Conference 2022

On 8-9 December 2022, our project organises its final conference ‘Elections after 2022: The short and long-term impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine’ in Helsinki, Finland.

The military aggression of Russia in Ukraine has multiple reverberations in all spheres from politics, business, and energy to culture, environment, and migration. There is barely an aspect of our everyday realities that have not been affected by the war in Ukraine. Elections are by no means an exception. Since many European states held or are about to hold national elections after February 24, we may expect that the war interfered with usual political landscapes and policy agendas by stressing the challenges of security, solidarity, energy politics as well as politically motivated redistribution policies. Russia as a high-capacity authoritarian regime that regularly holds elections marred with fraud and propaganda has been exporting electoral malpractice elsewhere through a variety of channels: hybrid warfare, media, trolls and bots, policy advice, and outright attempts to meddle with other states’ elections. The aim of the conference is to provide and share scholarly expertise on the consequences and mechanisms of how electoral processes are being affected by the ongoing war in Ukraine. We intentionally expanded the geographical realm of our discussion since the war suggests worldwide repercussions and it does not seem reasonable anymore to differentiate between ‘post-Soviet’, ‘post-Communist’, and the rest of Europe. During the conference we seek 1) to locate our research given the new circumstances, 2) to look at the past and forthcoming elections in the EU and beyond with a focus on countries that share a common border with Russia, 3) to spell out the main shifts in the party and electoral politics, citizens preferences as well as 4) the role of media and technologies in sustaining electoral integrity and preventing polarization and hate speech. Finally, we present the research results of the three-year research project Electoral malpractice, Cyber-security and its Political Consequences in Russia and Beyond (ElMaRB) funded by the University of Helsinki.

Conference Programme

December 8-9, 2022

Unioninkatu 40, Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki

Day 1

9 00 – 9 30  Welcome words from the Aleksanteri Institute (Humina hall 17 3rd floor)

9 30 – 11 00  Panel Discussion 1 Elections in Europe the Wartime (Humina hall 17 3rd floor)

Chair: Andrei Semenov

  • Inna Melnykovska (Central European University)
  • Nazar Boyko (West Virginia University), online
  • Ekaterina Paustyan (University of Bremen

11 00 – 11 30 Coffee break

11 30 – 13 00 Panel Discussion 2 Elections in Europe 2 (Humina Hall 17 3rd floor)

Chair: Regina Smyth

  • Andrey Makarychev (University of Tartu)
  • Sanna Salo (Finnish Institute of International Affairs)
  • Arseniy Svynarenko (Nuorisotutkimusseura)
  • Jussi Westinen (Taloustutkimus)
  • Una Bergmane (University of Helsinki)

13 00 – 14 30  Lunch 

14 30 – 16 00 Panel Discussion 3 Elections in Russia: Before and After the War (Hall 9 3rd floor)

Chair: Elena Gorbacheva

  • Inga Saikkonen (Åbo Akademi)
  • Mikhail Turchenko (University of Indiana)
  • Tatiana Tkacheva (Independent researcher)
  • Logan Carmichael, Bogdan Romanov (University of Tartu)

16 00 – 16 30 Coffee break

16 30 – 18 00 Panel Discussion 4  Elections and Contentious Politics (Hall 9 3rd floor)

Chair: Margarita Zavadskaya

  • Jan Matti Dollbaum (University of Bremen)
  • Aleksandra Rumyantseva (University of Bremen)
  • Regina Smyth (University of Indiana)
  • Natalia Kovyliaeva (Tartu University)

19 00 Dinner at Restaurant Manala

Day 2

9 00 – 10 30  Roundtable Electoral malpractice and its political consequences. Presentation of the project outcomes and discussion (Hall 9 3rd floor)

Chairs: Margarita Zavadskaya, Elena Gorbacheva

  • Margarita Zavadskaya (University of Helsinki)
  • Elena Gorbacheva (University of Helsinki)
  • Viktor Lambin, Valeria Caras (University of Helsinki)
  • Amelie Tolvin (University of Toronto)

10 30 – 11 00 Coffee break

11 00 – 12 30 Panel Discussion 5 How Media Shape Electoral Agenda? (Hall 9 3rd floor)

Chair: Mikhail Turchenko

  • Teemu Oivo (University of Helsinki and University of Eastern Finland)
  • Marielle Wijermars (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki and University of Maastricht)
  • Andrei Semenov (independent researcher), Max Alyukov (King’s College), online, Maria Kunilovskaya (University of Wolverhampton), online

12 30 – 14 00 Lunch

14 00 – 15 30 Panel Discussion 6 War-Related Migration and Elections (Hall 9 3rd floor)

Chair: Tatiana Tkacheva

  • Ivetta Sergeeva, Emil Kamalov (European University Institute)
  • Sherzod Eraliev (University of Helsinki), online
  • Kaarina Aitamurto (University of Helsinki)
  • Nica Kostenko (Independent researcher)

15 30 – 16 00 Coffee break

16 00 – 17 30 Roundtable ‘No Future? Elections in the Post-Communist Area ‘ (Hall 9 3rd floor)

Chair: Andrei Semenov

Speakers: Vladimir Gel’man (University of Helsinki), Ora John Reuter (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), online, Paul Goode (Carleton University) online, Regina Smyth (University of Indiana), Margarita Zavadskaya (University of Helsinki)

17 30 – 18 00 Closing words (Hall 9 3rd floor)

Conference registration form