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 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 |2011 | |2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004

News and Events in 2015

The Aleksanteri Institute would like to thank everyone for fruitful cooperation in 2015. We wish you happy holidays and all the best for the coming year! The office of the Institute will be closed between 22.12.2015 and 4.1.2016.



Research project of Meri Kulmala's workgroup A child's right to a family: deinstitutionalization of child welfare in Putin's Russia received a three-year funding for 2016-2018 from the University of Helsinki. The project investigates Russia's national child welfare and foster care programming. The university allocates yearly its funds to support research. The grants for three-year research projects are intended for promising researchers of the University of Helsinki. Kulmala's workgroup was also among the Kone Foundation grant recipients this autumn.

International seminar 'Culture and Institutions in Post-Soviet Russia', arranged bySanna Turoma, Meri Kulmala and Saara Ratilainen. The multidisciplinary seminar aimed to produce a critical and comprehensive account of reforms and transformations that have taken place in Russian cultural institutions since the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Programme can be found here.

The workgroup of Vladimir Gel'man, Sanna Turoma and Ira Jänis-Isokangas received funding of 200 000 euros from Kone Foundation for the Finnish-Russian network in Russian and Eurasian studies in the field of social sciences and humanities (FRRESH). Network offers new approaches to multidisciplinary area studies and research training. The main project partner is The European University at St. Petersburg (EUSP). Also another multidisciplinary, international project got funding: Meri Kulmala's A child's right to a family: deinstitutionalization of child welfare in Putin's Russia. Researcher grants were awarded to Saara Ratilainen for her work on Russian Internet subcultures and to Emma Hakala's research on securitization of environment in the post-conflict Western Balkans.

Visiting Fellows Research Seminar Gertjan Plets (Stanford University, US): Corporate Security Meets Heritage Politics: Everyday Politics and Cultural Life in Russia's Resource Colonies



The EU's decision-making capacity is strongly guided by the Eastern members, representing an increasingly unified stand opposing Western proposals regarding the solution to the migration crisis, writes Katalin Miklóssy in issue 6/2015 of Aleksanteri Insight.

Visiting Fellows Research Seminar Rustamjon Urinboev (University of Lund, Sweden): Informality and Migration Governance in Russia: An Ethnographic Study of Central Asian Migrant Workers’ Everyday Experiences of Law in Moscow

Seminar Russian Hybrid Warfare: definitions, capabilities, scope and possible responses



Professor in Russian Energy Policy Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen received a five-year funding for 2016-2020 from the Academy of Finland and the US National Science Foundation's (NSF) Partnership for International Research Collaboration (PIRE). Promoting Urban Sustainability in the Arctic Project engages an international network of scientists to develop an Arctic Urban Sustainability Index, which will be used to measure sustainability outcomes and progress toward achieving those outcomes in Arctic cities that are growing due to resource development.

Visiting Fellows Research Seminar: Akmal Sokhibov, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany:
The Implications of Western Sanctions on Counter-narcotics Policy of Russia after 2014



The nature of the phenomenon called Stalinism has since long been subject to debates. Although the scholars have agreed on many of its main traits - such as one-party dictatorship and politically motivated terror - there are yet many open questions and no final consensus has been reached. In Discussing Stalinism: Problems and Approaches (ed. by Kangaspuro & Oittinen, Aleksanteri Institute, 2015), six scholars representing different fields of social research are presenting their points of view on the "Stalinism phenomenon".

Read more about the book and order it by electronic form.

The 15th Annual Aleksanteri Conference "Culture and Russian Society".

The 15th Aleksanteri Conference Culture and Russian Society was opened by Paula Lehtomäki, State Secretary to the Prime Minister of Finland. The conference started with a special Roundtable Session in which the state of Russian culture was discussed by writers and journalists Artemy Troitsky, Roman Senchin and Kalle Kniivilä and publisher Irina Prokhorova (photo above). The keynote speakers of the Plenary Session I, Catriona Kelly and Vera Tolz (photo below), focused on changing narratives of Russian cultural and national identity.

