News & Events Archive


In the News & Events Archive you'll find information about past conferences, lectures, seminars and other significant events at the Institute. From 2010 onwards, also research and publication news are included.

Past events by year 2014 | 2013 | 2012 |2011 | |2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004

News and Events in 2012

14.12.2012 at 14:15
Guest lecture "Migration policy of Bulgaria: European, Balkan and national perspectives" given by Professor Anna Krasteva, New Bulgarian University

The lecture is organized in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria.


AN 4/2012

Issue 4/2012 of the Aleksanteri News takes you back to the inspiring atmosphere of the Aleksanteri Conference 2012, with photos and summaries of various panels.

Another major theme is the Nordic network CERES with its numerous activities and the upcoming final conference Intensions, Interactions and Paradoxes in Post-Socialist Space.

As always, you will find information about our current visiting fellow and various past and upcoming events as well, so please take a look!

13.12.2012 at 10:00-12:00
Seminar Azerbaijan amidst Domestic, Foreign and Energy Policy Challenges: Learning from the Past and Looking Confidently into the Future
Opening Remarks: H.E. Rafael Ibrahimov, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Sweden, Norway and Finland
Murad Ismayilov, Doctoral researcher, University of Cambridge & Research Fellow, Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy (ADA): Azerbaijan after Independence: Azerbaijani Nation and Identity in Flux
Gulmira Rzayeva, Research fellow, Center for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SAM): Azerbaijan's Outlook on the Southern Corridor: Balancing National Priorities and International Commitments
Chair & discussant:
Mikko Palonkorpi, Researcher, Aleksanteri Institute
Programme (pdf)
VENUE: Aleksanteri Institute meeting room, 2nd floor, entrance via the inner courtyard.

13.12.2012 at 14:15
Visiting Fellows Research
Galina Nikiporets-Takigawa, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
The Opposition Won the Battle for the Internet, so, What's Next? The Internet and Social Media in the "Managed" Russian Protest (2011-2012)
Abstract (pdf)
VENUE: Aleksanteri Institute meeting room, 2nd floor, entrance via the inner courtyard.

30.11.2012 at 10:00-16:00
Workshop: Contesting Human Rights: The Politics of an Eastern European Space
Venue: Aleksanteri Institute meeting room, 2nd floor, entrance via the inner courtyard.
More information: Freek van der Vet or Eeva Korteniemi.

Two postdoctoral positions were open for a fixed term from 1 August 2013 to 31 July 2017 in the newly established Finland Distinguished Professor (FiDiPro) project “Regimes, Institutions, and Change: Politics and Governance in Russia in a Comparative Perspective”, led by FiDiPro Professor Vladimir Gel’man.

The application period ended 30 November at 15:45 local Helsinki time, by when the selection committee had received 27 excellent applications. Dr Jussi Lassila and Dr Andrey Starodubtsev were recruited.

We wish to thank all applicants in their interest in the FiDiPro project and the Aleksanteri Institute.

Visiting Fellows Research -seminar
Deniz Dinc, Visiting PhD student, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey
Turkish Influence in Central Asia: Reasons of the Failure of Turkish Nationalist Discourse Towards Central Asian Turkic Republics

A guest lecture by H.E. Mrs. Vesna Pusić, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia: Croatia as a New Member of the EU Family

An inaugural lecture by FiDiPro Professor Vladimir Gel'man: Regimes and Institutions in Contemporary Russian Politics

Professor Gel'man with chancellor Niiniluoto after the lecture

Finland Distinguished Professor Vladimir Gel'man's inaugural lecture at the University of Helsinki on Tuesday 20th November analysed the contradictions of Russia's political trajectory. Why are we still waiting for democratization more than two decades after the Soviet collapse?

Read a summary of the lecture here!

