Click for next page ( 15


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 14
Reports from Working Groups on Specific Topics Participants divided into working groups for more detailed discussion of six specific topics. The group on "Projects to Improve Social and Be- havioral Science Capabilities in the U.S.S.R." addressed issues such as disciplinary institutions and the training of students. Leo subgroups dis- cussing "U.S.~oviet Joint Scholarly Projects" addressed a broad range of possibilities, and two subgroups discussing "U.S.~oviet Research Col- laboration" focused more narrowly on the potential for joint or parallel research with scholars in the two countries together addressing the same problem. The group on "Logistical Issues in Soviet-American Scholarly Work" focused on questions of administration, financing, and the like. The group on "Intellectual Opportunities for American Scholars" concentrated on what Americans, particularly those who do not specialize in the study of the Soviet Union, can gain from work with Soviet social scientists. And the group on "Development of Behavioral Science in the U.S.S.R." focused on developments in Soviet psychology and their implications for American psychology. Summaries of these discussions are reported in this section. PROJECTS TO IMPROVE SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE CAPABILITIES IN THE U.S.S.R. John Adams, chair; Marjorie Balzer, rapporteur The group listed the following activities (from easiest to hardest to implement) as worthwhile. It was noted that each is now being done to some extent. 1. Library exchanges in social science (e.g., of archives and data). 14

OCR for page 14
SOVIET SOCL4L SCIFiNCE 15 2. Professional critiques and reviews. It is- important to help raise the standards for Soviet research. Some possible means are publication of American articles, reviews, and critiques in Soviet journals; publication of the best Soviet work in the United States; and seminars presenting the best Soviet and American work together. 3. Paining of Soviet scholars at various levels, especially the graduate level, was considered of high priority. The group discussed but did not reach consensus on important operational details, such as whether it would be better to conduct the training in the United States or the Soviet Union, how long training periods should be, and how the Soviets should be selected. For training at the postgraduate level, the group discussed such mechanisms as seminars, summer institutes, and computer training (especially for the use of local data). 4. Collaborafive conferences on topics of common interest, especially including younger scholars to avoid elitism. 5. Collaborafive workshops to work on data gathered in particular joint projects. 6. Collaborafive field work, including the non-Russian republics. i] evolvement of scholars from U.S.~OVIET JOINT SCHOLARLY PROJECT S Subgroup A: Alexander Rabinowitch, chair; Jo Husbands, rapporteur The group took a very broad approach to the definition of joint projects, which included: bilateral projects on issues of mutual interest; bilateral projects on global issues, such as environmental problems or regional conflicts, for which the opportunity to work on common problems appeared very productive; and multilateral projects on specific problems, involving more than just U.S. and Soviet participants (and which are of increasing interest to funders). Many expressed the hope that the time has arrived for U.S. and Soviet projects to move beyond simple exchanges, moving people back and forth, to joint activities involving genuine collaboration among the participants. The group also highlighted the need to continue to press the Soviets for more open and meaningful contacts and opportunities. Available contacts are certainly far more productive than in the years of stagnation, but there are many improvements still to be made. Full and free access to data, for example, is crucial to meaningful joint work. Getting beyond Moscow, to involve scholars from other republics and institutions than those who have traditionally dominated exchanges, is very important as well. This would also help relieve the overcommitment now burdening many of the best scholars in Moscow, who have more opportunities than they can

