Teodor Shanin


Teodor Shanin, OBE, PhD

Professor Emeritus of Manchester University, President of MSSES

E-mail: shanin@universitas.ru
Telephones: (w)+7-4954347282 
Addresses: 119571, Moscow, prospect Vernadskogo, 82, bld 2 (work)

Curriculum Vitae

Professor Teodor Shanin, OBE, PhD
President of the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences
Professor Emeritus of the University of Manchester, UK
Honorary Fellow of the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences

Date of Birth: 29th October 1930
Place of Birth: Wilno/Vilnius, Poland (when born), now Lithuania;
Citizenship: British

Main research interests: peasant studies, historical sociology, sociology of knowledge, interdisciplinarity, informal economies, epistemology and higher education as such.

Professor Teodor Shanin, OBE, president of the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, who’s long commitment to studies of peasant societies, historical sociology and epistemology as well as active involvement in building up of effective academic structures led to a prolific academic career and earned him numerous accolades.

Teodor Shanin was born in Wilno\Vilnius in 1930. He was exiled to Siberia in 1941 and after being freed on amnesty lived in Samarkand, Lodze, and Paris. In early 1948 left for Palestine to take part in Israeli War of Independence (Palmah: Harel brigade). In 1952 graduated from Jerusalem University College of Social Work, followed by professional career in social work (criminalized youth, probation, TB hospital, directing rehabilitation center for physically and mentally handicapped). Since 1956 part-time studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Graduated in sociology and economics in 1962. PhD in sociology in 1970 at the University of Birmingham (dissertation “Cyclical mobility and Political Consciousness of Russian Peasants 1910-1925”). Lecturer at Sheffield University, and as of 1974 Professor of Sociology at Manchester University. Honorary Fellow of The Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Rector of the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. Fellow at St’Antony’s college, Oxford, Visiting Professor at Ann Arbour Colombia University(US).

Awarded OBE (Officer of British Empire) for a work on developing of university education in Russia.

 Professor Shanin has been one of originators of contemporary peasant studies. He made his name by his books “The Awkward Class” and “Peasants and Peasant Societies” of which the last reprinted numerous times and in many languages, becoming for a time a basic textbook delimiting the topic. One of the initial team of editors of Journal of Peasant Studies. His other works and teaching addressed historical sociology, social economics, epistemology, interdisciplinary studies, political sciences and rural history. He paid particular attention to conceptualization and analysis of the so-called “developing societies”. Fieldwork in Iran, Mexico, Tanzania and Russia. Shanin’s methods stressed particularly interdisciplinary issues, and points of meeting of sociology with history, economics philosophy and political sciences. He describes himself professionally as a historical sociologist.

Much of Professor Shanin’s was given to Russia and bringing to life methodological traditions of Russia’s rural studies of early 20th century. It was also Russia where his research overspilled into active involvement in organization within the educational sphere. This began in the early days of “perestroika” when together with academician Tatyana Zaslavskaya he set up schools for up-training of young soviet sociologists. The high point of those efforts became creation in 1995 of a Russian-English post-graduate university: the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences who’s first rector he became. He is now President of that graduate university. He was also instrumental in setting up of the InterCentre - а multi-disciplinary research unit of MSSES. Central for his vision and analytical work were efforts to overcome the over-simplifications of the theories of “progress”. His works reflect impacts of scholars whom Shanin considers his teachers: Mark Bloch, Alexander Chayanov, Charles Wright Mills and Paul Baran. In his later research, he put forward the concept of expolary economies – types of informal economy which challenge neoclassical economics as well as related to it state policies. 


Books in English:

  • ‘Peasants and Peasant Societies’ (ed.) Penguin Books, 1971; 
  •  "The Awkward class: Political Sociology of Peasantry in a Developing Society: Russia 1910-1925" Claredron Press, 1972,
  • “The Rules of the Game: Models in Contemporary Scholarly Thought” (ed.)  Tavistoc Publications, 1972;
  • Late Marx and the Russian Road: Marx and the Peripheries of Capitalism", Routledge, GB. Monthly Review US, 1983; 
  •  “Russia as a Developing Society: Roots of Otherness, Russia's Turn of Century” Macmillan, 1985; 
  • “Revolution as a Moment of Truth: 1905-1907→1917-1922” Yale University Press, 1986; 
  • "Defining Peasants: Essays Concerning Rural Societies: Expolary economies and Learning from Them” Blackwell Publishing, 1990; 

Books in Russian: 

  • Отцы и дети. Поколенческий анализ современной России, Левада Ю., Шанин Т., НЛО 2003 [Generational Analysis of Contemporary Russia] 
  • Крестьянское восстание в Тамбовской губернии в 1919-1921гг. Антоновщина, (ed. together with V.Danilov) Тамбов, 1994 [The Peasant War in Tambov Region in 1919-1921. Antonovschina]
  • Неформальная Экономика: Россия и Мир, (ed.)  Логос, 1999 [Informal economies: Russia and the World];
  • Рефлексивное крестьяноведение и десятилетие исследований сельской России, (ed. together with A.Nikulin and V.Danilov)    РОССПЭН, 2002 [Reflexive Peasantology];