IRES Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies

Our research

Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES) is an integrated multi-disciplinary long-term research program with an in-depth focus on recent developments in Russia, and in the post-Soviet space. It is designed to meet the highest international standards of scientific excellence and spans across the humanities and the social sciences, as well as law and theology. Given its broad multi-disciplinary scope, grounded in common interests amongst participating scholars, IRES is a research platform flexible in adapting and adjusting to emerging new realities that call for new approaches.

IRES research ambition is divided into three thematic areas: State and Market, Identity Formation and Russia and the Post-Soviet area.

Research themes

State and Market

“State and Market” will bring together a team of researchers with a mission to map out and understand the impact of the introduction of a whole new set of rules of the game. Their more specific tasks will be to investigate how various agencies and officials have responded to the transformation of the legal order, how the post-Soviet state has coped with the challenge of securing contracts and property rights, how former state-owned enterprises have adjusted to the market, how energy policy has become an important foreign policy issue, how households have evolved strategies to cope with fundamentally new realities, and how, in the Russian case, the center has faced the regional dilemma that rests in sustaining organized society in remote regions that may have been economically viable only under a non-market oriented Soviet order.

Research Director for thematic area State and Market is Stefan Hedlund, Prof. of Russian and East European Studies

Identity formation

The research area on identity formation aims to conduct high-quality research, in an international interdisciplinary environment, on the various processes which characterize Russia’s new political, social and cultural identity. What are the factors shaping Russia’s self-understanding? Which mechanisms are central to identity formation? How do identities compete with one another in the political and cultural arenas? What is Europe’s role in the various identity-related processes at work in Russia today? These and other issues are addressed from a variety of scholarly perspectives, including anthropology, history of ideas, jurisprudence, linguistics, literary studies, philosophy, political science and religious studies. Several identity markers will be studied, such as ethnicity, gender, power relations, religion and language. Various perspectives on Russian identity, including interpretations of the relations between centre and periphery, as well as different ideological visions of the country’s role on the geopolitical scene, will be examined by Swedish and international researchers. Of particular interest is the character of human rights discourse in Russia. It is the ambition of the research area to contribute, through the advanced study of identity formation processes, to a deeper understanding of developments in Russia, as well as to new theoretical developments within the disciplines represented in the research area.

Research Director for thematic area Identity Formation is Elena Namli, Professor.

Russia's neighbouring countries

Within the thematic area of Russia's neighboring countries, post-Soviet developments are studied in the light of the processes of social, political and economic transformation that have characterized these countries. Geographically the area covers the Baltic States, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Belarus. The main issues studied relate to issues of international and regional cooperation, the EU's and NATO's eastward enlargement, energy policy, terrorism and ethnic conflicts and types of political regime and democratization. Of equal interest are language issues, language policy, minority politics and diaspora affairs, and issues related to transnational minorities, historical memory, and ethnicity from a historical, cultural, political and social perspective. Analytically, this thematic area spans across multiple disciplines, such as the political science, peace and conflict research, international studies, cultural geography and demography, sociology, anthropology, history and linguistics.

Research Director for thematic area Russia and the Post-Soviet area is Dr. Matthew Kott.