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The American Response: Ideas and Prospects lithe panelists were asked to draw on the conference discussions to suggest ideas for what should be done, including specific projects and programs, organizational changes, and funding, so that the U.S. social science community can respond effectively to the new opportunities in the Soviet Union. HERBERT SIMON, CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY Simon began by commenting that, on the basis of his experience with the NAS program 'wish China, political developments are at least as important as any particular programs. What American social scientists can accomplish is very much determined by political conditions within the Soviet Union and between that country and the rest of the world. Simon reported that he had been impressed by the intensely applied focus of Soviet social science. It would not be an exaggeration, he argued, to say that today there is no social science in the Soviet Union, if by that we mean basic interest and curiosity about fundamental human phenomena as the driving force behind research. Although Western social science has its own strong interest in applied work, he was astounded by the degree of responsibility held and sought by Soviet social scientists in designing social reforms. This means, among other things, that any American social scientist involved in joint programs is'likely to become drawn into current policy debates. Simon suggested that social scientists therefore need to be very aware and sophisticated about the roles they and their projects could play in the reform process. Simon also noted the relevance of concerns about `'science imperial- ism" that had been voiced in other countries—the concern of indigenous 23
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24 SOVIET SOCL4L SCIENCE groups with control over their own data. Americans need to be sensitive to these issues; the fact that we bring money and would like to have their data does not mean that we will always be welcome. This may become especially true as the Soviet Union opens up to more contacts and the tight central control of exchanges is lost. On the subject of multilateral versus bilateral contacts, Simon ex- pressed a preference for making use of multilateral settings whenever possible. He seconded the importance of getting out of Moscow and noted that this has become much easier in recent years. One important point raised during the meeting was the role of area specialization. In the early postwar period, when many area programs were founded and supported, it was assumed that Americans should know more about other parts of the world, and that other nations would provide useful laboratories and sources of data. The ideal conception was that data from other parts of the world would feed into the testing of general social science theories about human behavior in a wide variety of cultural settings. It is no secret, Simon commented, that we have done a far better job of developing knowledge about particular areas than we have done in applying that knowledge to the development of social science. 1b him it therefore becomes very important to encourage the participation of nonarea specialists. He acknowledged that this is a difficult enterprise: generalists will know little about the country, and the lack of language skills will pose real problems for research. Simon concluded by saying that everyone involved in these contacts must repeatedly ask: What is the basic goal of all these activities? For himself, and he thought perhaps for most of the participants, the fun- damental purpose is to contribute to building the base of general social science knowledge and capabilities. Helping to develop Soviet competence, especially if that includes fostering an interest in basic as well as applied research, will contribute to knowledge-building as well. Simon expressed the belief that all social scientists hope to achieve normal scientific relations with the Soviet Union, so that doing science with the Soviets will be no different from working in Britain or France. ENID C.B. SCHOETTLE, THE FORD FOUNDATION Schoettle began by echoing calls for increasing the multilateral ap- proach to the study of the Soviet Union, in terms of both the research teams employed and the number of countries studied. She argued that the use of comparative cases from Eastern Europe could enrich our un- derstanding of the Soviet Union and of the broader operation of socialist societies. She also noted that Americans have a great deal to gain from
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SOVIET SOCIAL SCIENCE 25 colleagues in other Western countries, whose perspectives on social science and on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe could add to our enterprise. Schoettle listed five basic sources of funding for the field of Soviet studies and for social science activities with Me Soviet Union. The two traditional sources are the U.S. government and major national foundations such as Ford and Carnegie that have a long-standing interest in these fields and whose interest shows no sign of diminishing. Philanthropy from new foundation programs and from new individual and corporate donors together constitute a third funding source. The fourth source is the regular budgets of the major scholarly associations, colleges, and universities. She noted that, although it is sometimes very difficult to get funded through these sources initially, once a project acquires the status of a regular line item, support tends to continue. The fifth source is the Soviet Union itself. Schoettle emphasized the importance of reciprocity and precedent as principles in exchange projects. She suggested that, when seeking support in the United States, Americans should always make clear what their Soviet partners are contributing, and that donors should generally expect Soviets to bear the bulk of the ruble costs of any project. She also noted that equipment costs, such as computers that U.S. participants hoped to provide to project partners, needed to be handled very carefully, despite the pressures likely to arise for shortcuts or funding sleights-of-hand. Schoettle also noted the importance of avoiding as much as possible the cost of reinventing the wheel as new projects and institutions begin joint projects. She suggested paying attention to the importance of networking enterprises, of finding ways to spread and share information. Substantive information about what is happening is very important, and so is providing practical advice about how to design and carry out projects successfully. Finally, Schoettle addressed herself to the question: Why do funders fund? She agreed with Simon's argument for the importance of supporting stronger social science. In response to the discussion about the most appropriate targets for training and suppor~graduate students, young professionals, or more established scholars she suggested that, although all are appropriate, it is important to think about the cumulative effect of cutting in at various points in a scholar's career. Multiple strategies, which build on experiences, stand the greatest chance of success. She also suggested that there are two other major reasons why funders support work in this area. The first is to pluralize and democratize, to encourage the forces of reform in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Schoettle argued strongly that American scholars should not shrink from this as a principal motivation for their activities. She urged projects to seek to foster pluralization within the scholarly community, by insisting on younger scholars and women as participants, by involving scholars from outside Moscow and from many disciplines, and by encouraging
