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The Social Sciences and Humanities: Research Trends and Collaborative Perspectives

The Social Sciences and Humanities: Research Trends and Collaborative Perspectives

[ed. L. Pipiya] - Moscow: ISS RAS, 2009. – 303 p. – ISBN 978-5-91294-023-1

This book combines research contributions of Russian and European scholars in identifying new trends and perspectives of the international collaboration in the social sciences and humanities (SSH). The first section deals with different aspects of international cooperation in research: new challenges in the SSH, the problem of ideology intervention in international scientific communications, cross-cultural, organisational, and other barriers in establishing research contacts between Russian and foreign scholars. The book also includes papers on disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity in social, human and natural sciences, new trends in the philosophy of science, risks bringing by the spreading invasion of new technologies into everyday life, and issues on the governance of a knowledge society. A number of papers discuss different trends in the modern economy and society: new science and technology trajectories, global trends and mechanisms in nanotechnology, key aspects of a knowledge economy, limitations of the consumer societies, and crowdsourcing as an open innovation strategy to reduce the brain drain in CIS countries.
The publication is addressed to the SSH research community, university and PhD students.

   
Contents

Foreword

I. INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION: CHALLENGES, PERSPECTIVES AND PRACTICES

Gabriele Griffin
Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary Trends in the Social Sciences and Humanities
Challenges in International Cooperation
The 7th Framework RTD Programme is the EU major instrument to support research in 2007–2013. The author sheds light on the contemporary context of conducting SSH research and current trends in disciplinary and interdisciplinary SSH research within the Programme. The paper includes a discussion on the cross-cultural barriers that effect collaboration in international research teams.

Levan Mindeli, Vladimir Vasin
Social Sciences and Humanities in Russia
Prospects for Integration into the European Research Area
Translated from Russian
The idea of a Pan-European research area in the social sciences and humanities, connecting Russian and Western scholars, seems to be very attractive. A number of national and global topical problems that could be addressed as an agenda for international collaboration are discussed in the paper. Considerable attention is paid to cooperation in the field of science of science.

Vladislav Kelle
Ideological Component in the System of International Scientific Communications
Translated from Russian
Ideological component explicitly or implicitly affects on research in the social sciences and humanities, while scientific communications are not subject to ideologisation since they are established to solve research problems. The author observes methodological issues of interaction between the social sciences and ideology and in this context discusses peculiarities of scientific communications during the “cold war” and nowadays.

Ruben Apressyan
Trends and Obstacles in International Scientific Links
Specific Analysis Based on Personal Impressions
Translated from Russian
More general problems of science and higher education in the country are in any case revealed in the international scientific collaboration. The author shares his international collaboration experience with the reader, discussing obstacles that impede establishing research links between Russian scholars and their colleagues from abroad.

 

II. PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE: METHODOLOGICAL ASPECTS

Hans Lenk
Higher Level Interdisciplinarity by Methodological Scheme Interpretationism
Against Methodological Separatism between Natural, Social and Human Sciences
Methodological scheme interpretationism is the approach developed by the author in his philosophical publications. This paper discusses theoretical aspects of cross-disciplinary or ‘interareal’ connections of diverse topical problem fields within our complex and highly interconnected quasi artificial world. The author convincingly proves his methodological conclusions regarding an abstract interpretationist ‘reunification’ between the different scientific disciplines, the humanities, and everyday understanding.

Alexander Ogurtsov
Trends in the Modern Philosophy of Science
From Constructivism in the Understanding of the Language of Science to the Comprehension of Resistance Offered by the Object under Analysis
Translated from Russian
In the course of progress, science changes the foundations of scientific knowledge, research methods, and notion base. The philosophy of science plays an important role in such a change in scientific knowledge. The paper observes trends in the analysis of scientific knowledge in the 20th century. The author comes to the conclusion that we are witnessing a turn from the constructivism towards a new understanding of the object and the objectivity of scientific knowledge.

