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Personal profile

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 work formed part of the “Politics” and “Welfare State” clusters of the Centre of Excellence, led respectively by Professor Vladimir Gel'man and Professor Markku Kivinen. Since January 2018 I have been a Post-doctoral researcher at the Aleksanteri Institute.

My earlier work focused on policy-making processes and social policy formation in the context of post-communist transition, with specific emphasis on Russia and the development of its 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 transformation of the Russian housing property rights regime, provision of housing services and formation of the system of mortgage finance. The analysis which follows the new-institutionalist and particularly historical institutionalist approach within political science, demonstrates that the policy process was formed by the interaction between the institutional environment, with expert policy ideas and interests of important state and non-state actors. Using the method of historical process tracing and a comparative case study research design, I trace the transformation of the paradigmatic basis of policy, following revolutionary and evolutionary scenarios.

My recent work has concentrated on the influence of bureaucratic politics, policy ideas and experts, state-society relations, regime type and different strategies of regime legitimization on policy formation. 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 groupings and the associated with them societal interests that shaped the budgetary process in the social sphere. Another recent article, published in Russian Politics (August 2017) examines the mix of policy tools/or instruments the Russian government has applied to promote the goal of development and the strategies to accommodate contradictory interests in the process of policy design and implementation.

My recent and on-going collaboration include:

  • with colleagues from “Politics” and “Welfare State” clusters of the Centre of Excellence, specifically Markku Kivinen, Vladimir Gel’man, Meri Kulmala and Jouko Nikula among others, on respective chapters of the final volume of the Centre of Excellence “Choices of Russian Modernisation” (Routledge 2019)
  • with Professor Stephen Fortescue (University of New South Wales and Australian National University) in the special issue of Post-Communist Economies (December 2017) and a Routledge volume "Russian Budget" (2018)
  • with Ulla Pape (Freie Universitan Berlin) on two joint papers currently in preparation analysing the influence of policy ideas and discourses in the context of regime hybridity, and addressed at Russia specialists and at broader political science and governance audiences
  • with Sevinc Bermek (King's College London) on a paper comparing policy processes in Russia and Turkey
  • with Marc Berenson (King's College London) and Katalin Miklossy (AI) on new forms of welfare policy and politics in East Central Europe and Russia
  • with Ira Osterberg (AI) and Immirosa Ihalainen on urban governance and housing renovation programme in the city of Moscow.

In February – March 2018 I was a visiting researcher at King’s College London, Russia Institute. This fellowship was funded by the Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki international mobility scheme 2018. This funding helped to initiate two of my current collaborations with Dr Bermek and Dr Berenson. 

During 2015-16, as a part of the organizing committee team, I was coordinator of the Aleksanteri Institute 16th Annual Conference on welfare and social policy, held in October 2016. The Conference was attended by nearly 400 participants from Finland, Russia, other European countries and the US.

In addition to this major annual conference, I organised two international workshops on policy-making, held in January 2016 and September 2017, and participated in many academic events of the Institute and many international conferences, notably: PSA, ASEEES, BASEES, ENHR and UNECE housing and land management section.

Recently, building on my earlier teaching experience at several Oxford colleges, I had ample opportunities to become involved in teaching on the courses coordinated by the AI. These included: MSc and PhD summer schools; on-line based course: “Choices of Russian Modernisation”, “Life cycle and Social policy”, “Governance, Religion and Society” modules and the new MA programme coordinated by the Aleksanteri Institute.



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

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.

Publications 2013 2018

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

Khmelnitskaya, M., 2018, The Russian Budget. Fortescue, S. (ed.). Abingdon: Routledge, p. 9-27 19 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Book review: Susanne Wengle. Post-Soviet Power: State-Led Development and Russia’s Marketization.

Khmelnitskaya, M., 2017, In : Laboratorium. 9, 3, p. 193-196 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article reviewScientificpeer-review

Open Access

Housing and housing finance in Russia at a time of crisis

Khmelnitskaya, M., 3 Jan 2017, In : Housing Finance International . Winter 2016, XXXI, 2, p. 20-25 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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

Khmelnitskaya, M. & Pape, U., 25 Oct 2017, (In preparation).

Research output: Working paperScientific


Projects 2012 2017

Activities 2015 2018

Tools of government for housing development

Marina Khmelnitskaya (Speaker)
27 Jun 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Aleksandra Burdyak

Marina Khmelnitskaya (Host)
9 Dec 201816 Dec 2018

Activity: Hosting a visitor typesAcademic visit at UH

Urban governance in Russia: the Case of Moscow territorial development and housing renovations

Marina Khmelnitskaya (Speaker)
4 Oct 20185 Oct 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Wladimir Sgibnev

Marina Khmelnitskaya (Host)
1 Sep 201831 Oct 2018

Activity: Hosting a visitor typesAcademic visit at UH

Ideas and Interests in social policy-making in authoritarian states

Marina Khmelnitskaya (Speaker)
20 Jun 201821 Jun 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Press / Media

Think Corner Event: Russian Regional Development

Marina Khmelnitskaya


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media