The Aleksanteri Institute (Finnish: Aleksanteri-instituutti) Finnish Centre for Russian and Eastern European Studies, is an independent institute of the University of Helsinki. It functions as a national centre of research, study and expertise pertaining to Russia and Eastern Europe, particularly in the social sciences and humanities. The Institute actively promotes cooperation and interaction between the academic world, public administration, business life and civil society, both in Finland and abroad.
The Aleksanteri Institute was founded in 1996 and currently employs more than 50 scholars and administrative staff. The director of the institute is Professor Markku Kivinen.
The Aleksanteri Institute coordinates the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Russian Studies – Choices of Russian Modernisation1 for the period 2012–2017. The multi-disciplinary CoE is led by Markku Kivinen and funded by the Academy of Finland.
Research at the Aleksanteri Institute concentrates on six focus areas:
- 1. Economic Diversification
- 2. The Welfare Society
- 3. Democracy
- 4. Foreign Policy
- 5. The Social Constitution of Culture
- 6. The Cold War and its Consequences
The institute coordinates and participates in research projects and networks involving scholars from all over the world. In 2012 it was granted a five-year funding for a Finland Distinguished Professor (FiDiPro) project. Since 2008 it has also hosted a programme for visiting scholars. The programme offers international scholars (holding a PhD) a two-to-four-month research stay at the Aleksanteri Institute and the University of Helsinki. In addition to Russia, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, scholars from Spain, Italy, the USA, Britain, Canada, France and China have also attended.2
The Aleksanteri Conference is an annual conference of Russian and Eastern European studies organised in late October in Helsinki. The theme of the conference changes every year. Recent themes have included:
- Perestroika (2007)
- Gender and Welfare (2008)
- The Cold War (2009)
- Energy (2010)
- Russia and China (2011)
- Competition (2012)3
The Aleksanteri Institute coordinates multi-disciplinary study programmes at various academic levels. The doctoral programme and the Master's School in Russian and Eastern European studies are open to students from Finnish universities. There is also a study programme for East Central Europe, Balkan and Baltic studies that offers the possibility of a MA diploma and a minor subject programme of Ukrainian studies.4
The Aleksanteri Institute hosts Kikimora publishing, a publishing house that concentrates on contemporary Russian and East European studies mostly in the humanities and social sciences. Kikimora has publishes monographs and anthologies in three refereed series: Kikimora A, Kikimora B and Aleksanteri Series. There is also an online series entitled Aleksanteri Papers.5
The Aleksanteri Institute also publishes a quarterly newsletter Aleksanteri News.