Nordic Workshop: Enhancing Access To Resources For Russian And East European Studies

31.10. 2012
Seminar: The South Caucasus Beyond Borders, Boundaries and Division Lines: Conflicts, Cooperation and Development

M.Soc.Sc. Susanna Hast's defense Beyond the Pejorative: Sphere of Influence in International Theory
Opponent: prof. emer. Vilho Harle, custos: lecturer Mika Luoma-aho.
VENUE: Faculty of Social Sciences, Lecture Hall 2, Yliopistonkatu 8, Rovaniemi.


The 12th Aleksanteri Conference "Competition and Good Society - the Eastern Model" gathered more than 250 international scholars to discuss the broad theme of competition in 24 panels and other events at the University of Helsinki last week.

The conference was opened by president Tarja Halonen on Wednesday 24 October. Keynote speakers of the conference were Iván Berend, Vladimir Gel'man, Andrea Petö, Colin Sparks and Iván Szelényi.

Electing the Future - Parliamentary Elections in Ukraine 2012
University of Helsinki Main building, Konsistori room (Unioninkatu 34)


Aleksanteri News 3/2012

The latest issue of Aleksanteri News brings you the programme of the Aleksanteri Conference 2012 and introduces you to the keynote speakers and their themes.

You can also find information on other upcoming events, such as the seminar Electing the Future - Parliamentary Elections in Ukraine, taking place on Tuesday 23 October.Face of the Month column on page 2 presents our new Finland Distinguished Professor Vladimir Gel'man, who will give his inaugural lecture entitled "Regimes and Institutions in Contemporary Russian Politics" on 20 November.

Visiting Fellows Research -seminar
Peggy Watson, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Poland's Political Economy of Shame - And How It Works in the Context of Health Care Change
Abstract (pdf)

Visiting Fellows Research
Robert Kaiser, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Estonia and the Birth of Cyberwar
Abstract (pdf)

Guest Lecture by Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia Nikola Poposki: Macedonia's Road to the EU: Is There Light in the Tunnel?
For further information please visit here or contact Jouni Järvinen (jouni.jarvinen [at]

Visiting Fellows Research
Marianna Muravyeva, Visiting Research Fellow, Herzen State Pedagogical University and Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki
Domestic Disturbances: Crime, Family and Gender in Modern Russia
Abstract (pdf)

Symposium Social Philosophies and Utopies of the Enlightenment in Northern Europe
Programme (pdf)
See also the call for papers or contact the organiser Vesa Oittinen (vesa.oittinen [at]

Guest Lecture by Professor David Lane (Emmanuel College, Cambridge, United Kingdom): Sociological Consequences of 20 Years of Transformation
Lecture was chaired by Director Markku Kivinen (Aleksanteri Institute).

Seminar Russia as a Great Power: Challenges of Modernisation
Organisers: The Finnish Centre of Excellence in Russian Studies - Choices of Russian Modernisation and Finnish Doctoral Programme for Russian and East European Studies.
See the programme in pdf.

Visiting Fellows Research -seminar
Holly Porteous
, Visiting PhD student, Glasgow University, United Kingdom
'Buy, Buy, Buy': Femininity and Consumption in Contemporary Russian Women's Magazines
Abstract (pdf)

Research symposium Narratives of Suffering in Post-Cold War Europe: The Second World War in Transnational Contexts
The international symposium is a part of the Memory at War -project.
Programme (pdf)

31.8.2012 at 10:00-13:00, coffee will be served at 10:00-10:30
Seminar Elections and Democracy in Georgia and Armenia
Programme (pdf)
The seminar is organised by the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki, and the Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland, and is financially supported by the Academy of Finland.
Further information: Mikko Palonkorpi (mikko.palonkorpi [at]

Visiting Fellows Research-seminar
Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik
, Aston University, United Kingdom
Debating Reconciliation and Confronting the Past in Serbia: Divergent Practices and Local Resistance
Abstract (pdf)

Visiting Fellows Research-seminar
Andrei Sõtšov
, University of Tartu, Estonia
The Concept of National Identity in the Modern Russian Orthodox Church
Abstract (pdf)

