Personnel of ExpREES

Administration of the network and studies is managed by a network manager, University lecturer Sirke Mäkinen and network coordinator Hanna Peltonen, both of whom are employed by the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki.

ExpREES regularly employs trainees, who not only help run the programme but also gain invaluable insight into the current goings on in Russian and Eastern European studies.

We are here for you, so please do not hesitate to contact us if with any questions, feedback or new ideas!

Mäkinen, Sirke

University Lecturer in Russian and Eurasian Studies, Title of Docent in Political Science, specifically International Relations

I have been the Head of the Master's level non-degree programme Expertise in Russian and Eastern European Studies (ExpREES), offered by the Finnish university network,  since 2019. I plan and develop teaching in this programme as well as teach and supervise Master's theses of ExpREES students.

I am a scholar of  international politics and hold a PhD in Political Science (2008) and the title of Docent in Political Science, specifically International Relations. I am interested e.g. in global knowledge production and currently study the internationalisaton of higher education in Central Asia and in particular, the interaction between local and external actors in the field of higher education. Recently I have published on EU-Russia cooperation in the field of higher education and Russia’s educational diplomacy in the EU member states and in the post-Soviet states.  I was the leader of the research project Towards Good Neighbourliness with Higher Education Cooperation funded by the Kone Foundation and hosted by the Faculty of Management and Business, Tampere University (the project ended 31 Dec 2022). I have also published e.g. on Russian geopolitical argumentation, geopolitics teaching and studies in Russian universities and Russian border discourses.

Previously I have worked at Tampere University, Finland, for 20 years in different positions in teaching, research and administration. I have supervised Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctor’s theses and taught courses on geopolitical thinking, qualitative methodology and Russia’s domestic and foreign policy. I have also been a convener for a double degree programme in Cross-Border International Relations (CBIR) organized in cooperation with St. Petersburg and Petrozavodsk State Universities. In addition, I have been the chair and deputy chair of the Finnish Political Science Association. 

Email: sirke.makinen at

Sirke Mäkinen on Research Gate



Peltonen, Hanna

ExpREES Coordinator

I coordinate the Finnish Universities network’s Expertise in Russian and Eastern European Studies (ExpREES) and make sure that the roughly 70 study units provided by the 12 Finnish network universities all fit into the big picture, the 25 ECTS ExpREES study block.

I take care of study administration and offer advice and guidance to the over 180 registered students. As our students are geographically scattered all over Finland, my aim is to promote online teaching and e-learning. I'm also interested in other projects in education development and international education exchange (see, for example, BASERCAN).

My academic interests include the REE-area's economy and entrepreneurship.

Tel. +358 50 331 9894
E-mail: hanna.o.peltonen at

Hanna Peltonen: Research outputs, projects, activities, press media
Hanna Peltonen: Contact information