OCR for page 14
16 SOVIET SOCIAL SCIENCE meaningfully take advantage of, and whose participation in projects is suffering because they are stretched so thin. The group discussed priorities among projects but arrived at no clear consensus. Instead, it identified some hard questions facing every current or potential project and for which there are no clear right answers. 1. In seeking counterparts and building networks, on whom should the project focusgraduate students, young professionals, or senior schol- ars? 2. Should the project seek to maximize short-term gains, to take advantage of perhaps fleeting opportunities, or choose goals regardless of how soon they may be achieved? 3. In selecting among potential projects, should the priority be those that build Soviet social science disciplines and capabilities or those with a clear policy focus? This discussion led to some specific project ideas that particularly interested the participants. For example, journal exchanges could serve a variety of interests, such as providing access for U.S. scholars to Soviet regional journals and giving Soviet scholars outside Moscow access to major American journals. Participants strongly supported projects that would involve getting American and Soviet pieces into each other's journals. These projects also offer an important role for the social science associations. Another opportunity for social science associations lies in finding ways to bring Soviet scholars to annual meetings in the United States. Summer institutes and computer-based training also generated enthusiasm as ways to leverage resources. Several participants suggested holding such institutes in the Soviet Union in order to maximize their impact. More generally, one participant suggested that the most rewarding efforts will be those that concentrate on finding and investing in promising individuals, at whatever level is most appropriate for the particular field or issue. Subgroup B: Jane Wales, chair; William Zimmerman, rapporteur For the rapporteur, the most striking realization was that the discussion of opportunities and obstacles for collaboration reflected a fundamental assumption that it is now possible to do "normal" science with the Soviets. The group spent substantial time talking about the lack of cadres, that is, the absence in the Soviet Union of trained researchers in many fields, and the fact that, for many research topics, every potential American project is seeking to collaborate with the same few Soviets. These problems are not expected to be easily resolved in the near future. Many of the ideas for collaborative projects were noted in other groups as well; among those that stood out was the possibility of joint work

OCR for page 14
SOVIET SOCIAL SCIENCE 17 on ecology, which provides a point ' of entry for a number of interesting social science questions. Collaborative research on other regions, such as Latin America, and on key periods of ' history was also mentioned as an opportunity for promising and novel results. Of particular interest to political scientists are the topics generally known as the '"civil society" and, more broadly, the opportunity to study the transformations taking place within the Soviet Union, especially the development of nascent political institutions. The group gave considerable attention to the question of financing and generally agreed that it was not in the best interests of either side for U.S. interests to be directly subsidizing Soviet social scientists. Having said that, however, there was recognition that sophisticated calculations of short- versus long-term benefits and of trade-offs among types of contributions were absolutely necessary to assess what each side should be expected to bring to and to derive from joint projects. In discussing quick fixes for some current problems in Soviet social science,' the group expressed strong interest in public policy programs as training sources, in summer institutes for crash courses in methodology and research techniques, and for "data confrontation" seminars, which would permit in-depth' discussions of particular types of data or particular data bases. a-- - r--~- U.S.~OVIET RESEARCH COLLABORATION Subgroup A: Philip Converse, chair; Philip Stewart, rapporteur The group focused on a few key issues involving specific projects- notably, survey research in the Soviet Union and spent most of its time discussing obstacles rather than opportunities. Although everyone agreed that enormous opportunities now exist for collaboration, a major question was how to take advantage of these new openings to advance both social science as an international phenomenon and Soviet capabilities in the social sciences. The group kept returning to the problem of how to create a culture of science in the Soviet Union to underlie all social science research; it agreed that, in the medium term, enhancing such values might well be the most important accomplishment of collaborative projects. The group discussed the growth of new institutions devoted to survey research, for example the All-Union Center for Public Opinion Research on Social and Economic Problems headed by Academician Optima Za- slavskaya, as potential new sites for joint research. Some in the group expressed concern, however, about the adequacy of sampling frames, the level of understanding of survey methodology among the staff of these new institutes, and, given problems of resources, whether these groups had the capacity to carry out fully professional surveys even if the methodology is

OCR for page 14
18 SOVIET SOCIAL SCIENCE understood. Others expressed strong support for the abilities of this and other new institutes. Among the general problems discussed by the group was the lack of adequate equipment in Soviet institutions, although there was disagreement about whether U.S. research partners should become involved in supplying computers,-telefax machines, and other aids, even if these would make the Americans' work easier. The group agreed that access to raw survey doss wa.c now generally much better. although some participants noted cases in which researchers could use the data only in the Soviet Union and could not take files out of the country. Another concern was what to do about the masses of Soviet survey data now being released, about whose quality little is known. The availability of qualified interviewers, their training, and the role of American scholars in that training also received considerable attention. Finally, although the group welcomed the opportunities to expand surveys to new regions, it also noted that the problems of language and methodological adequacy pose substantial barriers. Despite these problems, the group noted a number of significant new opportunities, especially several collaborative projects involving observa- tional techniques as well as surveys. The group felt strongly that these should be encouraged because they provide additional kinds of data that permit researchers to understand better the results of their surveys. The group also noted as another hopeful sign the opportunities that have arisen recently for collaborative projects involving longitudinal research. Finally, the rapporteur offered his own criteria for choice among possible collaborative projects: (1) Does the project in question contribute to disciplinary research rather than to purely area studies? (2) Does it enhance the graduate training of American students in social science, using data from the Soviet Union? (3) Do the U.S. partners have substantial participation in the research design and the actual field research? (4) Is there agreement from the beginning on open and free access to the data generated by the project? ~ O Subgroup B.: Joseph Kadane, chair, Allen Lynch, rapporteur The group concluded that the major challenge is to maintain the im- pressive momentum of joint research projects and to use the opportunity afforded by the current Soviet chic to build a solid infrastructure for the long-term study of the Soviet Union within the American social science community. Projects have developed most effectively when the American participants have demonstrated a consistent pattern of achievement and

