ExpREES Staff

Administration of the network, planning and development of ExpREES studies and other activities are managed by the head of ExpREES, University lecturer Sirke Mäkinen and network coordinator Hanna Peltonen, both of whom are employed by the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki.

We are here for you, so please do not hesitate to contact us! We are looking forward to your 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 nationwide master’s-level minor Expertise in Russian and Eastern European Studies (ExpREES)  since 2019.  I plan and develop teaching and other activities  as well as teach and supervise ExpREES students.

I am a scholar of  international politics and hold a PhD in Political Science  (University of Tampere) and the title of Docent in Political Science, specifically International Politics (University of Turku). My current research interests deal with global knowledge production, international academic collaboration and the link between international higher education and international politics. I have studied, for example, Russia’s education diplomacy in the EU and Central Asia. I am a member of a Nordic research network, which studies international knowledge networks and academic collaboration with authoritarian states, in particular, China and Russia. In addition, I am interested in knowledge relations in Central Asia. In my previous research I have focused on Russia’s role in international relations, e.g. geopolitical thinking in Russia, EU-Russia relations. I also supervise PhD theses and welcome applications that are close to my research interests.

I have published in peer-reviewed journals such as Comparative Education, European Journal of Higher Education, Geopolitics, Europe-Asia Studies, International Studies Perspectives, Journal of Contemporary European Studies, Nationalities Papers, New Perspectives and Problems of Post-Communism.  In addition, I am  the co-editor of Russia’s Cultural Statecraft (2022, Routledge) and editor of a Special Issue on Internationalisation in challenging times (2023, European Journal of Higher Education) and co-editor of Discursive and Material Practices of Space and Modernization in Post-Soviet Russia (2014, Eurasian Geography and Economics). 

Previously I worked at Tampere University, Finland, for 20 years in different positions in teaching, research and administration. There I supervised bachelor’s, master’s and doctor’s theses and taught courses on Russia’s domestic and foreign policy, geopolitical thinking and methodology, as well as convened a Finnish-Russian double degree programme in International Relations. In addition, I have been the chair and deputy chair of the Finnish Political Science Association. 

Email: sirke.makinen at helsinki.fi

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, business and entrepreneurship.

Tel. +358 50 331 9894

E-mail: hanna.o.peltonen at helsinki.fi

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