About the Centre

The Centre for Comparative History and Political Studies (CCHPS) is a team of researchers from different regions and countries, employed by the  Faculty of History and Politics, Perm State University (PSU). The centre was established in 2012 by a group of graduates of two universities (PSU and the European University St. Petersburg) within the framework of the Department Development Partnership Program of EUSP. The programme laid out the ideas of ​​involving young academics in research and educational projects in Russian the regions, creating a competitive academic environment, and promoting the "circulation of minds". In total, three partner centers were established: in Kazan, Tomsk, and Perm.

All of the centre’s research fellows went through an open application procedure—a rare practice for Russian universities. The "historical" part of the centre focuses on Soviet history: Alexander Reznik (research fellow from 2012 to 2016) studies the political opposition in the 1920s, Maria Romashova and Alissa Klots (research fellow from 2014 to 2016) focus on the history of aging and the elderly. Yevgeny Kazakov (research fellow since 2017) examines dissident movements and informal groups of the late Soviet era in an international context, and Lyudmila Kuznetsova leisure practices and recreation in the USSR in the 1920s-1950s. In the field of political science, Alexei Gilev and Margarita Zavadskaya focus on patron-client relations, Maria Grigorieva (research fellow from 2012 to 2015) and Andrei Semenov on subnational politics, Irina Shevtsova and Vsevolod Bederson study urban and local politics, and Stanislav Shkel neo-patrimonial regimes. In 2014, the anthropologist Jesko Schmoller joined the Center. Dr. Schmoller explores ritual practices and the material culture of traditional Islam in Russia.

Interdisciplinarity and comparative research constitute the methodological approach of the centre’s research projects. Researchers have experience in working with quantitative and qualitative methods in the social sciences. Regular seminars and discussions, as well as collaborative projects, ensure the exchange of ideas and best scholarly practices. The CCHPS projects have so far been supported by the Russian Scientific Foundation for Humanities (RGNF), the Volkswagen Foundation, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, and Vladimir Potanin Foundation. The centre’s activities are integrated into the educational process: its fellows teach key courses for BA and MA students of history, political science, and international relations. A separate focus of the centre’s work is dedicated to conferences, schools, and open seminars, where academics from different countries, regions, and disciplines have the opportunity to present and discuss the results of their present or future research projects. Since 2013, more than 100 such seminars have been held.

CCHPS today is a research team focused on interdisciplinary and comparative studies in the field of social sciences, history, and anthropology, open to cooperation with the academic community across the globe.

Current research projects include:

Contentious Politics in Russsia Database

Local Executives Database

Politics in Hard Times: New Modes of Securing Political Support in Russia

Shifting Paradigms: Towards Participatory and Effective Urban Planning in Germany, Russia and Ukraine

Mobile and Material Aspects of ‘Traditional’ Islam in the South of Perm Region