Focus on Research

Research conducted at the Aleksanteri Institute covers a wide region including Russia, Eastern and Central Europe as well as Central Asia. Our scholars explore the region through a variety of multidisciplinary approaches based on the social sciences and humanities.

We examine the region from a global perspective, analysing how global challenges affect and are being affected by the countries, societies and cultures of the region.

The Aleksanteri Institute’s research profile leans towards examining the present and the conditions for developments in the future, but we also place an emphasis on careful understanding and analysis of the past. Much of the research deals with the following broad themes: Conditions for socially, environmentally and economically sustainable development, democracy and its challenges, identities and cultures in flux, security and new and traditional security threats, welfare policies and the state of welfare, and the prospects of and challenges brought by digitalisation.

In 2012-2017, the Aleksanteri Institute had the honour of coordinating the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Russian studies – Choices for Russian Modernisation, funded by the Academy of Finland and jointly operated with the University of Tampere. The CoE was built around five research themes:

  • Diversification of economy
  • Authoritarian market society as a challenge
  • Welfare regime
  • Foreign policy
  • Cultural and philosophical interpretations of Russian modernisation.

We continue to work on the themes of the Centre of Excellence and are publishing on them, among other platforms, in the CoE publication series Studies in Contemporary Russia (Routledge).

Our research staff consists of close to 40 scholars in 2018. In addition, we host from 12 to 15 international Visiting Fellows annually.