Jeremy Smith
Professor of Russian History and Politics
VERA Centre for Russian and Border Studies

Aurora 1144
P. +358 50 442 3665; +358 50 307 9284

Research Interests

My main research interests concern the non-Russian nationalities of the USSR. After some years of focusing on central Soviet policies towards nationalities, more recently I have turned to issues of identity and nationalism inside the Soviet republics, with especial focus on the South Caucasus. I am now following more contemporary events in Russia, Central Asia, Georgia and Ukraine, and am developing a project comparing practices of dynastic succession in European and East Asian authoritarian regimes since the sixteenth century.

For my analysis of current events regarding Russia, Crimea and Ukraine, see

‘Russia, Crimea, and the New Border Order' La Frontera 34 (2), March 2014

‘Russia's uncertain future after Putin's Crimean adventure' Helsinki Times, 27 March 2014

‘Can a new president prevent Ukraine's regional disintegration'? Politiikasta, February 2014,

Recent Projects

I have completed a monograph The Red Nations: the Nationalities Experience in and after the USSR (Cambridge University Press, 2013)

  • I headed a team from the Karelian Institute, working in collaboration with the thinktank FRIDE (Madrid) on the ‘EU Central Asia Monitoring – Security Dimension' project, funded by the Foreign Ministry of Finland's Wider Europe Initiative. Our research focused on ethnic tensions, borders, migration, water programmes, and poverty in the Fergana Valley region.
  • From 2011–2012 I ran a project on ‘Georgian Nationalism and Soviet Power: the March 1956 Events' funded by the Academy of Finland. The project was a collaboration between Finnish, Georgian, Russian and American scholars. The findings will be published in a volume by the University of Pittsburgh Press

Current Projects

  • ‘From post-Soviet to Eurasian: reconfiguring Borders and Space' funded from a grant by the Kone Foundation
  • ‘Comparisons of Dynastic Succession Practises in Europe and East Asia. supported by an Academy of Finland Mobility grant for research in Kyoto, Japan, 2014