Lecture concert Melody in Russian History.
The concert plunges into Russian cultural history with the musicologist Elina Viljanen (University of Helsinki) and the pianist Gabriel Escudero (Manhattan School of Music, NY). The event is organised in the framework of the Helsinki Summer School course
”Change and Continuity in Russian and Eastern European Development”. Free entrance.
Programme (pdf)

Visiting Fellows Research-seminar
Janet Elise Johnson
, Brooklyn College, City University of New York, USA
The Gender of Corruption in Russia

The 12 th Aleksanteri Conference entitled Competition and Good Society - the Eastern Model is scheduled to take place on 24.-26.10.2012. The preliminary conference programme has been published and you may see it at the conference website!

Visiting Fellows Research-seminar
Elena Osokina, University of South Carolina, United States
Rembrandts for Tractors: Soviet Art Export under Stalin

Visiting Fellows Research-seminar
Natali Stegmann, University of Regensburg, Germany
How Socialism Lost its Concepts. A Brief look from the Czechoslovak and from the Polish Perspective
Abstract (pdf)


The Board of the Academy of Finland has granted the Aleksanteri Institute five-year funding for a Finland Distinguished Professor (FiDiPro) project. With the FiDiPro programme, the Academy of Finland aims to further develop the Finnish research environment and invites top-level scholars to work in Finland for this purpose. The Aleksanteri Institute’s FiDiPro project invites one of the world’s leading analysts of Russia’s politics, Vladimir Gel’man from the European University at St. Petersburg, to work at the University of Helsinki.

FiDiPro Professor Gel’man’s project scrutinises continuity and change in Russia’s political regime and the formation of its institutions with an ambitious comparative and theoretical approach. The project is entitled Regimes, Institutions and Change: Politics and Governance in Russia in a Comparative Perspective.

Cold War Helsinki Tram Tour
Helsinki played an important role during the Cold War. The Cold War tram tour was intended for those who wanted to know more about Helsinki's exciting past. During the tram excursion, the audience did not only hear but saw and felt the atmosphere of the Cold War. Excitement was guaranteed, as the Students' Theatre (Ylioppilasteatteri) dramatised the important events of the Cold War.
The tour was organised by the Aleksanteri Institute together with Virka Galleria, Ylioppilasteatteri and HKL.
Tickets were free.
Poster (pdf)
Read more about the tram tour in Finnish.
To learn more about Helsinki during the Cold War, please read Cold War researcher Sari Autio Sarasmo's interview.


Photo: Jyrki Nisonen

MA Riikka Nisonen-Trnka defended her PhD thesis entitled Science with a Human Face: the Activity of the Czechoslovak Scientists František Šorm and Otto Wichterle during the Cold Waron 2nd of June 2012 at the University of Tampere. Prof. emer. Marjatta Hietala acted as custos, whereas dr. habil. Libora Oates-Indruchová (Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for European History and Public Spheres) was the opponent.

Nisonen-Trnka analyses in her study the activities of prominent scientists František Šorm and Otto Wichterle in Czechoslovakia during the Cold War. The individual scientists recognised the dependence of their research on world science. They had to engage in constant negotiations with the state, which in turn attempted to limit this necessity because of its own political and ideological dependency on the Soviet Union.

Nisonen-Trnka argues that the amount of the freedom granted to natural scientists varied in time and was a consequence of many factors. The Czechoslovak invasion in 1968 had dramatic consequences for Czechoslovak society for years to come.

Read the thesis.

Guest Lecture by Professor Sattar Mazhitov ( Valikhanov Institute of History and Ethnology of Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan): Kazakhstan: Past, Present, Future

Cultural Forum: Writers and Freedom of Speech
Author, director of St. Petersburg PEN Club, and the Russian Booker Prize winner (2009) Yelena Chizhova talked about social and literary environment in contemporary Russia with
Dr. Elina Kahla

Visiting Fellows Research-seminar
Andrey Maidansky, Taganrog Institute of Economics and Management, Russia
The Concept of Personality in Cultural Historical Theory
Abstract (pdf)

