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

Olga Gurova, Aalborg University, Denmark
“Creative Entrepreneurship in Contemporary Russia: State, Market and Agency”
(15 April – 15 May 2018)

Olga Gurova (PhD, Cultural Studies) holds the position of Assistant Professor at the Department of Culture and Global Studies, Aalborg University, Denmark. She previously served as the Academy of Finland Research Fellow at the Department of Social Research, University of Helsinki (Finland) and as a researcher at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (Finland). She also worked as a docent at the National Research University – Higher School of Economics (Russia) and was a visiting researcher at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (USA), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA) and Central European University (Hungary). Her research interests include sociology of consumption and everyday life, fashion studies, socialist and postsocialist cultures, social-network analysis, qualitative methods of social research and innovative methods of teaching. She is the author of Fashion and the Consumer Revolution in Contemporary Russia (London, New York: Routledge, 2015) and Soviet Underwear: Between Ideology and Everyday Life (Moscow: New Literary Observer, 2008).

Short description of ongoing research:
At the Aleksanteri Institute Olga Gurova will be working on her on-going project on creative entrepreneurship in contemporary Russia. It is well-known fact that entrepreneurship can provide a significant input in economic growth of the nations, especially in times of austerity. In Russia, however, entrepreneurship has been facing difficulties for long time. Currently, entrepreneurs struggle from weak institutional environment, selective and arbitrary manner of using regulations and from general prioritizing of interests of large-scale business by the state. Nevertheless, recently a noticeable change has occurred in entrepreneurship in cultural sphere and, in particular, in fashion design. During past few years a new generation of fashion designers has emerged. These young designers approach fashion as business, organize small-scale enterprises and make input into both culture and economy. How this paradox of growth of creative entrepreneurship in the context of Russia, rather difficult environment for entrepreneurs, can be explained? This research is aimed at exploring how creative entrepreneurship in Russia evolves from the point of view of state policy, market and agency. During the fellowship period, Gurova will be working on two papers within the framework of this project: first one is on explicit and implicit policies regulating the activities of creative entrepreneurs in Russia and second paper is on community activities and networks of fashion designers in Russia.

Email: gurova[AT]
Academic hosts at the Aleksanteri Institute: Katja Lehtisaari, Saara Ratilainen