Director of the Visiting Fellows Programme
Anna Korhonen
Head of International Affairs
tel. +358-(0)50-563 63 07

Eeva Korteniemi
tel. +358-(0)50-4150 571

aleksanteri-fellows [at]

Aleksanteri Institute
P.O.Box 42 (Unioninkatu 33)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki

aleksanteri [at]
firstname.lastname [at]

Location & Connections


Visiting Fellows 2017–2018

Una Bergmane, Cornell University, USA
“Memory, Myths and the End of the Empire: the Public Debates on the Past and the Soviet Disintegration (1987-1991)”
(15 January – 15 April 2018)

Una Bergmane is the Baltic Sea Fellow at Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia and the 2016-17 Postdoctoral Fellow at the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies at Cornell University. She holds a PhD from Sciences Po Paris with highest distinction for her work on French and U.S. foreign policy regarding the Baltic question during the disintegration of USSR. Bergmane has previously been a Fox Fellow at Yale University and a visiting researcher at Turku University, Finland.  She is currently working on a book project entitled The politics of uncertainty: the Baltic Question and the emergence of the post-Cold War order.  Una has published on questions such as French foreign policy at the end of the Cold War, Baltic public diplomacy and current security dynamics of the Baltic states. Her research interests include Soviet collapse, memory dynamics, end of the cold war international relations.

Short description of ongoing research:
My postdoctoral project focuses on the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact (MRP) debate in the USSR during the years 1987-1991 as a case study for examining the role that collective memory and historical myths played in the power relations between the Moscow Center and the Republics in the context of the disintegration of the Soviet Union. This interdisciplinary project is situated at the crossroads of political history, transnational history and memory studies, and attempts to provide archival source-based research connecting two distinct research fields: memory studies and the historiography of the Soviet disintegration. This research intends to explore the role that the MRP debate played in the disintegration of the USSR, its contribution in delegitimizing the Soviet power, its impact on the aggravation of the Soviet Nationality Problem and the consequent redefinition of the relations between the republics and the center. In particular, I focus on three themes: instrumentalisation of memory in the competition for “political capital”, transnational networks of marginalized memory communities, the role of the MRP debate in the (re)-elaboration of Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian national identities. 
Three months stay at the Aleksanteri Institute will allow me to work on one of the main axes of this research - transnational networks of marginalised memory communities. In 1987-1989, Baltic activists actively sought support across both internal and external borders of the USSR in order to shed light on the existence of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact secret protocols. One of the main groups of their interlocutors were Finnish historians and civil society activists. During my fellowship at the Aleksanteri Institute, I will study these contacts and explore other eventual channels of knowledge transmission between Finland and the Baltic Soviet Republics during the crucial years preceding Soviet collapse.

Email: una.bergmane[AT]
Academic hosts at the Aleksanteri Institute: Markku Kangaspuro, Sigrid Kaasik-Krogerus