Public Sociology Laboratory
(PS Lab)
Public Sociology Laboratory (PS Lab) is an autonomous research group focusing on politics and society in Russia and post-Soviet regions from a comparative perspective.
Public Sociology Laboratory (PS Lab)
Public Sociology Laboratory was founded in 2011. At that time, and occasioned by the mass protests in Russia in December 2011, the founders of PS Lab began their research on protests and social movements in Russia, which subsequently expanded to include other post-Soviet regions.
But PS Lab has a backstory too. Some of its members first met each other in 2007 as part of the OD Group — a student movement fighting for the transformation of education according to international standards in the Department of Sociology, Moscow State University.
Since this beginning, PS Lab members have collaborated on multiple collective research projects and the Laboratory has come to include more members. PS Lab researchers have defended candidate (kandidat) and Ph.D. degrees in the social and political sciences and are currently working on a number of collective and individual projects on topics such as: civic politics, media, state, and labor.
The main goal of Public Sociology Laboratory is to combine public relevance, methodological rigor, and theoretical depth in research. First, the Laboratory believes that the traditional academic distinction between scholarship and political commitment is a false dilemma and that there is no neutral, objective, and apolitical knowledge.
PS Lab's goal is not to be unbiased or uninvolved, but rather to understand its own political assumptions and preoccupations. True academic knowledge can be achieved only through recognizing and taking into account one's own politically-engaged stance.
PS Lab insists that having political commitments without methodology means to be a politician, while to have a methodology without such a bias means to be an empty positivist. Thus, the Laboratory's goal is to find methodologically firm grounding for socially- and politically-engaged knowledge.
PS Lab addresses issues that have both social and theoretical importance. Namely, the Laboratory aims at grounding "higher philosophy" in solid empirical data.
PS Lab attempts to move knowledge beyond academic discussions and make it a part of public debate.
Main Areas Of Research
Social movements, wars, revolutions, and protests
Political reasoning and political consciousness of individuals and social groups
Labor under neoliberal capitalism
The political economy of authoritarian regimes
Recent PS Lab projects
Public Sociology Laboratory, in collaboration with researchers from EUSP and St. Petersburg State University, has published a collective monograph titled Politics of Apoliticals: Civic Movements in Russia in 2011-13 (in Russian, Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 2015). The monograph is still considered to be one of the main sources on protest politics in contemporary Russia. In addition, since the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, PS Lab has been conducting a qualitative study of Russians' perceptions of the war.

Researchers from PS Lab also publish their articles in Russian and international peer-reviewed journals, among which are: Political Communication, PLOS One, Nature Human Behaviour, Politics, Qualitative Psychology, American Journal of Cultural Sociology, Current Sociology, Journal of Youth Studies, Global Networks, Social Networks, Business and Politics, Development and Change, International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, International Sociology, Post-Soviet Affairs, Europe-Asia Studies, Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization, East European Politics, South Atlantic Quarterly, Sociologicheskie Issledovania, Sociologia Vlasti, Sociologicheskoe obozrenie, Journal of Social Policy Studies, and others.

Public Sociology Laboratory's members also regularly publish media articles and take to the radio to present the results of their research for a broader audience. All PS Lab publications can be found in the "Projects and Publications" page of the website. Video and audio of public presentations are available following the "Video and Audio Materials".
Public Sociology Laboratory has extensive experience of collaboration with several international academic institutions, such as the Research Center for East European Studies at the University of Bremen, the Transregional Center of Democratic Studies at the New School for Social Research in New York City, King's Russia Institute at King's College London, Center for Sociology of Democracy and Alexanteri Institute at the University of Helsinki, the Andrew Gagarin Center for Civil Society and Human Right at the St. Petersburg State University, among others. Moreover, PS Lab members collaborate with leading social science scholars from different countries, including, Nina Eliasoph (University of Southern California), Laurent Thévenot (Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris), Sam Greene and Gulnaz Sharafutdinova (King's College London), Heiko Pleines (Bremen University), Eva Luhtakallio (Helsinki University), Donatella della Porta (Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence). PS Lab members have had internships, fellowships, and working experience in multiple international institutions such as: the University of Southern California, the University of California- Berkley, Duke University, King's College London, Bremen University, the University Wisconsin-Madison, New York University, and the University of Helsinki. Moreover, PS Lab collaborates with and supports democratic activist organizations outside the academy, such as the Russian Socialist Movement, Doxa journal, and the Confederation of Labor of Russia.
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