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26 SOVIET SOCIAL SCIENCE the involvement of wider publics as well. The other abiding purpose is the belief that scholarly cooperation is somehow part of building broader international cooperation, of creating better relations and the capacity to address urgent common problems. HERBERT LEVINE, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA Levine focused his remarks on the question of priorities among the wide array of potentially worthwhile activities. His own highest priority would be the improvement of social science capabilities in the Soviet Union. His own discipline of economics, for example, is in dreadful shape as a science there, and he would like to see major efforts given to building its strength as a basic discipline. Such~fundamental strength, he believes, would be of great value both for its eventual practical application and for the interest of the West in having Soviet economists who could appreciate and analyze world events. He believes the same benefits and priorities hold true for the social sciences. Within this focus, he would give greatest attention to graduate training. Providing training that has a lasting effect requires careful thought and planning. In his own work over the years with younger Soviet scholars, he found that they tended to get swallowed up by the generally dismal standards and practices within the Soviet economic establishment. He therefore believes that training programs should be geared to providing a small number of competitively selected students with a complete graduate education in the West. For Levine, the key was to provide training not only in theory and methods, but also in the culture of science. This broader cultural education is an essential part of the training; it does not currently exist in the Soviet Union and therefore is best acquired abroad. Levine suggested that the major scholarly associations should be the key vehicle for these training programs. Although IREX would be an im- portant source of information, it should not have the primary responsibility. He argued that it would-be extremely useful to persuade the Soviets to establish a new entity to manage their side of the training enterprises that could maintain connections with both the ASUSSR and the universities. He seconded Schoettle~s suggestion that the Soviets should be expected to contribute to the costs of the training, if only because one tends to value something more if one has had to pay for it. Finally, he agreed with the idea that it was important to think about what role these scholars will eventually play in their own societies. He suggested that postgraduate programs could be used to help advance their careers and reinforce the results of their training. If the purpose of the programs was to encourage the development of basic social science, then
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SOVIET SOCIAL SCIENCE 27 reinforcing longer-term, cumulative erects should be part of the program design. WILLIAM A. JAMES, U.S. INFORMATION AGENCY James commented that, from the perspective of exchanges, the U.S.- Soviet contacts were still very small and limited in scope compared with, for example, American exchanges in Eastern Europe. The U.S. Information Agency (USIA) sought, through its support of exchange programs, to expand that network with the ultimate goal of creating normal scientific relations between the two countries. James described the range of USIA programs, emphasizing two new programs of potential interest to U.S. scholars. One provides seed money to American universities to start linkages with foreign universities, offering $50,000 over a threeyear period to help start projects, which are then expected to find other sources of support. Until last year, projects with the Soviet Union were not eligible, but that has now been changed. For next year, projects to link with the Baltic states, the Ukraine, and Byelorussia will be eligible. The second new project is the Samantha Smith program, an undergraduate and high school exchange project that can include nonaca- demic programs. In discussing funding, James lamented the harsh budgetary realities- perestroika versus Gramm-Rudman-Hollings—that was limiting the govern- ment's ability to respond to the changes under way in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The USIA, for, example, is faced with a flat budget that remains at the level of fiscal 1985. Any expansion in programs came from diverting funds from projects that had fallen through for one reason or another. He argued that the best projects would still be able to find funding "money chases good ideas" and also urged scholars to look for local sources of funds. James reviewed six program priorities for USIA funding over the coming year: expanding the English language training program, business management, American studies, environmental studies, pedagogical reform, and "constitutionality" or law and legal reform. The USIA also plans to encourage internships as part of exchanges, since practical problems of implementing reforms could be assisted by providing opportunities for direct experience. Finally, he suggested that another area of interest and concern to the scholarly community should be its contacts with the federal government, how its knowledge and insights could be made available to those charged with making and implementing policy.
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28 SOVIET SOCL,4L SCIENCE FINAL REMARKS . On integrating disciplinary researchers and Soviet area specialists, one participant remarked that it is important to bring social science meth- ods, and not only disciplinary specialists, into Soviet studies. Another, while agreeing about the need to raise the research standards in area studies, saw the abstract methods valued in the disciplines as a barrier to entry for area specialists. On organizational issues, one participant raised the problem of getting outside the ASUSSR. Another noted the rising power of Soviet dis- ciplinary associations in sociology, history, economics, and political science and suggested that Americans could now work with those groups. The associations could also sponsor individual applicants to study in the United States. On training Soviet scholars, one participant suggested creating a network of the 17 sociology students now in the United States, so that they will stay in contact later. A mechanism similar to the NRC's Committee on Scholarly Communication with the People's Republic of China might be used to supplement their fellowship money for this purpose. Another suggested bringing groups of Soviet students from the same institutions, especially outside Moscow, to build research centers. A third participant said the Soviets want to cluster their graduate students as a way to solve the problems they will face when they return to Soviet academia. One option suggested for eliminating the reentry problem was to do the training in the Soviet Union and invite the participation of local institutions. In another participant's view, many approaches should be used. Six years of training in the United States will not often be supported because of the expense. It would be very useful and important, however, to support networks of the Soviet alumni of American training programs. One participant noted that the social scientists and the U.S. gov- ernment may have different goals. The former want mainly to improve social science, while the latter (especially USIA) may want to emphasize citizens' groups, the Western Soviet Union, and other policy priorities.
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