For more photos and conference news, see the Aleksanteri Institute's Facebook page and the conference's Twitter page.

The conference issue of Aleksanteri News contains the programme of the 15th Aleksanteri Conference Culture and Russian Society. This issue introduces also the conference keynote speakers and speakers at the pre-conference roundtable, many of them prominent cultural figures themselves. In addition, the issue contains information about recent events at the Aleksanteri Institute, presents the views of some of our visiting fellows this autumn, and new projects and teaching modules that will be launched. The face of the month in this issue is professor Vesa Oittinen, who discusses the position of Russian philosophy in the globalized world.


  Kremlin guidelines for cultural policies define tools for cultural marginalization in the name of "Russian mentality", writes Sanna Turoma in issue 5/2015 of Aleksanteri Insight.

Visiting Fellows Research Seminar: Irina Busygina, Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Russia: "Unfinished Projects": Why Russia and the EU cannot tolerate each other

Visiting Fellows Research Seminar: Ilya Vinkovetsky, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada: Making Tea Russian: The Long Journey of a Colonial Product from southern China to eastern Europe

Seminar Yegor Gaidar's Legacy: Solutions for Russia's Current Economic Crisis? organized by RussiaHUB Helsinki and Business Team for Russia.
As the father of privatization Yegor Gaidar was among the people responsible for the ambitious economic reforms after the Soviet Union's disintegration. Are there any resemblances between the economic crises of the 1990s and the one Russia experiences today? Could Gaidar's insights on economic reform and policy contribute to the resolution of Russia's contemporary economic crisis?
Speakers: Esko Aho (East Office & Aalto University), Vladimir Gel'man, Markku Kivinen and Laura Solanko (Institute for Economies in Transition BOFIT, Bank of Finland).
Programme (pdf)

Visiting Fellows Research Seminar: Daniela Steila, University of Turin, Italy: Individual and Collective in Russian Marxism

In the Visiting Fellows Research Seminar Anna Tarasenko, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia: Regional Variations of State Withdrawal from Welfare Provision in Russia: Why Interest Groups Matter?

ERC Professor, atmospheric scientist Sergej Zilitinkievich told about his long and colourful career at an event arranged by RussiaHUB Helsinki.

Research afternoon at Aleksanteri Institute. Under scrutiny themes that touch ethnicity, otherness, islam, nationalism, modernisation and the role of the state in the development of the society both in Russia and in Eastern Europe. The programme can be found here.


  The approach of the current Ukrainian administration is not likely to work well in a divided society, writes Yuliya Zabyelina in issue 4/2015 of Aleksanteri Insight.

Visiting Fellows Research Seminar: Elena Denisova-Schmidt, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland: Corruption at Russian Universities: Myths and Realities

Exchanging Innovative Teaching Ideas: Incorporating Teaching Practice and Technology into University Teaching.
The seminar by Dr. Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik (Aston University, UK) examined what kinds of teaching and technological innovations we might adopt in order to deliver our teaching to students and prepare them for the post-university workplace. The seminar explored how a UK-based University adopted innovation and diversified its teaching and assessments, so that students no longer complete only essays but policy papers, videos, audio recordings and campaigns, whilst also developing a strategy of embedding 'employability' into the curriculum.

Visiting Fellows Research Seminar: Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik, Aston University, UK: Narratives of Post-Conflict Transitional Justice: Picturing Global-Local Encounters in the Western Balkans.

Worlds biggest Science Sauna was arranged in Suomenlinna. More information on the pages of RussiaHUB Helsinki.

Katalin Miklóssyn led her Team Higher Education Unbounded in theHelsinki Challenge Pitch Night -semifinals.

Rajallinen ympäristö - miten jatketaan yhteistyötä Venäjän kanssa Suomenlahdella? Seminar in cooperation with the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE Merikeskus), in Finnish.
Venue: Small Hall, University of Helsinki Main building (Fabianinkatu 33).



