Director of the Visiting Fellows Programme
Anna Korhonen
Head of International Affairs
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Eeva Korteniemi
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Location & Connections


Visiting Fellows 2016-2017

Marcin Kaczmarski, University of Warsaw, Poland
“Two Ways of Influence-building: Comparative analysis of the Eurasian Economic Union and the New Silk Road”
(April - May 2017)

Marcin Kaczmarski is Assistant Professor at the Institute of International Relations, University of Warsaw. He was a Visiting Scholar at the Aberystwyth University in 2013 and a Taiwan Fellow at the Chengchi University in 2016. He has combined his scholarly research with policy analysis for the Warsaw-based think-tank, the Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW), where he worked in the Russian Department (2006-2012) and, since 2014, has been heading the China-EU Programme. His research interests focus on the Russian-Chinese relationship and Russia’s foreign policy, with special reference to domestic sources of Russia’s international conduct and Russia’s role in international crises. His recent publications include a monograph Russia-China relations in the post-crisis international order (Routledge 2015) and articles in International Politics, Problems of Post-communism and Demokratizatsiya. He blogs on current developments in Russia-China relations at

Short description of ongoing research:
Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and China’s New Silk Road (NSR) have emerged as prominent symbols of Moscow and Beijing’s growing international ambitions. On the surface, the two projects are of economic nature. With the EEU, Russia attempts to forge close economic integration in the post-Soviet space. The legal-institutional framework of the project as well as its major economic assumptions are modelled after the European Union. China’s New Silk Road aims at creating land and maritime infrastructure that would enable better connectivity between China and Europe as well as foster economic cooperation with China’s neighbours. However, the importance of the EEU and NSR goes far beyond the economic realm. The Eurasian Union and the New Silk Road represent Russia and China’s most sophisticated attempts to-date at rearranging international politics at the regional level. EEU and NSR can be interpreted as two distinct sets of practices, employed by Russia and China with the aim of building political-economic influence resilient to domestic shifts in their respective neighbourhoods. My research asks what kind of regional orders Russia and China have been pursuing by means of EEU and NSR.

The specific aspects of my research I plan to develop at the Aleksanteri Institute concern the type and components of influence exerted by Russia and China. I will ask how Russian and Chinese elites conceptualise influence and what are their expectations with regard to the ultimate outcome of their respective influence-building processes. The implementation of the Eurasian Economic Union and the New Silk Road in Central Asia will be the focal point of my research.  The juxtaposition of narratives on the projects with concrete steps in economic and political realms, will allow for understanding what kind of influence Moscow and Beijing are projecting into the region. I am specifically interested in the extent to which the principles of European integration have impacted on Russia’s notion of influence.

Email: m.kaczmarski[AT]

Academic hosts at the Aleksanteri Institute: Hanna Smith, Tuomas Forsberg