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8th International ICSID Conference «Political Economy of Redistribution and Institutional Change»

8th Annual Conference of the International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development (ICSID) «Political Economy of Redistribution and Institutional Change» took place at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow on June 13-15, 2019. Over the years the conference has turned from a small scientific event into a serious platform for discussing actual issues in the field of political economy, and has already become a tradition for many researchers to visit.

"This year marked my 5th time at the HSE-EACES Workshop and ICSID Conference in Moscow, - told Georgiy Syunyaev, Ph.D. student at Columbia University. -  I come here every year not just because I'm interested in Russian politics, but because the conference and workshop present a unique opportunity to receive a productive feedback from and engage in a growing, but tightly knit, community of academics and practitioners with very diverse set of expertise evolving around (but not limited to) Political Economy and Development of Post-Communist countries. One thing I liked especially this year is that the program featured participants presenting anything from extended research proposal to finished book projects and submitted articles. All of this makes ICSID conference an invaluable venue for Ph.D. students like me to discuss their projects at the early stages".

The peculiarity of the Conference is that there is a stable team of speakers who participate in the Conference every year, but at the same time there is a certain rotation. More than 40 researchers from Russia, USA, Germany, Finland, Hungary and Belgium presented their papers during the 2019 conference. The topics included economic development, social capital and social policy, political elites and collective action, etc.

Traditionally, strong speakers representing mainstream researches were invited to give keynote speeches at the conference. This time this role was played by Marko Klasnja from Georgetown University) and Volha Charnysh from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Marko Klasnja spoke about of "weakness" of parties (the low ability of parties to induce its electoral candidates to behave in ways desired by the party) in (developing) democracies. He presented his paper with "The Causes and Consequences of Party Weakness". Volha Charnysh presented her work "Diversity, Institutions and Economic Development: Evidence from post-WWII Displacement", which was based on an original dataset on post-WWII population transfers in Poland.

Every year the event becomes more and more popular, attracting a large number of participants. The annual joint EACES - HSE seminar “Topics in Political Economy of Development”, which is usually held in the first day of the conference, is very popular among young researchers and now is held in parallel sessions. Every year the number of applications for participation in the workshop increases. This time we received more than 50 applications, and they all were of a high quality.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my attendance in the conference. I got some excellent feedback on improving my paper, - noted Delgerjargal Uvsh, Ph.D. student at University of Wisconsin-Madison. -  In addition, we got to learn about the cutting-edge research scholars of political economy and institutional change are doing and network with scholars who have similar research interests. This is one of the best conferences of its kind and I hope to come back again for future conferences".

After the workshop the participants also had a chance to visit a brand new museum “Collection” in Moscow. The museum, founded by David Iakobachvili, houses a unique private collection of objets d'art, most notably self-playing musical instruments, clocks and mechanical rarities.

ICSID conference program 2019