Keynote Speakers

The 21st Annual Aleksanteri Conference has a pleasure of presenting these distinguished scholars as keynote speakers.
Thursday 27 October 2022 13.30-15.00 

Plenary Session III: Roundtable – A Road to War in Europe: A Multi-vector Analysis

Roy Allison is Professor of Russian and Eurasian International Relations at the School of Global and Area Studies, University of Oxford. He directs the Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies at St. Antony’s College. Former positions include Reader in International Relations, London School of Economics (2005-11); Senior Research Fellow, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford (2001-05); Head of the Russia and Eurasia Programme, Chatham House (1993-2005).

His research interests cover the international relations, foreign and security policies of Russia and post-Soviet Eurasian states. He has directed or been a principal investigator for a series of international research projects and has given evidence to select committees of the UK House of Commons and House of Lords. His books include the following: Russia, the West and Military Intervention (Oxford University Press, 2013); Putin’s Russia and the Enlarged Europe (co-author) (Blackwell, 2006); Internal Factors in Russian Foreign Policy (co-author) (Oxford University Press, 1996); The Soviet Union and the Strategy of Non-Alignment in the Third World (Cambridge University Press, 1998); and Finland’s Relations with the Soviet Union (Macmillan, 1995). He has also edited or co-edited a further five books.

His recent research has focused on Russian intervention in Ukraine and Syria, Russian approaches to international order and law, and the Russian use of regional organisations. His articles on these themes include ‘Russia and the post-2014 international legal order: revisionism and realpolitik’, International Affairs, 93: 3 (May 2017); ‘Protective integration and security policy coordination: comparing the SCO and CSTO, The Chinese Journal of International Politics, 11: 3 (Autumn 2018); ‘Russian revisionism, legal discourse and the “rules-based” international order’, Europe-Asia Studies, 72: 6 (2020); Russian legal and normative claims for its intervention in the Syrian conflict since 2015’, in N. Kozhanov, ed., Russian Foreign Policy towards the Middle East (Oxford, OUP, 2022); and ‘Russia, Ukraine and state survival through neutrality’, International Affairs, forthcoming November 2022.

Thursday 27 October 2022 13.30-15.00 

Plenary Session III: Roundtable – A Road to War in Europe: A Multi-vector Analysis

Professor Margarita M. Balmaceda, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but her professional life has centred in the USA (where she received a BA from Johns Hopkins University and an MA and PhD in Politics from Princeton University) and Eastern Europe. Dr. Balmaceda, Professor of Diplomacy and International Relations at the Seton Hall University, USA, joined the School of Diplomacy and International Relations in 1999, where she received tenure in 2003 and was promoted to Professor in 2010. She teaches courses on the Politics of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity, on Post-Soviet and East European Politics and Foreign Policies, as well on Master's Research Project.

Currently she is an Associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University. A specialist on the comparative energy politics of the post-Soviet states, since 2000 she has been “following the pipeline” – i.e., following the complex web of interconnections that accompany the energy relationship between Russian oil and gas producers, post-Soviet transit states, and European consumers. This research agenda has taken her on multiple field research stays in Eastern Europe and the former USSR, including Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Hungary, and Moldova. Support from three Fulbright Awards, as well as funding from the Ford Foundation, the, Humboldt Foundation, the DAAD and many other foundations, has made possible such ambitious research agenda.

Thursday 27 October 2022 11.00–12.00 

Plenary II: Women’s Participation in Defending Ukraine in Russia's War

Dr. Tamara Martsenyuk holds Ph.D. in Sociology; she is an Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Ukraine). Her research interest relates to gender and social structure, among them women’s access to the military. In 2015-2021 Tamara (with the research team) conducted sociological studies called “Invisible Battalion” that demonstrate the successes and challenges of gender equality implementation in the Ukrainian armed forces, the status of female veterans, and the problem of sexual harassment in the military. Martsenyuk is a member of the International Sociological Association (ISA), the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN), and other professional bodies. She authored chapters in Gender, Politics, and Society in Ukraine (2012), New Imaginaries: Youthful Reinvention of Ukraine's Cultural Paradigm (2015), and other books. Her papers have been published in Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society, Problems of Post-Communism, Sexuality & Culture, and others. After evacuation from Kyiv in March 2022, Tamara was hosted by Free University Berlin. She is also a visiting scholar at Leuphana Universität Lüneburg (Germany).

Friday 28 October 2022 10.30-11.30 

Plenary Session IV: The Role of Knowledge in the Era of Insecurity

Dr. Stefan Meister has been the head of DGAP’s program on international order and democracy since August 2021. From 2019 until then, he worked as director of the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s South Caucasus Office.

From 2017 to 2019, Meister was head of the Robert Bosch Center for Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia at DGAP, where he had previously headed its program for Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia. Before that, he was a senior policy fellow in the Wider Europe Team at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) in Berlin and London. In the 2015/16 term, Meister was a visiting fellow at the Transatlantic Academy in Washington, DC, where he wrote on Russian disinformation and propaganda. He has served as an election observer for the OSCE in post-Soviet countries several times and worked on conflict transformation and institution building in post-Soviet countries.