OCR for page 14
SOVIET SOCIAL SCIENCE 19 reliability. Indeed, it was agreed that it is hard to embark on sound joint research projects without a previous professional and personal relationship-. Among the obstacles to research collaboration noted by the group was the problem of veto power by local institutions over their segments of multisite projects (such as those conducted across the entire Soviet Union), which inhibits prospects for international collaboration. Funding problems attracted special attention and led to the following suggestions: 1. There is a need to incorporate more hard funding sources, for example through university budgets, into Soviet-American activities, to pro- vide the steady and consistent support that collaborative projects require. 2. Although U.S. national institutions in Soviet studies have been very dependent in the past on government funding, the group noted a promising increase in interest and support from other funding sources. 3. The Soviets generally still prefer that IREX-style exchanges fall under the umbrella of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, so that the Academy pays for them. This poses obvious problems for expanding contacts beyond the ASUSSR and beyond Moscow. There was considerable controversy within the group over whether funding sources should consider investing in improving the Soviets' ability to communicate with American research partners, perhaps by providing computers, electronic mail, telefax, and other equipment as part of project support. Proponents argued that the Soviets' lack of adequate electronic tools seriously hampers joint research efforts. Moreover, better data from the Soviets would make for more interesting research results, which besides its intrinsic interest would make the field of Soviet studies more attractive to young American social scientists and would enhance the position of Soviet studies within U.S. universities. Others strongly objected to the idea of subsidizing the Soviets; as one of the world's largest economies, they can afford to pay, although they may certainly try to avoid it if they can. Participants did agree that arranging funding for joint projects involves time- consuming negotiations with Soviet counterparts and requires American insistence that each side pays a fair share, even if creative financing and burden-sharing arrangements may be necessary. In conclusion, the group agreed that the guiding purposes of American efforts in promoting joint research projects win Soviet scholars should include the following dimensions: 1. Building the next American generation of Soviet specialists in the social sciences, which includes their effective integration into the social science faculties of universities; 2. Achieving significant research results that test the validity of gen- eral social science theories;

OCR for page 14
20 SOVIET SOCIAL SCIENCE 3. Engaging Soviet scholars in an effort to develop a truly inter- national approach to the study of social phenomena and the democratic climate that is required for free scholarly inquiry to flourish. LOGISTICAL ISSUES IN SOVIET-AMERICAN SCHOLARLY WORK Richard Ericson, chair, Marianne lax Choldin, rapportenr The group identified three major sets of logistical problems for U.S.- Soviet projects. The first, finances and equipment, includes the nonconvert- ibility of the ruble. The group recommended that Americans insist on the right to spend rubles and not to finance everything in dollars (i.e., at the official rate). One of the thorniest problems, because of the intense pressures coming from many Soviets, is the temptation to use computers as a form of financing. The group opposed this strongly, citing the clear ethical conflicts often involved, the practical problems it raised with American funding sources, and the need to ensure that the Soviets should provide some . ~ . reciprocity ~ nnanclng. Ilends in American funding aroused a number of concerns. For exam- ple, some participants felt that foundations preferred to support research on trendy topics,~so that support for basic social science is lacking. Ba- sic research projects now frequently suffer because they are subjected to review by foundations, rather than by scientific peers. A solution would be core funding, for example, through support from the National Science Foundation for joint basic research projects. The group also expressed concern that inadequate funding had caused IREX to drop projects for which Soviet support is in hand. It also noted that support for incidental expenses, such as housing in the Soviet Union, is needed as part of project budgets. The second general set of logistical problems results from the trend toward decentralized administration on both the American and the Soviet sides. If the center once provided by IREX is eroded, it would be good to have an information clearinghouse as a source of knowledge about what projects are under way or in the planning stages. The group also expressed the need for a forum in which to meet regularly to discuss problems. The final logistical problem is that of achieving remote access to data. We do not yet know if the new San Francisco-Moscow Teleport, an inno- vative electronic communications link, is adequate for social science needs, such as data access and transmission. The group also expressed uneasiness with the teleport because the United States pays all costs, thereby violating the principle of reciprocity.

