International Programs
offered by CDC extend its initiatives to the international arena, especially to the countries undergoing democratic transformation and market reforms. International programs offer Nevadans a chance to hear foreign speakers and participate in events featuring foreign artists. CDC activists work with private, state, and government foundations promoting cultural exchange between the U.S. and other countries. The CDC international programs are intended to benefit Nevada residents by bringing to the state artists, politicians, community and civil rights activists who can increase our awareness of cultural diversity and provide up-to-date information about the progress in democratic institution building around the world. The past programs sponsored by UNLV include the International Festival of Russian Art and Culture, Nevada Conferences on Russian Culture, as well as a recent seminar on Doing Business in Eurasia that gave local firms information about investment opportunities in the countries of Eurasia.

The International Biography
features interviews and autobiographical materials collected from scholars who participated in the intellectual movements spurred by the Nikita Khrushchev's liberalization campaign. We plan to place on the CDC web site written, and where possible, audio versions of the interviews. The materials are posted as they become available, in the language of the original, with the translations planned for the future. Dr. Boris Doktorov and Dr. Dmitri Shalin are editing the projects. Dr. Boris Firsov serves as a consultant for the History of Russian Sociology portion of this project, and Dr. Andrei Alekseev is a consultant for the Biographical Method materials. The UNLV Center for Democratic Culture is grateful to the editors of the magazines Teleskop, Sotsiologicheskii Zhurnal, and Zhurnal Sociologii i Socialnoi Antropologii where many of these materials first appeared for their permission to reproduce the interviews. We owe a special debt of gratitude to Dr. Larissa Kozlova
and Dr. Natalia Mazlumyanova who serve as editorial consultants and provide scholarly assistance with this project. We wish to thank all our colleagues who have found time to share their memories, shown good faith, and demonstrated their willingness to expand the room for the honest difference of opinion. The materials are divided into several sections: Interviews, Memoirs, Documents, Supplements, Testimonies, Comments, and Articles. You will find the IBI materials posted in the Biographies section of this site.

Mеждународная Биографическая Инициатива (IBI) это новый американо-российский проект, посвященный истории российской социологии постхрущевского периода и методологии биографического метода. Две эти темы в последние годы привлекают значительное внимание социологов, и мы надеемся, что IBI будет способствовать изучению истории российской социологии и разработке методологии биографического метода во всех его аспектах. Сайт – англо-русский, но большая часть представленных текстов написана по-русски. В будущем мы надеемся переводить материалы, написанные по-русски, на английский язык и англоязычные тексты – на русский. Думаем, что вскоре и социологи из других стран смогут принять участие в проекте и предложат для нашего сайта свои воспоминания и результаты исследований о постхрущевском периоде российской социологии. Предполагается также размещать на сайте звукозаписи интервью и фотографии. Собранные к настоящему времени материалы представлены следующими рубриками: Интервью, Воспоминания, Документы, Дополнения, Комментарии и Статьи. В них вы найдете несколько десятков интервью, мемуаров и автобиографических заметок известных российских социологов, а также множество статей и материалов документального характера. Предлагаем вам ознакомиться с содержанием сайта и высказать свое мнение о проекте IBI. Будем признательны всем за замечания и предложения, а также за материалы биографического и методологического характера, присылаемые для размещения на сайте. С вопросами о проекте и возможностях сотрудничества, пожалуйста, обращайтесь к руководителям проекта профессору Борису Докторовуи профессору Дмитрию Шалину. Профессор Борис Фирсов консультирует часть данного проекта, связанную с историей социологии в Россиии, и кандидат философских наук Андрей Алексеев консультирует материалы по биографическому методу. Многие из наших онлайновых публикаций стали возможными благодаря помощи московского «Социологического журнала» и петербургских изданий: «Телескоп: наблюдения за повседневной жизнью петербуржцев» и «Журнал социологии и социальной антропологии». Мы признательны редакторам названных журналов за разрешение разместить их материалы на нашем сайте и выражаем особую благодарность кандидатам наук Ларисе Козловой и Наталии Мазлумяновой за их работу в качестве редакторов-консультантов по этому проекту. Вы сможете найти материалы IBI проекта в разделе Biographies этого сайта.