Meister is co-author of Geopolitics and Security: A New Strategy for the South Caucasus (KAS/DGAP/GIP, 2018), The Russia File (Brookings, 2018), Eastern Voices (Center for Transatlantic Relations/DGAP, 2017), and The Eastern Question (Brookings, 2016).

He studied international relations and East European history in Jena, Leipzig, and Nizhni Novgorod and holds a PhD from Friedrich Schiller University in Jena with a thesis on the transformation of the Russian higher education and research system.

Friday 28 October 2022 12.00-13.30

Plenary Session V: Roundtable – Security and Area Studies at the Time of War and Beyond

Olga Oliker is Program Director for Europe and Central Asia with the International Crisis Group, based in Brussels. She was formerly Director of the Russia and Eurasia Program at Center for Strategic & International Studies and before that, Director of RAND’s Center for Russia and Eurasia. At Crisis Group, she oversees the organization’s research, analysis, and advocacy in and regarding Russia, Europe, Turkey, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. Her own ongoing research focuses on military, political, economic, and social development, particularly in Russia, Ukraine, and the Central Asian and Caucasian successor states to the Soviet Union. Oliker is the author of numerous monographs, articles, reports, and commentaries. She holds a B.A. in international studies from Emory University, an M.P.P. from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Friday 28 October 2022 12.00-13.30

Plenary Session V: Roundtable – Security and Area Studies at the Time of War and Beyond

Dr Kristi Raik is the Director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the International Centre for Defence and Security since February 2018. She is also an Adjunct Professor of International Relations at the University of Turku. She has previously served inter alia as a Senior Research Fellow and Acting Programme Director at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs in Helsinki and an official at the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union in Brussels. Kristi has published, lectured, and commented widely on European security and EU foreign policy, including the EU’s relations with Russia, Ukraine, and other Eastern neighbours. Kristi is also an expert of the foreign and security policies of the Baltic states and Finland. She has provided expert contributions to the Estonian, Finnish, EU, and NATO institutions. Kristi has a PhD from the University of Turku.


Mr. Jyrki Terva is a PhD. student at the Tampere University, in the department of International Relations and will base his commentary in his doctoral thesis. Mr. Terva´s interests lie in Foreign and Security Policy, Russia Analysis, Ontological Security, and Quantum Approach to International Relations. Currently, he works for the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and acts as the Counsellor at the Unit for Russia.

Friday 28 October 2022 12.00-13.30

Plenary Session V: Roundtable – Security and Area Studies at the Time of War and Beyond

Sergey Utkin since summer 2022 works as associate professor at the Department of Political Science and Public Management at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense. In 2016-2022 he headed Strategic Assessment Section at the Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Russian Academy of Sciences. From 2016 till June 2018 he also headed Foreign and Security Policy Department at the Moscow-based Centre for Strategic Research. In 2012-2016 he worked at the Centre for Situation Analysis, Russian Academy of Sciences, now merged with IMEMO. In 2006 - 2013 he worked at IMEMO, where his last position was Head of Section for Political Aspects of European Integration. He holds a PhD in political science (international relations), which he received at IMEMO in 2006 for his thesis on Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU. In 2002 he graduated from the Moscow Pedagogical State University, School of History. His research is focused on foreign and security policy of the EU, the EU’s relations with Russia and the US, Russia’s foreign policy in the Euro-Atlantic area.

Thursday 27 October 2022 13.30-15.00 

Plenary Session III: Roundtable – A Road to War in Europe: A Multi-vector Analysis

Carolina Vendil Pallin works at the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) as Deputy Research Director, where she headed the Russia Programme at FOI 2009–2012 and 2014–2016. She holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. Previous positions include Senior Research Fellow at the Swedish Institute for International Affairs, where she headed the Research Programme “Russia and Its Neighbours” (2006–2009), and Expert Advisor for the Swedish Defence Commission (2012–2013). She is and Chair of the Security Policy Division of the Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences.

Wednesday 26 October 2022 13.15–14:15

Plenary I: The General Crisis of the 21st century

Ayşe Zarakol is Professor of International Relations at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow at Emmanuel College. Her research is at the intersection of IR and historical sociology, focusing on East-West relations in the international system, history and future of world order(s), conceptualisations of modernity and sovereignty, rising and declining powers, and Turkish politics in a comparative perspective. She is the author of After Defeat: How the East Learned to Live with the West (Cambridge University Press, 2011), which deals with international stigmatisation and the integration of defeated non-Western powers (Turkey after WWI, Japan after WWII, and Russia after the Cold War) into the international system, and the editor of the prize-winning Hierarchies in World Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Her articles have appeared in journals such as International Organization, International Theory, International Studies Quarterly, European Journal of International Relations, Review of International Studies, among others. Her new book, Before the West: The Rise and Fall of Eastern World Orders, which advances an alternative global history of world orders for IR, was published in March 2022 by Cambridge University Press.