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
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FI-00014 University of Helsinki

aleksanteri [at]
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Location & Connections


Visiting Fellows 2017–2018

Ulrike Ziemer, University of Winchester, UK
“Geopolitical Challenges and National Identity in Armenia: Exploring the Contours of Domestic Insecurities and the Russian Security Discourse”
(1 August – 30 September 2017)

Ulrike Ziemer is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the Department of Politics and Society, University of Winchester. Previously, she was CEELBAS Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Migration and Diasporic Citizenship in Russia and Eastern Europe at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES), University College London. Prior to this, Ulrike received her PhD from the Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies (CREES), University of Birmingham. She has published two books, Ethnic Belonging, Gender, and Cultural Practice: Youth Identities in Contemporary Russia (2011, IBIDEM Verlag); and East European Diasporas, Migration and Cosmopolitanism (2012, Routledge) and numerous articles in journals such as Europe-Asia Studies, Caucasus Survey and the European Journal for Cultural Studies. Her general research interests lie in the sociologies of gender, migration and diasporas in Russia and the Southern Caucasus.

Short description of ongoing research:
During her visit to the Aleksanteri Institute, Ulrike will be analysing data from a larger project on women and political transformation in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. This project included several field trips (2015-2017) and numerous interviews with women from all walks of life, including activists and NGO workers, but also politicians and regional experts in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Her research project at the Aleksanteri Institute ‘Geopolitical Challenges and National Identity in Armenia’ will explore domestic insecurities in Armenia and Russia’s security discourse from a sociological perspective. In particular, recent protests in Armenia have generated geopolitical challenges alongside domestic insecurities. How do Armenians securitise their families if largely dependent on Russia’s unchallenged status in the region? The family has been central in Armenian culture due to Armenia’s absence of history as an independent state. In the absence of statehood, the concept of ‘nation-as-family’ evolved in Armenian society. One part of the security discourse is based on military protection, but the relationship between social and economic security for families is unclear. This study aims to investigate the security discourse as a terrain of discourses and practices that are applied by families and individuals. At the Aleksanteri Institute, Ulrike will also continue to work on her forthcoming book Women’s Everyday Lives and Politics in the South Caucasus - Through War and Peace (Palgrave).

Email: Ulrike.Ziemer[AT]
Academic hosts at the Aleksanteri Institute: Katri Pynnöniemi, Hanna Smith