Visiting Fellows Research-seminar
Andrew Graan, Wake Forest University, United States
Marketing  Macedonia: Neoliberal Statecraft and Consumer Citizenship in the Age of Nation Branding

International symposium on the theme of Spinoza in Soviet Thought
Keynote speakers will be Prof. Daniela Steila (University of Turin) and Prof. Andrey Maidansky (Institute of Management and Economy, Taganrog). In addition, the anthology Spinoza — pro et contra (in Russian), edited by Prof. Maidansky and published in the beginning of 2012, will be presented and discussed.
See the symposium programme in pdf-version or learn more at the symposium website.

Lecture by Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia, Dr Damir Kusen: Experience of Croatia's EU Access Process - What Are the Benefits for the Western Balkan Countries?
Invitation (pdf)

Guest Lecture by Dr. Nataša Gregorič Bon (Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts): Material Journeys of Women Migrants from Southern Albania
For more information see the lecture website.

Research at the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki – A seminar series presenting ongoing research
Programme (pdf)


Aleksanteri News 2/2012

Aleksanteri News 2/2012 has been published! Read on pages 6-7 how the Åland model can serve as an inspiration for solving conflicts in the Caucasus.

The face of the month is Jarmo Koistinen, who recently defended his PhD dissertation on Economic Criminal Offences in Russia. Read the interview to learn how the Russian legal system differs from the Finnish one.

Read the newsletter online >>

Visiting Fellows Research-seminar
Terry Cox, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
Interest Representation and State-society Relations in East Central Europe
Abstract (pdf)

20.-21.4.2012 (Helsinki, Aleksanteri Institute) and 8.-9.6.2012 (St. Petersburg, the Museum of Derzhavin and Russian Literature of His Period)
The International Conference Connecting Nations and Times: Yakov Grot (1812-1893), on the Bicentary of His Birth
Organisers: Prof. Dr. Tatiana Artemyeva, Prof. Dr. Vesa Oittinen and Prof. Dr. Mikhail Mikeshin
See more information in English or in Russian. The working language is English.
Inquiries: yakov-grot-2012 [at]

Guest Lecture by Researcher Anna Lenkewitz (Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany): The Tsar´s Role is on Trial. Russian Constitutional State Theories and the Question for Justice in late Tsarist Empire


Talousrikos Venäjällä

Jarmo Koistinen defended his thesis "Talousrikos Venäjällä" on 14 April 2012. The main aim of his study was to explore the similarities and differences of criminal liability for economic offences which arises from the constituent elements of a crime as set by Russian and Finnish criminal law.

See the abstract of the thesis.

Aleksanteri Visiting Fellows for the academic year 2012-2013 have been selected. We received 162 proposals and thus the number of excellent proposals far exceeded our hosting capacity. While the selection of proposals was based on academic excellence, it also strove to take into account a balance between the nominated Visiting Fellows' projects and the various research foci and regions covered by the Aleksanteri Institute.

We wish to sincerely thank all those who were interested in coming to the University of Helsinki and to the Aleksanteri Institute. You can find the list of Aleksanteri Visiting Fellows 2012-2013 here.

Visiting Fellows Research-seminar
Nadir Kinossian, University of Tromsø, Norway
"Authoritarian Modernisation” and Regional Development in the Russian Federation
Abstract (pdf)

Guest Lecture by Professor Aleksandr Yuryev (St.Petersburg State University, Russia): Elections from the Point of View of Political Psychology
See here (in Russian) for further information.

The Board of the Aleksanteri Institute has nominated six Aleksanteri Associates for the period of April 1, 2012 - March 31, 2015.

Tuomas Forsberg and Pami Aalto
Tuomas Forsberg & Pami Aalto

(Photo: Pekka Kiirala)

Jean Monnet professor Pami Aalto (University of Tampere), Ph.D., Senior Market Analyst David Dusseault (Gasum Oy), professor Tuomas Forsberg (University of Tampere), docent Katalin Miklóssy (University of Helsinki), professor Arto Mustajoki (University of Helsinki) and professor Pekka Visuri (National Defence University).

