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Location & Connections


Visiting Fellows 2013-2014

Mikhail Maslovskiy, Russian Academy of Sciences, St.-Petersburg, Russia

“The Multiple Modernities Perspective in Historical Sociology and Russia’s Post-Communist Transformations”
(August-September, 2013)


Mikhail Maslovskiy is a Senior Researcher at the Sociological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences (St.-Petersburg). He has an M.A. (University of Warwick, 1995) and a Doctor of Science (2004) degrees in Sociology. In 2009 he received a professorship at Nizhny Novgorod State University. He is the author of six books and numerous articles in Russian journals on Max Weber’s political theory, contemporary sociological theories, historical sociology, sociology of law and political sociology. His recent articles on new theoretical approaches in historical sociology and their application to Russian society have been published in such periodicals as Sotsiologicheskii zhurnal, Mir Rossii, Politicheskaya nauka and in the book Max Weber and Russia (Aleksanteri Series 2/2010). At different stages of his career he received grants of the British Council, Open Society Institute and other foundations. Professor Maslovskiy is an Aleksanteri Fellowship alumnus. In November 2012 he was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Glasgow.

Abstract of current research:
My current research project is aimed at theoretical reconstruction of the multiple modernities perspective on post-communist societies. The objective of the proposed study is to contribute to sociological conceptualisation of the transformation processes in post-Soviet Russia on the basis of the multiple modernities approach. One of the project’s goals is to transcend the boundaries between theoretically oriented historical sociology and the mainstream perspectives on post-Soviet transformations. The project draws on Johann P. Arnason’s version of the multiple modernities theory that considers both cultural and political aspects of civilisational dynamics and devotes sufficient attention to unintended consequences of human actions.

The main sources of the project include Arnason’s writings on civilisational analysis and the Soviet model of modernity; historical studies focused on civilisational and imperial traits of the Soviet system; sociological studies of social and cultural obstacles to modernisation in post-communist Russia. In the project the social and political processes in Russia will be analysed as a case of path dependency which is both post-communist and post-imperial. At the same time it will be argued that Arnason’s critical theory of modernity that emphasises the role of social creativity allows us to discuss the possibility of changing the existing trends. From this perspective the rise of new social movements may have a crucial impact on the future course of Russia’s modernisation.

The research project will result in publication of a book in English. During the visit to Aleksanteri Institute I intend to work on the manuscript of one of the book’s chapters and to collect materials for another chapter.

Email: maslovski[at]

Academic hosts at the Aleksanteri Institute: Markku Kangaspuro and Kaarina Aitamurto