17 Malaya Ordynka, building 1, room 115
The School of International Regional Studies is a research and educational centre seeking to revive international regional studies as an academic discipline in Russia. The department’s world-class professors train the next generation of regional studies specialists while developing an increasingly prestigious research school.
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The conference was opened by Dr. Olga. Volosyuk, Head of the School of Regional Studies of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, HSE University. She spoke about the results of the conferences organized by the School in previous years and offered as gifts to all participants the recently published books with the materials of these conferences.
Welcoming the participants of the event, Dr. Victoria Panova, Vice-Rector of the HSE University, emphasized the importance of the conference topic, which fully corresponds to the geopolitical changes taking place nowadays, and thanked Dr. Sergey Karaganov for authorship of the “world majority” concept. Dr. Panova also expressed her hope that the discussion of the scientific papers would generate new ideas and practical approaches to the creation of a future equitable world order that would consider the interests of all.
Dr. Victoria Panova warmly welcomed foreign scientists and representatives of the diplomatic community taking part in the conference, thanked the organizers and partners of the event for preparing such an interesting and required program, and wished everyone successful and fruitful work.
Dr. Dmitriy Razumovsky, Director of the Institute of Latin America of the Russian Academy of Sciences, welcomed the participants and thanked the HSE University for organizing the event and for the opportunity to become a partner of the conference. He also expressed satisfaction that Latin America, which for a long time was perceived in Russia as a tactical ally, is smoothly moving from the periphery of the scientific agenda to its center. Such changes, according to Dr. Razumovsky, require a new rethinking of the role of entire regions, new terminology, and a new conceptual apparatus.
Dr. Alexey Kuznetsov, Director of the Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences in his welcoming speech, noted the relevance of the conference and expressed gratitude to the organizers for the opportunity to hold its European session. He stressed that in a more just polycentric world Europe and the collective West will have an important but equal role to play, and the importance of organizations such as the G20 and BRICS will increase. Dr. Kuznetsov also noted that the world majority is still quite fragmented, but there is a common unifying goal: the fight against neocolonialism.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United Mexican States Eduardo Villegas Megías thanked the organizers for the invitation to the conference and expressed satisfaction that Russia is interested in expanding cooperation with Latin America. He emphasized that Mexico has not joined the anti-Russian sanctions and intends to develop comprehensive cooperation with the Russian Federation.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Eastern Republic of Uruguay, Daniel Ruben Castillos Gomez in his greeting to the conference participants noted the relevance of the topic and stressed that being on the threshold of a new world order, we must use all opportunities that arise during any crisis. According to him, Latin American countries are optimistic about Russia's intentions to develop cooperation with the region and are primarily interested in achieving economic and technological sovereignty.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Khalid Abdullah Kraieem Shawabka praised the level of Russian Jordanian relations in the political, military, cultural, educational, and confessional fields. He expressed satisfaction that, despite the crisis, the Arab countries have not only maintained good relations with Russia, but also intend to develop them dynamically.
On behalf of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the 3rd Secretary Pablo Enrique Rodriguez Bresenio welcomed the participants and expressed his gratitude to the organizers for the invitation to the conference, whose topic is important and timely, and stressed that the construction of a new polycentric world is not only possible, but irreversible.
Professor Zhao Huasheng, member of China Expert Forum addressed the conference participants in an online format. He noted that the transformation of the international order in the 20th century was influenced by two World Wars and the Cold War. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine between Russia and the West will result in a new world order, but it will not happen quickly. Prof. Huasheng noted that there are similarities and differences in the Russian and Chinese approaches to building a new world order, but the main thing is that they are united in their understanding of what it should be.
The opening session of the 4th International Conference “The world majority in the contemporary international realities: from fragmentation to new institutionalization” was concluded by the Dean of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, HSE University Dr. Anastasia Likhacheva. She thanked all the speakers for the ideas and suggestions offered in their reports and noted that in the academic environment there are discussions about the concept of “world majority”. This is most lively among economists, who are trying to define criteria for assessing the influence of this concept.
In conclusion, Dr. Likhacheva wished all the participants fruitful work and expressed hope that the conference would contribute to the study of contemporary processes, as well as identify directions for further research in politics, economics, and other areas.
The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Sergey Karaganov, Professor, Academic Supervisor of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, HSE University, Honorary Chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy. In his introduction, he justified the need to revise the approach to the study of regional studies, because for decades the idea of globalism, the domination of transnational companies dominated in the West, which was also adopted by the Russian elite. At the same time, funding for the classical study of countries and regions was cut. This needs to be corrected and should be the subject of discussion at the conference.
Professor Karaganov noted that the current unprecedented crisis was set in motion in the late 1970s, when development in the West began to decline. He went on to elaborate on the totality of the political, military, economic, and other factors that led to the new stage of world shifts occurring right now when a new world order was being created. He stressed that Russia had been forced to take a sharp escalation of relations with the West in Ukraine to defend its vital interests and now its very existence. Thus, we irrevocably parted with the idea of integration into Europe, betting on cooperation with the “world majority”. Russia has begun to realize itself as a civilization, not an outskirt of Europe, began to return to its Eurasian historical and social essence by turning to the East, without rejecting the advantages of European cultural and historical ties.
A special military operation, according to Prof. Karaganov, will rid the Russian elite of Western-centrism and compradorism, and prepare the country for a turbulent world (a combination of openness to cooperation with maximum security - the concept of “Fortress Russia”).
In the concluding part of the report, Prof. Karaganov shared his thoughts on what he considers important for the scientific community in modern conditions. Firstly, to prevent the weakening of the elite and to promote the victory of Russia; if Russia wins, the world majority wins. Secondly, to understand that all international theories were born not only in the West, but also for the West. Moreover, there are no supranational economic theories, all of which serve the ruling classes of specific states. Third, to create a concept of regional studies, the most important of the social sciences. Fourth, think about the development of existing institutional structures (SCO, BRICS) and the creation of new ones, as well as the modernization of the UN.