Dr Sirke Makinen

Dr Sirke Makinen

Sirke Mäkinen is a university researcher in International Relations, Faculty of Management, University of Tampere, Finland, and chair of the Finnish Political Science Association. In addition, she is responsible for the double degree programme – Cross Border International Relations – jointly offered by the Petrozavodsk State University, St. Petersburg State University and the University of Tampere.

Sirke Mäkinen holds a doctorate in Social Sciences (Political Science, 2008) from the University of Tampere. She has also worked as Research Fellow and University Lecturer in Tampere, and as researcher at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. She has visited the University of Kent at Canterbury and the University of Glasgow as a visiting research fellow. 

Sirke Mäkinen has always been interested in Russian politics and world politics from many different perspectives. The leading theme, or motivation , has been to position Russia in the world, that is, she has asked how Russia and Russians perceive and represent themselves vis a vis the others, whether understood as nation-states, blocs, organisations, ideas, or models. Following a constructivist reading of world politics she has been interested in the construction of ideas and the role  that they play in  e.g. Russian foreign policy.

Sirke Mäkinen has published, for example, on Russian geopolitics from the perspective of critical geopolitics. She has studied geopolitical argumentation of Russian political parties on a perceived internal threat – Chechnya, and a perceived external threat – NATO,  and the formation and manifestation of geopolitical culture, in particular, in the context of geopolitics teaching and studies in Russian universities.

Her more recent studies have addressed higher education and world politics and in particular, internationalization of higher education in Russia. She has argued that the political rationale is one of the main reasons for internationalization of higher education in Russia, and thus we may refer to Russia’s activities in this field as educational diplomacy. At the moment Sirke Mäkinen examines how Russian higher education is received abroad and what implications this has on Russia’s role in the world and relations with others. In addition, she leads a  research project (EDUneighbours) examining Finnish-Russian cooperation in higher education. Her focus is on jointly developed Master’s degree programmes and experiences of teachers, administrators and students, and what these tell about (the potential of) Finnish-Russian relations. She continues her research on the relationship between higher education and world politics while visiting St. Antony’s. 

Selected Publications: 

Mäkinen, Sirke. 2016. Professional Geopolitics as an Ideal: Roles of Geopolitics in Russia. International Studies Perspectives 18: 3, 21 August 2017,288–303, published 29 June 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/isp/ekw003

Mäkinen, Sirke. 2016. In search of the status of an educational great power? Analysis of Russia’s educational diplomacy discourse. Problems of Post-Communism 63:3, 183-196. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10758216.2016.1172489

Mäkinen, Sirke, Smith, Hanna and Forsberg, Tuomas.  2016.  With a little help from my friends: Russia’s modernization and the visa regime with the European Union. Europe-Asia Studies 68:1, 164-181. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09668136.2015.1123223

Mäkinen, Sirke. 2016. Russia – a leading or fading power? Students’ geopolitical metanarratives on Russia’s role in the post-Soviet space, Nationalities Papers 44:1, 92-113. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00905992.2015.1074994

Mäkinen, Sirke. 2015. Russia as an alternative model. Geopolitical representations and Russia’s public diplomacy – the case of Rossotrudnichestvo in Bassin, Mark and Suslov, Mikhail. Russian Geopolitics in the Age of New Media. Lexington Books, 101-121.

Mäkinen, Sirke. 2014.  Geopolitics Teaching and Worldviews: Making the Future Generation in Russia, Geopolitics, 19:1, 86-108, DOI: 10.1080/14650045.2013.847430.

Mäkinen, Sirke and Turoma, Sanna (eds.). 2014. Discursive and Material Practices of Space and Modernization in Post-Soviet Russia. Special Issue. Eurasian Geography and Economics, 6/2014.

Mäkinen, Sirke.2012. Political Parties and Construction of Social Class in Suvi Salmenniemi (Ed.), Rethinking Class in Russia. Ashgate, 107-125.

Mäkinen, Sirke. 2011. Surkovian Narrative on the Future of Russia: Making Russia a World Leader. Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics 27:2, 143-165.

Mäkinen, Sirke. 2008. Russian Geopolitical Visions and Argumentation. Parties of power, democratic and communist opposition on Chechnia and NATO, 1994-2003, Acta Universitatis Tamperensis 1293, Tampere University Press, Tampere.