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Novgorod Center for Advanced Study and Education

State, society, personality in the context of the Russian culture: value dimention

The Novgorod Interregional Institute for the Social Sciences (NovIISS) was set up in December 2001 as a research center at Novgorod State University to study the interrelating values of state, society and the individual in Russian culture. It is supported by the ISE Center (Information, Scholarship, Education,) the Russian Ministry of Education, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies (USA), the Carnegie Corporation of New York (USA), the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (USA) and the Open Society Institute (USA).

Novgorod CASE Staff

Academic Director
Valery P. Bolshakov  D.Sc. of Philosophy, professor

Administrative Director
Valentina V. Grohotova  PhD of History, senior lecturer

Elena V. Gorbacheva

Irina A. Ushanova

Valentina V. Norina

Contact information

Mailing address: Novgorod Interregional Institute for the Social Sciences, Novgorod State University, ul. B. St.-Petersburgskaya, 41, Velikiy Novgorod, Russia, 173003,
phone/fax: +7 (81622) 34097

Goals & objectives

The future of Russian society and the life of each of its citizens depends, to a great extent, on what is happening to and with our culture. Russia's recent history has been made more complex by the re-evaluation of fundamental cultural values The nature of the changes taking place in our country require not only technological and social-political modernization but, in keeping with Russian tradition, the preservation and acknowledgement of specific cultural values. The experience of other nations suggests that modernization succeeds best when economic, political and social reforms are based on values closely tied to the national culture. Placing reform efforts in the context of traditional values allows them to be more easily accepted by the populace.

The main research focus of NovIISS will be the culture and values of the Russian Northwest, where Russian statehood first originated. Certain elements of social and political democracy that first appeared here, in the territory of Novgorod, were preserved despite our nation's checkered historical development. This is reflected in the heritage of the democratic Veche Republic and the European political identity of the local population. Researching these continuities will one of the Institute's essential tasks. We believe that our findings will be of interest not only to those interested in Russian history, but to anyone concerned about how public and private life and political processes are linked to cultural dynamics. Our research in these areas also seeks to uncover new opportunities for such cultural knowledge having an impact on the administration of political, economic and social processes.

The Institute's focus on culture touches on many fields of study and creates a specific interdisciplinary linkage between different academic disciplines. By connecting these academic disciplines in new ways, we hope to develop new insights that help us to better understand the processes taking place in the state, society and individuals.

Major research projects

Cultural values: past and present

This project will investigate various interpretations of culture and values, the interconnection of cultural values, and their realization in Russian state and society. Project coordinator  Prof. Sergei Devyatkin

Themes of this project include:

  • Methodology of cultural research: new approaches and technology;
  • Axiology of Russian culture (moral, aesthetic and religious values);
  • Values of traditional culture;
  • Values of private life in modern Russia;
  • Temporary aspects of materialization of cultural values;
  • Cultural values in Russian education;
  • Non-Violence and Justice: Russian context.

The History of Russian state and society in the context of changing values

This project will study Russian past and present, reflecting specifically on aspects of cultural development. Project coordinator  Prof. Gennadiy Kovalenko.

Themes of this project include:

  • The formation and the historical development of the Russian state, society, culture and education, with a focus on the development of Novgorod and the Russian Northwest;
  • The interaction of values between the Russian Northwest and East and West;
  • Culture in the economy, administration and self-government of pre-revolutionary and contemporary Russia, with specific attention to Novgorod and the Russian Northwest;
  • Role of Novgorod traditions in the formation of Northwestern Russian traditional culture;
  • The archaeology of Novgorod and surrounding territories.

Russian problems in the development of political, legal and economic culture

This project will examine cultural values in the contemporary economic, political and legal life of Russia. Project coordinator  Prof. Boris Kovalev.

Themes of this project include:

  • The relationship of culture to economics in Russia;
  • Impact of cultural values on political, social and economic stability;
  • Symbolic aspects of Russian political culture and political identity;
  • Legal culture and values in Russia;
  • Culture and comparative jurisprudence in Russia and abroad.