Senior researcher Katalin Miklóssy received funding for three years for the Jean Monnet module The East within Europe: An Eastern Angle to European Studies. The project is funded by the European Union Erasmus+ Programme during 2015-2018. During the project, the history of the EU enlargement is studied from new points of view, the diverging development of the Eastern and Central European countries that joined EU after 2004 is examined, and EU's strategies and policies concerning its eastern neighbours are discussed.

The project challenges the story according to which EU's enlargement has signified democracy's triumph in post-socialist Europe. The project implements intensive teaching, MOOC courses and produces learning material.



Russia's new hybrid warfare has become a central safety concern for the entire Europe. A new research project by Hanna Smith and Bettina Renz, funded by the Finnish government, strives to tackle the challenges and threats this new situation poses. It will produce new information on Russia's strategic thinking and various ways of entering into hybrid warfare. For more information about the Institute's projects, see here.

Visiting Fellows Research Seminar: Magdalena Leichtova, University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic: Why Crimea Was Always Ours – History, Identity and Geopolitics in Service of Russian Politics.

Tuesday 4 August - Thursday 20 August 2015
Helsinki Summer School Challenges of Democratic Development in Eastern Europe
More information: course coordinator Minna Hakkarainen (minna.hakkarainen [at]

Wednesday 17 June 2015
Visiting Fellows Research Seminar: Nodirbek Salaev, Tashkent State Law University, Uzbekistan Crime prevention: Issues of reforming the penitentiary system of Uzbekistan
Venue: Aleksanteri Institute, Unioninkatu 33 (entrance via the inner courtyard), Meeting room 2nd floor

Wednesday 17 June 2015
A morning seminar by our Helsinki Challenge Team Higher Education Unbounded and BASERCAN exchange programme discusses international teaching cooperation. The language of the event is Finnish, but you can read more about it in English here.

The board of the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Russian Studies has chosen Dr. Marina Khmelnitskaya from the University of Oxford as postdoctoral researcher for the period of 1.9.2015-31.12.2017. Dr. Khmelnitskaya's project title is Tools of government for the Russian modernisation. The board received altogether 30 excellent applications.

Book launch and seminar: "What went wrong after the Soviet Union? Authoritarian Russia Today"


Russia today represents one of the major examples of the phenomenon of "electoral authoritarianism". Why and how has the electoral authoritarian regime been consolidated in Russia? What are the mechanisms of its maintenance, and what is its likely future course? In his latest book Authoritarian Russia: Analyzing Post-Soviet Regime Changes professor Vladimir Gel'man examines regime change in Russia from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 to the present day. He presents theoretical and comparative perspectives on the factors that affected these political maneuvers and the authoritarian drift of the country.

The book launch seminar entitled What went wrong after the Soviet Union? Authoritarian Russia Today hosted by the Aleksanteri Institute widened the picture by providing insights on Russian military thinking, competing narratives and Putin's Ukraine problem.

Sarah Whitmore, Edwin Bacon and Bettina Renz participated in a panel chaired by Hanna Smith

Tuesday 9 June 2015
Visiting Fellows Research Seminar: Roman Krakovsky, EHESS, Paris, France
Building Communities in Central Europe. Social Ties in Poland and Czechoslovakia
Venue: Aleksanteri Institute, Unioninkatu 33 (entrance via the inner courtyard), Meeting room 2nd floor

Friday 5 - Saturday 6 June 2015
Soviet Hegel. An International Symposium on the Hegel Reception in the USSR
Venue: Aleksanteri Institute, Unioninkatu 33 (entrance via the inner courtyard), Meeting room 2nd floor

Thursday 4 June 2015
Visiting Fellows Research Seminar: Aziz Burkhanov, Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan
Media and Nationalism in Kazakhstan: Comparing Discourse of Kazakh- and Russian-language Newspapers
Venue: Aleksanteri Institute, Unioninkatu 33 (entrance via the inner courtyard), Meeting room 2nd floor

Tuesday 2 June 2015
Visiting Fellows Research Seminar: Luca Anceschi, University of Glasgow, UK
The Geo-Strategic Implications of the TAPI Pipeline Project
Venue: Aleksanteri Institute, Unioninkatu 33 (entrance via the inner courtyard), Meeting room 2nd floor

Call for Papers for the 15th Annual Aleksanteri Conference Culture and Russian Society was closed on 1st of June. Altogether over 140 individual paper proposals and 30 proposals for panels were submitted by the deadline.

