The objective of this research programme was to strengthen Finnish research on Russia and Eastern Europe and to promote research cooperation between scholars in Russia, Eastern Europe and Western countries. The information yielded by the programme served primarily the needs of decision-making and international cooperation. The political changes that swept across the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe opened up new opportunities for research co-operation with research communities in the former socialist countries. With the opening up of the Soviet Union researchers also gained access to archives that used to be closed to them. Given its historical links with Russia, its close scientific and cultural collaboration and its extensive library and other source materials, Finland is exceptionally well-placed to research Russia and Russian culture.
The main research themes in the programme were the collapse of the political, economic and cultural system of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, the ongoing value revolution as well as the emergence of new forms of society and cultural practices. As far as the politics theme was concerned, the focus of research was on the changes that took place in the political system in Russia and Eastern Europe, on the nationality policy as well as on the changes in Russian foreign policy and the balance of power in international politics.
In the culture and society component, research projects were concerned with cultural issues, churches and religions, Finno-Ugric peoples as well as environmental questions. Economic studies dealt with processes of economic changes and with the significance to the Finnish economy of its neighbouring regions in the former Soviet Union. The programme yielded information about the history of the Soviet Union and about the social, political and cultural development of present-day Russia. One key area of research was the neighbouring regions, St. Petersburg and Karelia. The programme also helped to deepen research cooperation with Russian scholars.
The programme comprised 28 research projects involving almost 150 researchers in the following organisations: the universities of Helsinki, Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Tampere, Turku and Vaasa, the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Ad-ministration, the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy ETLA, the Research Institute of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland, the Bank of Finland Institute for Economies in Transition (BOFIT), and the Finnish Institute of International Affairs UPI.
Programme funding from the Academy of Finland totalled EUR 5.7 million.
Evaluation Russia and Eastern Europe Evaluation.pdf
This research project was coordinated by coordinator Markku Kangaspuro, University of Helsinki, Finnish Centre for Russian and East European Studies