Marina Khmelnitskaya


    Research areas

  • 517 Political science - Russia, Political Science, Social policy, Housing policy, Institutions and Historical Institutionalism, Public policy

Description of research and teaching

I joined the Aleksanteri Institute as a post-doctoral researcher at the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Russian Studies “Choices of Russian Modernisation” in September 2015. My works is a part of “Politics” and “Welfare State” clusters of the Centre of Excellence.

My work has focused on the policy-making process and social policy formation in Russia. The area of social policy I have concentrated on has been housing policy. My book “The Policy-Making Process and Social Learning in Russia: The Case of Housing Policy” (Palgrave Macmillan 2015) – completed during my first post-doc at St Antony’s College (University of Oxford) – examines the process of change in the post-socialist Russian housing sphere. The analysis which follows an influential institutionalist tradition in social policy and political science, demonstrates that Russian housing policy has developed as a result of an interaction between the Russian institutional environment with ideas and interests of important state and non-state policy actors. Using the method of historical process tracing and a comparative case study research design I trace the transformation of the paradigmatic basis of Russian housing policy since the late Soviet period.

During my more recent research, as a part of the wonderful team at the Aleksanteri Institute in Helsinki, I have continued my work on the issues of the policy process, social policy, development and the regime type. See my article in The Baltic Worlds (2016) for my thinking on the interlinkages between these issues in the context of contemporary Russia. My article in Post-Communist Economies (December 2017) presents an analysis of the formation of the social budget in Russia during the crisis years of 2015-2016. This research highlights diverse and contradictory bureaucratic and associated with them societal interests that shaped the budgetary process in the social sphere. My other recent article in Russian Politics (August 2017) examines the mix of policy tools/or instruments the Russian government has applied to promote the goal of development in the housing sphere. The analysis demonstrates that this comprehensive mix includes substantive and procedural measures. The latter are aimed at the engagement of the professional community and the general public in the development project in order to reduce conflict and promote the sector-wide cooperation. I also show that the government policy-makers facing multiple dilemmas of governance in an authoritarian federal state, use special combinations of policy instruments to promote policy implementation by middle- and local-level officials, whose commitment to the developmental goals cannot be taken for granted. 

My recent and current collaboration include:

  • with my colleagues from “Politics” and “Welfare State” clusters of the Centre of Excellence, specifically Markku Kivinen, Vladimir Gel’man, Meri Kulmala and Andrey Starodubtsev among others, on respective chapters of the final volume of the Centre of Excellence “Choices of Russian Modernisation”,

  • with Professor Stephen Fortescue (University of New South Wales and Australian National University) on the special issue of Post-Communist Economies on the Russian budget formation,

  • with Dr Ulla Pape (University of Bremen) on a joint paper (in progress) “Ideational Influences in Russian Social Policy-Making”. The paper will compare case of housing and HIV/AIDS.

In February – March 2018 I will be a visiting researcher at King’s College London Russia Institute. This trip is funded by the Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki international mobility scheme 2018.

During 2015-16, as a part of an organizing committee, I was coordinator of the Aleksanteri Institute 16th Annual Conference on welfare and social policy in Russia, held in October 2016. The Conference was attended by more than 350 participants from Finland, Russia, other countries in Europe and the United States.

Besides this major annual conference of our Institute, I also organised two international workshops on Russian policy-making, held in January 2016 and September 2017.

During my work at the Aleksanteri Institute I had ample opportunities to get involved in teaching on the course coordinated by the Institute. These included: the summer school of the Institute-run MSc programme; “Choices of Russian Modernisation” an on-line based course, “Life cycle and Social policy in Russia” and “Governance, Religion and Society” courses taught by the Aleksanteri staff.



Latest publications

  1. Accepted/In press

    Book review: Susanne Wengle, “Post-Soviet Power”

    Khmelnitskaya, M. 15 Dec 2017 (Accepted/In press) In : Laboratorium. 9, 3, p. 193 196 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

  2. The social budget policy process in Russia at a time of crisis

    Khmelnitskaya, M. 17 Oct 2017 In : Post-Communist Economies. 29, 4, p. 457-475 18 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Tools of Government for Russian Development: the Case of Housing

    Khmelnitskaya, M. 30 Sep 2017 In : Russian Politics. 2, 3, p. 307-333 26 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

View all (7) »

Latest activities

  1. King's College London

    Khmelnitskaya, M. (Visiting researcher)
    1 Feb 201824 Mar 2018

    Activity: Visiting an external institutionAcademic visit to other institution

  2. Ideational influences in Russian politics and social policy-making: the cases of housing renovations and HIV/AIDS

    Khmelnitskaya, M. (Speaker), Ulla Pape (Speaker)
    26 Oct 2017

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

  3. Russia's choices for 2030

    Khmelnitskaya, M. (Speaker: Chair)
    26 Oct 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

View all (32) »

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