Thursday 28 May 2015
Visiting Fellows Research Seminar: Yuliya Zabyelina, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, USA
Functionality of Organized Crime and Corruption in Putin’s Russia
Venue: Aleksanteri Institute, Unioninkatu 33 (entrance via the inner courtyard), Meeting room 2nd floor

RussiaHUB Helsinki Roundtable for Diplomats on Finland-Russia relations

Ambassadors and other members of the diplomatic community from over 20 countries gathered to the Aleksanteri Institute to hear Finnish experts reflect on Finland - Russia relations and their development after the recent parliamentary election. The event on was the first in the series of RussiaHUB Helsinki Roundtable for Diplomats. The aim is to provide the diplomatic community with current and reliable, research based insights on Russia and facilitate open and mutually beneficial discussions on important topics.

Monday 18 May - Tuesday 19 May 2015
Seminar: Moisei Kagan’s Aesthetics and the Late/Post-Soviet Culture
Programme (pdf)
Venue: Aleksanteri Institute, Unioninkatu 33 (entrance via the inner courtyard), Meeting room 2nd floor
More information: Kimmo Sarje (kimmo.sarje [at]

Monday 11 May 2015
State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration David Bakradze's lecture Georgia on the Road to Riga Summit
Venue: Aleksanteri Institute, Unioninkatu 33 (entrance via the inner courtyard), Meeting room 2nd floor
See Minister Bakradze's biography here.
Further information: Daria Pritup (daria.pritup [at] or +358 50 448 7238).

Thursday 7 May 2015
Visiting Fellows Research Seminar: Christine Engel, University of Innsbruck, Austria
The Lure of Eurasianism and its Traces in Recent Russian Films
Venue: Aleksanteri Institute, Unioninkatu 33 (entrance via the inner courtyard), Meeting room 2nd floor



Issue 2/2015 of the Aleksanteri News highlights the Institute's activity in societal outreach. The cover photo celebrates the J.V. Snellman Public Information Award and inside the newsletter, two books aimed at wider Finnish audience are introduced. Recent and up-coming projects with high societal relevance, such as project RAGE and cooperation with the Finnish Environment Institute are also presented.

Katja Lehtisaari is the new editor of Idäntutkimus (the Finnish Review of Russian and East European Studies). In the Face of the Month column she tells how she got plenty of food for thought during her visiting fellowship in Oxford.


Wednesday 29 April 2015
President of Integrum Worldwide Alexander Smolyansky: Integrum lecture on Russian Ukrainian Conflict. How to use new services of Integrum to understand what is happening in Russian mass media and social networks in relation to Russian-Ukrainian conflict over the last year?
The themes include:
1. Information war, propaganda and counter-propaganda in relation to Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
2. The coverage of the conflict in Russian mass media: history, current situation and trends.
3. Information, disinformation manipulation of information in social networks.
4. A year after Crimea: preliminary results as seen in social networks.
5. Research tools relevant to information manipulation in mass media and social networks.
Venue: Aleksanteri Institute, Unioninkatu 33 (entrance via the inner courtyard), Meeting room 2nd floor

Tuesday 28 April 2015
Guest lecture by Dr. Anna Krasteva: Radical Right Extremism and Civic Mobilizations: Two Opposite Types of Participation of the Bulgarian Youth
Venue: Aleksanteri Institute, Unioninkatu 33 (entrance via the inner courtyard), Meeting room 2nd floor

Monday 27.4. at 2015
Research seminar Counterforces to Populism, Racism and Othering: Sharing Experiences from Southern, Central and Northern Europe
Programme (pdf)
Venue: Aleksanteri Institute, Unioninkatu 33 (entrance via the inner courtyard), Meeting room 2nd floor
The seminar is a part of a RAGE: Hate Speech and Populist Othering in Europe: Through the Race, Age, Gender Looking Glass -EU project. Please find out more at the project home site.

