The Infrastructure of Liberty is a work of research devoted to the problem of public spaces, and the creation at the beginning of the 2000s just such a space in the town of Cherepovets, where thanks to the efforts of the residents and the local mayor, a “public space” in a residential housing zone was turned into a communal one. The author poses the question: how can the fabric of a city be arranged to make ”public” areas at the same time “communal” ones? And no less
importantly, where can the resources be found to do such a thing?

The story of Cherepovets has a postscript: the city administration grew interested, and this year the European University collaborated with the Kudrin Fund to launch a project of  ”participatory budgeting” - an institute that gives ordinary members of the public access to the formation of municipal budgets.

The conversation will begin with the presentation of Oleg Kharkhordin’s new book “The Infrastructure of Liberty”, followed by a discussion about Oleg’s work with sociologist Viktor Vakhstein and journalist Xenia Chudinova.

Oleg Kharkhordin is rector of the European University in St. Petersburg, where he is also a professor at the faulty of political science and sociology. He holds a Ph.D from the University of California and is the author of  ”The Theory of Practise”.

Viktor Vakhshtein is a sociologist and director of the Center for Sociological Research at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Service. He has conducted research for the World Bank, the OECD, the OSCE, The National Democratic Institute (U.S.), and several European Universities. He has worked in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Croatia, Hungary, the United States, and Israel.

Xenia Chudinova is a journalist at Snob project, and a TV host at TV Rain in Moscow. Her main professional areas of interest are culture, urban studies, sociology, new media and new technologies.