 

III. RISKS AND GOVERNANCE IN THE KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY

Hans Lenk
On Risking and Responsibility in the 21st Century
An Approach to Risking Behaviour, Responsibility Types and Conflicts, as well as Priority Rules within Systems Technological Societies
After the terrorist attacks as of September 11, 2001, questions of safety and risk management and responsibility became topical to a high degree. The author argues that risk assessment is usually seen too much merely as a question of statistics and as based on technical malfunctioning. Consequently, in risk management and reactive treatment the social and human dimension seems to be frequently underrated. A systematised typology of different types and levels of responsibility is presented by the author as an analytical instrument for differentiating such variants that could be used for a refined risk assessment in management and priority decisions.

Gotthard Bechmann
The Emerging of a New Governance of Knowledge
Knowledge Politics
The relationship between society and science has changed in the past decades. The production of scientific knowledge should be directly integrated into economic and political decision-making processes. The author describes and delineates the notion of knowledge politics as a new field of political activity. The analysis clarifies efforts to anticipate the effects of new knowledge on social relations, and attempts to control its impact, as well as the main reasons why knowledge politics gains prominence as a field of political activity in modern societies. The paper also includes some pertinent episodes that illustrate know-ledge politics in action.

Vitaly Gorokhov
Nanoethics as a Combination of Scientific, Technological and Economic Ethics
Translated from Russian
Nowadays nanotechnology is viewed in all developed countries as the technology of the future that can save the world. These expectations are however clouded by insights about unforeseen negative consequences and risks associated with the introduction of new technologies. The author outlines ethical issues introduced by nanotechnologies into the contemporary life.

 

IV. TRENDS IN THE KNOWLEDGE-BASED SOCIETY

Jari Kaivo-oja
Key Trajectories of Science and Technology in Europe and the World
Analysing Research Perspectives and Innovation Dynamics
Science and technology trajectories are becoming more and more crucial for understanding the future dynamics in all life spheres, and what is more innovation, creativity, and design are among the most frequently used words in business and society today. The paper includes brief discussions on science and technology trajectories, foresight and innovation system dynamics, open innovation theory, innovation category model, Schumpeterian innovation theory, and the triple helix model. Substantial attention is paid to non-economic and non-technological innovations.

Nadezhda Gaponenko
Towards a Balanced and Adaptive Sectoral Innovation System in Nanotechnology
Methodological Problems, Global Trends and Regional Strategies
Translated from Russian
Sectoral innovation system in nanotechnology (SISn) is at the embryonic stage. The way we understand the formation and specific features of SISn has a great impact on state regulation policies and measures. The author traces trends, driving forces, and trajectories in SISn at the initial stage. Global trends and mechanisms, conducive to well-balanced SISn, are also under consideration in this paper.

Liudmila Kleeva
Key Features of a Knowledge Economy
An economic aspect
Translated from Russian
Today the Russian economy is going through several simultaneous transformational processes, some of which are local, for instance market transformations, while others are worldwide tendencies, the most prominent of which is the transition to a knowledge eco-nomy. The author analyses economic foundations of a knowledge economy and concludes that educational systems and their subjects will be of the utmost importance in the future knowledge economy.

Linda McKie
Economic and Social Limitations of Consumer Societies
The EU-27 has been set on the path to becoming a leading global economic force. The human and natural resources of Europe offer enormous possibilities for economic and social developments. Critical to these developments are trends in consumption and consumer behaviours, together with the potential for consumers to act as innovators in markets. The paper discusses trends in consumption and consumer markets in the contemporary context of economic downturn. An agenda for collaborative research across EU and Russian networks and interests is offered.

Steffen Roth
How Far Can Crowdsourcing Go?
Discussing Transnational Open Innovation Strategies against the Brain Drain from CIS Countries
Open innovation strategies, being more and more in use by innovation companies, set up opportunities to involve new groups of actors into innovation process. By discussing business practices from two Swiss open innovation service providers against the background of the brain drain from CIS countries, the paper demonstrates how open innovation strategies in general and crowdsourcing in particular can support more sustainable and, above all, local returns on investments in the CIS’s well-developed educational infrastructure.

Contributors

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