Title of Docent

Titles of docent affiliated with the Aleksanteri Institute are either docentships in Russian and Eurasian Studies, or docentships in Eastern European Studies. No further specifications are used. Apllications for the title of docent are invited annually in November. This page provides instructions specific to the Aleksanteri Institute. Please see also the instructions published by the Faculty of Arts.

On this page are also listed the current holders of the title of Docent at the Aleksanteri Institute.





The Aleksanteri Institute has conducted research and provided education in the field of Russian and Eurasian Studies since 1996, and in association with the Institute’s affiliation with the Faculty of Arts, the field also became one of the faculty’s disciplines. At the University of Helsinki, Russian and Eurasian Studies comprises a multi- and cross-disciplinary field that examines the development and history of contemporary societies within its geographical scope. The research and teaching profile of Russian and Eurasian Studies also looks at societies within its focal region in the context of wider global phenomena. This approach entails analysing how the studied region has been impacted by, for example, environmental changes, democracy, wellbeing, cultural revolutions, transnational security and the changing economy, as well as the role of the region itself in studying these phenomena.

Discipline coordinator: Anna-Liisa Heusala

The field of Eastern European Studies became a specialised discipline for the first time in 1996 when the Aleksanteri Institute was founded, and related teaching activities were launched in 1998. In 2017, the field was established as a discipline of the Faculty of Arts. To this day, Eastern European Studies forms a unique research and teaching entity at the national level. Geographically, the field is defined as comprising the eastern member states of the European Union, Western Balkan states and the eastern neighbour states of the EU (Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia).

Eastern European Studies is a cross-disciplinary field that takes the wide temporal scope of social development into account, as well as the meaning and interrelations between different regions and societal dimensions. The field also strives for comparability with research in the fields of Russian and Eurasian Studies, and European Studies. Eastern European Studies focuses on analysing global phenomena, which it approaches through core themes like political systems and legal regimes, civil society, welfare state, transnational security, conditions for innovative economic development, environmental questions and cultural ruptures.       

Discipline coordinator: Katalin Miklóssy

The Aleksanteri Institute follows the following docentship procedure: before the candidate submits their application for the title of docent to the Faculty of Arts, they send a one-page motivation letter to the relevant discipline coordinator, in which they explain

a) in which field they are applying for the title of docent;

b) why they are applying for the title of docent;

c) how their research profile matches the focus areas of the Aleksanteri Institute, and/or how their profile contributes to the Institute in addition to the focus areas;

d) how they will seek to participate in and benefit from the activities of the Aleksanteri Institute if they are granted the title of docent. 

In addition, the candidate is requested to submit a one-page curriculum, which describes how the candidate seeks to further teaching in the field at the University of Helsinki. The required documents also include an up-to-date CV and list of publications in accordance with the formatting guidelines of the Faculty of Arts.

The department will assess the need for a docentship as well as the suitability of the candidate’s profile from the perspective of the department’s research and teaching activities. If the department supports the docentship, the candidate must submit the actual application for the title of docent to the Faculty of Arts in accordance with its instructions during the application period. See here for the Faculty instructions.

Docent, Russian and Eurasian Studies

I am a sociologist and currently work as a researcher and research coordinator of the Helsinki Inequality Initiative (INEQ). I have worked on issues related to pots-socialism (namely), welfare state and civil society development and social welfare. I am leading an international interdisciplinary research project on child welfare reform in Russia and involved in another project exploring youth well-being in the Arctic region in which I am responsible for the investigation of agency and well-being of young care leavers, among other methods through participatory research methods.

Docent, Russian and Eurasian Studies

Educated as a sociologist of law, I work at the intersection of sociology of law and ethnography, studying migration, corruption, governance, and penal institutions in the context of Russia and Central Asia. At the Aleksanteri Institute, I work as a Senior Researcher within the ERC-funded “Gulag Echoes” project led by Professor Judith Pallot. In addition, I am a principal investigator of the University of Helsinki-funded three year project “Non-Western Migration Regimes”.

My current research focuses on (1) transnational Muslim prisoners in Russian penal institutions, (2) migration, shadow economy, and informal legal orders in non-Western migration contexts, and (3) law, society, and corruption in Central Asia. I am the author of Migration and Hybrid Political Regimes: Navigating the Legal Landscape in Russia (2020), published by the University of California Press.