OCR for page 14
SOVIET SOCIAL SCIENCE INTELLECTUAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR AMERICAN SCHOIARS Roberta Miller, chair, Barbara Anderson, rapporteur 21 The group noted that there are roles for both Soviet specialists and other social scientists. Researchers should be able to state questions about the Soviet Union as general social science problems, and projects in the So- viet Union addressed to general issues in social science will need input from experts in Soviet society. The group identified four types of opportunities: 1. Steadies of social change. The Soviet Union is undergoing rapid social change along many dimensions, including the transition from author- itarianism, the spread of a market economy, increasing federalism, change in the monetary system, increasing public participation, the development of democratic political institutions, the rapid adoption of modern information- processing systems, and rising ethnic and environmental awareness. It is ripe for research and especially interesting to Americans because these changes are occurring from a cultural and political base very different from that in other countries that have undergone similar transitions. In addition, there is very little theory to apply to some of these transitions, such as the move from state to market control in economics. 2.5pecial characteristics of the Soviet Union make it an inviting site for research. The Soviet Union's great ethnic and socioeconomic diversity within a single political system makes it a natural laboratory for quasi~xperimental research, such as on the effects of development and culture on policy implementation. Other special conditions include an arctic environment in which one can compare the same ethnic groups that live throughout the Arctic under different political systems. Another example is the highest female labor force par- ticipation rate in the world, which makes the Soviet Union an important outlier on the distribution of countries. 3. New issues that can now be studied. Openings in Soviet society now allow joint research in areas in which Soviet scholars or archives have something to teach Americans. Among these areas are medieval history, cognitive psychology, and the study of the use of tune in everyday life. In addition, the Soviet system may now be developing social innovations that have not been studied before, such as new forms of federalism and the practice of voting against candidates. 4. Policy studies. The study of policy implementation and change can benefit from research in the Soviet Union because it has formal policies in many more areas than the United States, more centralized policies than the United States, and an instructive recent history of policy change. The group discussed the rapidly changing funding situation for Amer- ican researchers working in the Soviet Union. Although funding for area studies is decreasing as U.S.~oviet relations improve, support for studies

OCR for page 14
22 SOVIET SOCIAL SCIENCE of basic social science questions conducted in the Soviet Union may now become available from regular social science funders. DEVELOPMENT OF BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE IN THE U.S.S.R Norris Minick, chair, Dand Johnson, rapporteur Participants had different impressions of the state of Soviet psychol- ogy, probably because some subfields are in much better shape than others. Similarly, U.S.~oviet collaboration is unevenly distributed across subfields. Collaboration through IREX is increasing, as is American interest, espe- cially in Soviet work on child development. In the past, the Institute of Psychology of the Academy of Sciences made it difficult to contact scholars in the institutes of the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences, where much of the interesting work was taking place. Although it is now possible to make direct contact with individual Soviet scholars, the group expressed concern about the difficulty of reaching Soviet psychologists. The group made a series of recommendations to improve U.S.~oviet contacts in psychology and to aid the development of Soviet behavioral science. The first is to replace general conferences with in-depth meetings or research collaborations. Second, participants also recommended bringing Soviet psychologists to the United States for postdoctoral research and study. Third, the American Psychological Association (APA) should be working to develop collaborations in clinical psychology. Fourth, American psychology journals might devote a special issue to Soviet research or invite Soviet contributions to a special issue on a particular topic. Finally, the group recommended that the APA and comparable organizations might invite Soviets to submit papers for their annual conventions and subside travel for the authors of papers accepted.