Thursday 23 April 2015
Seminar: RAGE - Hate Speech and Populist Othering
Programme (pdf)
Venue: University of Helsinki, Hall 5, 3rd floor, Fabianinkatu 33
Presentations will be in Finnish, but comments and questions are welcome also in English.
The seminar is a part of a RAGE: Hate Speech and Populist Othering in Europe: Through the Race, Age, Gender Looking Glass -EU project. Please find out more at the project home site.

The Aleksanteri Institute was presented with J.V. Snellman Public Information Award by the University of Helsinki on the 22nd of April, 2015.

Photo: Linda Tammisto

The reasons for the award stated that the Institute has succesfully promoted academic views and insights about issues related to Russia and Eastern Europe. Researchers at the Institute are able to quickly react on the arising questions and they present their comments and analysis in a way that serves the needs of the Finnish society. The Aleksanteri Institute works hard to establish effective ways to contribute to the discussions in politics, business and the society at large.

Read the news published by the Faculty of Arts in Finnish

Wednesday 15 April 2015
Visiting Fellows Research Seminar: Sergey Glebov, Smith and Amherst Colleges in Massachusetts, USA
In Search of Russian Modernity: Jakobson, Eurasianism, and the Making of Early Structuralism
Venue: Aleksanteri Institute, Unioninkatu 33 (entrance via the inner courtyard), Meeting room 2nd floor


The history of Ukrainian statehood has always been closely interlinked with Russian statehood, contributing to Russia's attitude to Ukraine, writes Jeremy Smith in his Aleksanteri Insight text "History of Ukrainian statehood".

Aleksanteri Insight 2/2015

Visiting Fellows Research Seminar: Michal Pullmann, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic: Pragmatic Radicalism of the "Long" 1970s": Ideology and Social Consensus in East and West
Venue: Aleksanteri Institute, Unioninkatu 33 (entrance via the inner courtyard), Meeting room 2nd floor

Higher Education Unbounded! The third workshop discusses Democracy
Venue: Think Company, Vuorikatu 5

Higher Education Unbounded! The second workshop is about New Pedagogy.
Venue: Think Company, Vuorikatu 5

Guest lecture by Dr. Raymond Taras: Fear and the Making of Foreign Policy in Europe
Venue: Aleksanteri Institute, Unioninkatu 33 (entrance via the inner courtyard), Meeting room, 2nd floor

Call for the Aleksanteri Visiting Felllowships for the academic year 2015-2016 closed on Feruary 20th. The Aleksanteri Institute’s Visiting Scholars Programme invites applications for Aleksanteri Visiting Fellowships for the academic year 2015-2016 from scholars holding a PhD degree and pursuing research that relates to the Institute's research agenda. The fellowship carries a monthly stipend to cover the expenses related to the research visit that can range from one to three months. The Visiting Fellowship scheme is intended for scholars who reside outside of Finland.More information on the fellowships and on the application procedure.


The recent changes in media regulation in Russia seem to be leading towards the same goal of increasing manoeuvring by the state, states Katja Lehtisaari in her Aleksanteri Insight text "The New Rules for the Advertising Market in Russian TV".

Aleksanteri Insight 1/2015





Issue 1/2015 of the Aleksanteri News brings you news on latest and upcoming events at the Aleksanteri Institute.

We are happy to announce the opening of Aleksanteri Conference 2015 Call for Papers, and wish to remind you about the Visiting fellows call open until Friday, 20 February.

The first issue of the year also introduces new projects and people at the Aleksanteri Institute and includes information about their recent publications. In the Face of the Month column Freek van der Vet interviews Mark Teramae about his experiences in Ukraine and views on the crisis.


Higher Education Unbounded! - first workshop by our Helsinki Challenge team discusses the characteristics of the three target countries of the challenge: Georgia, Belarus and Turkey.
Venue: Aleksanteri Institute, Unioninkatu 33 (entrance via the inner courtyard), Meeting room 2nd floor

Past events by year 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 |2011 | |2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004