Cultural values in Russian visual art, literature, folk-lore and language

This project will study the specifics of cultural values in the visual art, literature, folk-lore, dialects and language of Russia. Project coordinator  Prof. Vladimir Musatov.

Themes of this project include:

  • Value aspects in the folk-lore and dialects of the Russian North-west;
  • Cultural values in the visual art of the Russian North-west;
  • Axiological aspects of Russian classical literature and their impact on current society;
  • The value of Russian literature, folk-lore, and language in the development of the Russian state, society, personality and education

Activities, carried out under NovIISS project

  • Disappearing beauty: problems in preservation of cultural values in modern Russia (1719 May, 2002)
  • Belief as a value of life and culture of society and personality in Russia (2527 June, 2002)
  • Novgorodiana Stokholmensia (1517 October, 2002)
  • The Eternal and the Mortal: dynamics of cultural values in the Russian state, public and private life (2426 October, 2002)
  • Human Rights as legal and base of the Integration of Russia into the European Community (2627 September, 2002)
  • Violence as reality and justice as value: world theories and Russian experience (1417 November, 2002)
  • Human rights as value and legal basis for integration of the Russian state into the European space (1011 December, 2002)

Publications NovIISS

  • Irina F. Ignatyeva. Problems of Artifact: Ontology, Epistemology and Axiology
  • Gennadiy M. Kovalenko. Novgorod in the Eyes of Foreign Visitors: Texts of the 1520 th centuries
  • Olga S. Berdyaeva. Folk-lore of the Novgorod region: past and present
  • Evgeniy V. Ivanov. The Phenomenon of Freedom in Pedagogy
  • Inna V. Kovalyova. Values of legal culture in Russian community in the end of XIX  beginning of XX centuries.
  • Belief as value // Materials of Russian Scientific Conference. Velikiy Novgorod, 2527 June, 2002
  • Disappearing beauty // Materials of Russian Scientific Conference. Velikiy Novgorod, 1719 May 2002

Coming conferences, seminars and round tables at NovIISS

  • Russian Nietzsche: Russian literature and value crisis in European culture (2426 March 2003)
  • Actual problems of Russian legal culture: issues of theory and history (March 2003)

Coming publications

  • Aleksander A.Pikovski. Role of culture to ensure stability of social and economic development in the conditions of globalization of world economy
  • Anatoliy Y. Zhhukov. Administration and self-government in 17th century Karelia
  • Mihail I. Vasilyev. A Calendar of Novgorod traditional festivals and local festivals
  • Konstantin V. Zavershinski. Symbolic resources of civil society in Russia
  • Nicolai N. Petro Jumpstarting Democracy: The Novgorod Model. (Russian version of work by American colleague
  • V.A. Koshelev The heritage of A. Fet: problems of its study
  • Anatoliy V.Zhukov. Essays on phraseological semantics

The following researches are planned

  • Perception of violence and justice in modern Russia: gender aspects;
  • Private life values in modern Russia;
  • The fate of proto-state formations in the Novgorod land in the Medieval Period (based on materials of the River Belaya in Middle Pomostie);
  • Novgorod zemstvo: historical experience, traditions and contemporary state (value aspect);
  • People, belongings, epoch: Medieval citizen's views on the world. Archaeological artifacts from Staraya Russa;
  • Legal culture of senior schoolchildren as a value factor in building legal state in Russia;
  • Human rights as value and legal basis for integration of Russia into European space.
  • Novgorod Regional Phraseological Dictionary;
  • Authenticity expertise of memoirs about Pushkin;
  • Traditional folklore of the Novgorod Region in the system of values of modern culture (youth rest: folklore traditions and contemporaneity);
  • Modern image of Velikiy Novgorod in the context of cultural communication;
  • Modern fine arts in the context of cultural heritage of the Medieval Period (upon materials from Velikiy Novgorod and North-West of Russia).