Briefing on Doing Business in Eurasia was offered to members of the Nevada business community interested in the investment opportunities and changing business climate in the countries of the former Soviet Union. "Executive Briefing on Eurasian Business Dynamics: 10 Years of Lessons Learned" was hosted on January 22, 2003, by the Center for Democratic Culture and the UNLV Foreign Languages Department. The seminar was cosponsored by the Business Information Service for the Newly Independent States or BISNIS - a service of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the Las Vegas U.S. Export Assistance Center. Topics explored at the seminar included trade and project financing, energy sector, retail business, real estate development, construction, gaming, agribusiness, and information technology. Among featured speakers were Jeffrey Kamins, international trade specialist with the U.S. Department of Commerce, and several BISNIS representatives from U.S. Embassies in Eurasia, including Andriy Vorobyov of Ukraine; Bakhtiyar Mamedov of Azerbaijan; and Dr. Irina Belinskaya of Russia. More details about the seminar, speakers, and investment tips can be found in the CDC web archives - Briefing on Business in Eurasia.

Conference on Fledgling Democracies is currently in the planning stage. Titled "Russian and American Democracies in a Comparative Global Perspective," this international forum will be the Third Nevada Conference on Russian Culture. It is organized by the CDC with the help of the New Global History (NGH) association, an international organization of historians led by Bruce Mazlish, professor of history at MIT, who coordinates the forum preparations on the NGH side. The forum central theme is the unique manner in which a democracy comes into being and responds to the leveling forces of globalization - economic, technological, political, cultural. U.S. and Russia, not to mention other countries like Germany, Japan, and Argentina, are all democratic polities, yet each has evolved under the particular historical circumstances and represents a special blend of socio-economic, politico-religious, and somatic-emotional patterns that distinguish it from similarly-labeled entities. These historical patterns constrain the path that democratic evolution takes in any given country. Efforts to transplant a democratic blueprint to another region without due regard for the historical heritage and local patterns often prove disappointing. The proposed forum will bring to town about 20 scholars and politicians who will give a talk and write a paper to be published later, focusing on a particular aspect of a democratic transformation/functioning in the U.S. and Russia and using the following list of questions as a guide:

  1. What are similarities and differences between American and Russian democracies, which historical circumstances account for their key characteristics?
  2. Which historical legacy does Russia have to overcome and which historical resources can it draw upon in its efforts to build a viable democracy?
  3. Which institutions and practices constitute a core of democracy, what are the prerequisites for a polity to be called democratic?
  4. Are there typical pathways to a democratic transformation, does the transition path predetermines the form that democracy takes in any given nation?
  5. Can a fledgling democracy benefit from an authoritarian rule in the transitional period, what can be done to avoid the pitfalls of illiberal democracy?
  6. Do the global forces of modernization draw fledgling and establishing democracies closer together?
  7. Is the relationship between fledgling and established democracies a one way street, what can the two sides learn from each other?
  8. Has the advice/assistance U.S. experts offered to Russia on how to build a democracy made a positive difference, should it be offered in the future, and if so, which kind?
  9. What role nongovernmental and philanthropic organizations can play in furthering civic society in Russia?
  10. Which are the most promising avenues for cooperation between the United States and the Russian Federation.
Forum organizers plan to send invitations to leading American and Russian scholars and politicians, including Blair Ruble, director of the Kennan Institute at Woodrow Wilson Center; Frederick Starr, director of the Central Asia Institute at Johns Hopkins University; Marshall Goldman, codirector of the Harvard Davis Center; Strob Talbott, former Deputy Secretary of State; Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek; Robert Kaplan, The Antlantic Monthly; Stephen Cohen, Princeton University; Martin Malia, University of Berkeley; David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker; Hedrick Smith, former The New York Times correspondent; Joseph Bradley, University of Tulsa; Alon Confino, University of Virginia; Amy Chua, Yale Law School; Grigory Yavlinsky, Head of the Democratic Party in Russian Parliament; Victor Sheinis, the Yabloko Political Block; Igor Kon, Russian Academy of Science; Boris Firsov, President of the European University of St. Petersburg; Alexander Etkind, European University of St. Petersburg; Marietta Chudakova, Moscow Literary Institute; Yuri Levada, Director of Moscow Public Opinion Center; and other American and Russian experts.

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