Warwick CCLS Russian Research Group

Simon Clarke Simon Clarke was born in London in 1946. His first degree was in economics, but after one year of teaching economics at London University he felt his tenuous grip on reality slipping and went to do a PhD in sociology at Essex, where he taught for one year before moving to Warwick in 1972, where he has been ever since. Most of his work was in the fields of political economy and sociological theory until he started working in Russia in 1990. He is now Professor of Sociology and director of the Russian Research Group in the Centre for Comparative Labour Studies at Warwick and Scientific Director of ISITO in Moscow. Click for his CV.

 Vadim Borisov Vadim Borisov was born in 1961 in Chelyabinsk, pollution capital of the world. He finished school in 1978, working for a year as a setter of printing equipment in the Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Factory before becoming a student of philosophy in the Department of Scientific Communism of Ural State University in Sverdlovsk. While a student he worked as a member of the corps de ballet at the Lunacharsky Theatre in Sverdlovsk. On graduation in 1984 he went to work as a prison officer, only escaping from a life contract by feigning insanity. In 1987 he became a teacher of 'Scientific Communism' at the Chelyabinsk Medical Institute, where he soon became a leader of the informal movement, organising the first gathering of informal leaders and the first mass demonstration in Chelyabinsk in 1988. On that occasion his main opponent was his uncle, then head of the City Party Committee (until he faced an election in December 1996 he was the 'democratic' head of the regional administration). The local Party suggested that he establish a Popular Front in Chelyabinsk, but instead he returned to Sverdlovsk as a postgraduate student before moving to Moscow in 1990 where he continued his informal activity, while studying sociology and then working as a freelance journalist and sociologist. He was awarded his Candidate's degree in sociology in 1993 and became a member of the Journalists' Union in 1994. He is now a research fellow in the Centre for Comparative Labour Studies at the University of Warwick, where he is completing a PhD on strikes in Russia, Director of the Institute for Comparative Labour Relations Research (ISITO) in Moscow, and the ICFTU Representative in the CIS. Click for his CV.

Peter Fairbrother Peter Fairbrother was born in Australia in 1946. He eventually left to seek his fortune in Britain, his fortune being to do a doctorate at Nuffield College, Oxford, before eventually joining the Sociology Department at Warwick.. Peter's research has been primarily in the field of workplace trade unionism.. He set up the Russian Research Programme with Simon Clarke in 1991 and co-directed it until 1995 when he had to leave the programme because of the pressure of other commitments. He was primarily responsible for the methodological aspects of the research, which was critically important in the initial stages. Peter is now Professor at Cardiff University.

Sarah Ashwin Sarah Ashwin wears a miner's helmet like a fashion accessory. She was born in May 1968, whereupon the world went mad. Following an adolescent attachment to horses she read history at Oxford (reading is what they do instead of studying at Oxford) and then did an MSc in Russian politics at LSE. After a distinguished graduation she worked for two years for the ICFTU in Brussels, with responsibility for conducting research on trade unions in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, before committing herself to a life of poverty researching for a doctorate on mineworkers and trade unionism at Warwick. She has now turned her back on the joys of Coventry and returned to London, where she is Reader in Industrial Relations at LSE. However, she continues to work closely with the Russian Research Programme and is still directing our project on gender relations and gender identity in transition, as well as working with us on trade unions and industrial relations.

 Robert Ferguson Rob Ferguson spent a number of years as a trade union activist in local government before coming to academic life as a mature student. Following an MA at SSEES in London and a year lecturing at Portsmouth University, Rob came to Warwick to work for his doctorate. He is just completing a thesis on trade unions and worker organisation in Kuzbass, comparing mining, metallurgy and education, and he will then be available for employment. Rob's optimism sustains us all! It could brighten your life too.

Annette Robertson Annette Robertson studied Russian for her first degree, and then followed a postgraduate course at the Pushkin Institute in Moscow before working for two years for the dying WFTU in Prague. Following an MBA and diploma in export marketing at Exeter Annette had all the qualifications needed to make millions by robbing Russians, but instead she came to Warwick to work initially as Research Fellow on our ESRC-funded coal-mining project. After a year she became a full-time PhD student and completed a doctorate on the employment impact of coal mine restructuring in Russia. Having moved into research on policing in Russia at Leicester University, Annette is now a Lecturer in Criminology there..

Elain Bowers Elain Bowers studied sociology as a fairly mature student at Cardiff before coming to Warwick to study for an MA in Comparative Labour Studies, in which she earned a distinction. She then decided to learn Russian and to undertake doctoral research under Peter Fairbrother on work and gender relations in Russia. Her fieldwork was conducted in Samara and Syktyvkar, where she gathered a substantial amount of material which she is now writing up. She also directed a project on gender relations in transition, funded by the Nuffield Foundation. Elain gave birth to a baby boy, Niall, in March 1997 (the baby bit was intentional, the boy bit was chosen by the fickle finger of fate, but this one is lovely), and moved back to Cardiff.

Huw Beynon

Huw Beynon

Huw Beynon is Professor of Sociology at Manchester University, but is a close comrade-in-arms who collaborated with us in our ESRC-funded coal-mining project. Huw had an exciting visit to Kuzbass with Simon and Sarah. When it comes to Russian coal mines Huw knows no fear. But sit him in a comfortable Aeroflot plane and he wonders why he ever left home.