Valery Vladimirovich Prosorov, Ph.D, Professor of Philology, Dean of Department of Philology, Chair of General Literary Studies and Journalistic, SSU.

Thematic priorities:

  • Power and communication. Field of power and its reflection in discoursive society nets.
  • Systematic-structural and dynamic accents of structural politics of modern society. Class, gender, ethno-territorialized types of semiotization of power.
  • Social processes and language politics. Differentiation of Russian society and variations of modern Russian speech.
  • Case-study organization of communicative interaction of personality, society, power (history, modernity, tendencies of development). Spontaneous social communicative processes regulated by power.
  • Power word and word of power in Russia. Images and motives of power in Russian artistic-speech consciousness. Theme of power and individual destiny in elite and mass culture.
  • Russian philology (artistic literature, literary critics, journalistic,) in the context of the dialog between power and society.
  • Power, public consciousness and literary-critical activity in Russia of the I centuries. The reader and the literary process. The reader and phenomena of the thick magazine. Destiny of literary centrism.
  • Power and mass media. Structures of power and regional Mass Media. The role of mass media processes in the development of the civil society.

Power functions of Mass Media in the socio-cultural space of Russia (past, future, pragmatics and poetry). Language of mass media and speech consciousness of Russians: feedback. Information and formation within modern mass media; speech manipulation of public consciousness. New information technologies in social communicative processes of contemporary Russia.

Information of Saratov CASE activity, 2002

Scientific conferences, colloquiums

Event Date
All-Russian scientific conference Nonlinear dynamics of open systems in humanitarian and social sciences January 15-19
All-Russian scientific conference Sense of individual's life in the epoch of postbook culture April 19-20
All-Russian scientific conference Election process and formatting of political system in Russian Federation: regional practice December 24-26
International symposium Power, society, individual in consciousness of adults and children in contemporary Russia: functional, gender and age parameters November 13-15
International scientific conference Social memory and power October 7-10
International scientific conference From the world of empires to globalization: new approaches to understanding the role of empires in historical process September 21-23
All-Russian scientific conference Science and power October 23-24

Scientific conferences, round tables

Event Date
Scientific workshop: Mythology of power November, 4-6
All Russian scientific conference A.I. Solzhenitsin and Russian culture June, 24-26
Scientific workshop: Power and society in Russian regions of XIX-XX centuries; experience and perspectives of research in the Volga Region November
Scientific workshop: Generational organization of modern Russian society: social problems of generations June, 20-21

Scientific workshop: Formation of power and elite classes in stock-breeder type of society during the late Bronze epoch in steppe and forest-steppe Eurasia (phenomena of failed civilization)
October, 28-30
All Russia scientific workshop City and State: history and the present
January 22, 2003
Scientific workshop: Human revolution in Russia: strategy of spirit and body November, 15-16
Scientific workshop Generational organization of modern Russian society: specificity of modern intergenerational relationship October, 30-31

Editions published with the support of Saratov Case

Author Title
A.G. Antonova Native sociology about a social progress
V.P. Baryshkov Axiology of personal existence
V.N. Danilov Soviet State in the Great Patriotic War: phenomena of the special (emergency) authorities in 1941-1945
P.V. Romanov Power, management and control in modern organizations
Collective monograph Province power and folklore: Literature and Journalism of Saratov in 1920s. /under redaction of E.G. Elina
N.V. Shakhmatova Generational organization of modern Russian society.
E.A. Vishlenkova Taking care of spirits of subjects (nationals): Religious politics in Russia in the first quarter of XIX century
Collective monograh Power, destiny, interpretation of cultural codes/under redaction of V.U. Mikhailina
Interinstitutional collection of scientific articles Life experience of a philosopher of the Silver Century./under redaction of prof. V.B. Ustyantseva
N.I. Shestov Political Myth now and before.
S.N. Trunev Civilization. Waste. Power: experience of the philosophical comprehension.
Collection of scientific articles Language and power
Scientific collection Problems of the literary dialogue. Thematic edition Power and literary dialogue
A.V. Posadsky Peasantry in General mobilization of the army and navy in 1914 (materials of Saratov Gubernia
N.A. Troitsky Crusade soldiers of socialism

International projects of Saratov Case

Grant receiver Topic of research Host organization
O. J. Abakumov Russian abroad political inquiry (French trace) 1840-1860 Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, Nantre University (France, Paris)
A. V. Gladyshev Sen-simonizm in social political thought of Russia Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, Nantre University (France, Paris)
V. N. Belov Neokantianstvo and contemporary liberalism (comparative analysis of Russian and German neokantianstva according to the problems of lawful state and approving an priory right of an individual) Geneva University, Switzerland
A. L. Strioze Power and society: regional problems of interaction (German experience and Russian reality) European University Frankfurt on Odor (Germany)
V. J. Mikhailin Hero and power: anthropological dimension Bodlean library in Oxford (Great Britain)
N. V. Krjuchkova Power and age: linguistic  cognitive aspect of power phenomenology University named after Blaise Pascal, Clermon  Ferrand, (France)


  1. Seminar Town in the system of the political power: Past and Present (22 January 2003)
  2. Seminar North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Contemporary World: pressing security problems (22-23 Mars 2003)
  3. International conference Psychology of the political power (20-23 April 2003)