Aleksanteri Associates are long-standing partners in Aleksanteri Institute's networks, affiliated with the Aleksanteri Institute but currently employed elsewhere.

Read more about Aleksanteri Associates >>

Visiting Fellows Research-seminar
Craig Brandist, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
Language and Hegemony in Early Soviet Thought
Abstract (pdf)

Aleksanteri Election Seminar New President, New Russia: What Next?

Picture: Wikimedia Commons

The Russian duma elections took place in December 2011, and presidential elections in March 2012. The Aleksanteri Institute organised a seminar series on the Russian elections.

The last one in series, entitled "New President, New Russia: What Next? took place on 14 March. The first one, "Russian Duma Elections: Mapping the Political Landscape", was held on 30 November 2011 and analysed the political landscape behind the duma elections. The second seminar, "Do Elections Matter? Rallies, Reactions, Reforms", took place on 25 January 2012. For the seminar programme and further information visit here.

University of Helsinki Think Corner: New Russia
See the programme of Think Corner (mostly in Finnish, but some presentations also in English) and read more about the Think Corner.
The programme was organised by the Aleksanteri Institute and the Department of Modern Languages.
The Think Corner also has a cafe, Ihana Kahvila, and Rosebud bookshop.

Photo: Linda Tammisto

The call for Aleksanteri Visiting Fellowships for the academic year 2012–2013 was closed on 24 February 2012. For further information please see the Visiting Scholars site.

Visiting Fellows Research-seminar
Alexandra Arkhipova, Russian State University for the Humanities
How a Legend Became a Woman: the Story of Rosa Kaganovich, Stalin’s Secret Wife


Aleksanteri News 1/2012

The latest issue of Aleksanteri News takes its readers to the University's new Think Corner under the theme of New Russia. More than 60 exciting events popularising science over two weeks will take place at Aleksanterinkatu 7.

The face of the month is Professor Tuomas Forsberg from the University of Tampere, who argues that emotions are an important part of political decision-making.

Read the newsletter online >>

Seminar New Perspectives on Empire and Space: Russia and the Soviet Union in Focus

Visiting Fellows Research-seminar
András Déak, Central European University, Hungary
Russia and Global Oil Price Setting: "Price Taker” or Benevolent Dominant

M.Soc.Sc Suvi Kansikas defended her PhD thesis “Trade Blocs and the Cold War - The CMEA and the EC challenge, 1969- 1976” on 4 February 2012 at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences.

Suvi Kansikas, who has been studying in the Finnish Doctoral Programme for Russian and East European Studies, argues that the Soviet Union was not in a hegemonic position vis-à-vis its allies. In her research on the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA), the socialist bloc adversary to the European Communities, she reveals the intra-bloc controversies that the socialist countries had over their relations with the EC.

A study on their behind-the-scenes negotiations highlights that – in an effort to secure their own national economic interests – many East European countries began independent manoeuvres against the wishes of their bloc leader, the Soviet Union.

Read the abstract of the thesis.


Choices of Russian Modernisation - the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Russian studies for years 2012-17 has been launched on 2nd February 2012.

Choices of Russian Modernisation is funded by the Academy of Finland and is coordinated by the Aleksanteri Institute and its Director Markku Kivinen. Besides researchers from the Aleksanteri Institute, it consists of researchers from the Department of Modern Languages (Russian language and literature) at the University of Helsinki and the School of Management (Politics) at the University of Tampere.

See the website of the Centre of Excellence.

Guest Lecture by Associate Professor Jeffrey D. Kahn ( Dedman School of Law of the Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas): The Second Conviction of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev: Implications from the Khamovnichesky Court’s Verdict for Russia and the European Court of Human Rights
Lecture is chaired by Dr Anna-Liisa Heusala (Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki).

Election Seminar: Do Elections Matter? Rallies, Reactions, Reforms


Past events by year 2014 | 2013 | 2012 |2011| 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004