Elena Korosteleva
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Elena Korosteleva

Elena Korosteleva
Professor Elena Korosteleva.jpg
Born (1972-01-24) 24 January 1972 (age 49)
EducationBelarusian State University
University of Manchester
University of Bath
Years active1995-present

Elena Korosteleva (Belarusian: ;) is an academic researcher and principal investigator focusing on democratisation and the politics of Europe. She is an expert on the politics of Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova; as well as academic expert on the European External Action Service (EEAS), European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and Eastern Partnership (EaP). She is fellow of the European Institute for International Law and International Relations.[1] Korosteleva holds doctoral degrees from the University of Bath and the Belarusian State University Minsk and was previously British Academy postdoctoral research fellow at Glasgow University.

Korosteleva is Jean Monnet Chair and professor of International Politics in the School of Politics and International Relations, University of Kent. She is Director (Professional Studies) of the Global Europe Centre (GEC), a member of the International Advisory Board for GLOBSEC and European Strategy Council; Professorial Fellow of the Dahrendorf Forum at the LSE and is visiting professor at the College of Europe[2] and Visiting Fellow of the Belarusian State University, Minsk. Previously Korosteleva was Jean Monnet Chair and Director of the Centre for European Studies (CES), at Aberystwyth University. Korosteleva joined the Editorial Board of the newly launched Cambridge Journal of Eurasian Studies.[3]

Research interests

Korosteleva's work centres around the critical analysis of the European Union's (EU) European External Action Service (EEAS), European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), European Neighbourhood and Partnership Initiative (ENPI) and Eastern Partnership (EaP) in relation to the Post-Soviet states of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova. She is an expert in the politics of Belarus, third wave democratisation in Eastern Europe and charismatic political leadership. She publishes extensively in monographs, academic journals, book chapters and government briefing and policy papers. Korosteleva has acted as an expert for the Parliament of the United Kingdom and European Commission.

Global Challenges Research Fund: COMPASS

Korosteleva has been awarded £3,776,443.00 for the COMPASS [4] project, funded by the Research Councils UK Global Challenges Research Fund which aims to open up communication with academics in former Soviet states of Azerbaijan, Belarus, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan by setting up hubs of excellence in research in these countries.

She and her research partner, Siddharth Saxena from Cambridge University, say this is a research initiative to empower the target countries in research, impact governance and public policy outreach. COMPASS will enable a sea change in the UK's strategic relationship with the region.

The University of Kent[5] and their Co-Investigators, Cambridge Central Asia Forum (Jesus College) and the Centre for Development Studies, University of Cambridge, have years of experience in collaborating with the region in supporting their research.


Korosteleva, working with colleagues from the Belarusian State University and University of Kent is project lead for an Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility[6] project to support bilateral student and staff mobility between the Belarusian State University and Kent and the first large-scale mobility and co-operation programme between Higher Education Institutions in the UK and Belarus.

Building Research Excellence in Russian and East European Studies at the Universities of Tartu, Uppsala and Kent

Korosteleva, working with Piret Ehin of the Centre for EU-Russia Studies (CEURUS) at the University of Tartu, Estonia and Professor Stefan Hedlund of Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Uppsala University has received funding from the European Commission for a three-year, EUR1million, EU Horizon 2020 twinning project entitled UPTAKE (UPpsala, TArtu, KEnt).

The project is designed to increase research productivity and excellence and promote international visibility and integration of the three universities in the field of Russian and East European Studies by creating a dynamic, comprehensive, open and sustainable framework for co-operation and transfer of knowledge. Specifically, the project includes the launch of an ambitious new academic conference series, the organisation of four international summer and winter schools, extensive inter-institutional mobility, joint supervision of doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows, coordinated promotion of research outputs, joint conceptualisation and launch of new collaborative research projects, as well as extensive dissemination and communication measures.

Europe in the world: Towards a more effective EU foreign and security strategy

Korosteleva and her team of doctoral students' evidence,submitted to the United Kingdom House of Lords European Union Committee was cited in the report Europe in the world: Towards a more effective EU foreign and security strategy.[7] The committee noted:

46. It became clear in the course of our inquiry into EU-Russia relations that the current confrontation is driven both by Russian domestic and political considerations and the geopolitical ambitions of the current Russian administration. Even a settlement in Ukraine will not guarantee that the Union will be able return to harmonious relations with Russia. Therefore, the future of EU-Russia relations, the security of neighbours such as Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, as well as the long-term alignment of countries such as Azerbaijan and Armenia--neither of which, in the words of Professor Elena Korosteleva, Mr Igor Merheim-Eyre, Ms Eske Van Gils and Ms Irena Mnatsakanyan, Global Europe Centre, University of Kent, "enjoys very close relations with the EU"--remain in the balance.

Widening the European dialogue in Moldova

Korosteleva was commissioned by the Slovak Atlantic Commission as principal investigators to undertake a nationwide representative survey in Moldova between 19 October and 7 November 2013 aimed at measuring public knowledge, perceptions and preferences in relation to the EU and its policies.

The key findings[8] suggest public support of the EU and its policies has slightly eroded, which is reflected in the respondents' perceptions, levels of interest, attitudes and behavioural preferences. The EU remains attractive for Moldova - but is not a default option yet. It requires continuous reinforcement: the fear of uncertainty and negative anticipations of change currently prevail in public perceptions of the EU, causing a loss of trust, and reciprocity in EU-Moldova relations. The Eurasian Customs Union (ECU), on the contrary, tends to be seen as a model which may potentially offer a quick-fix solution for stability, prosperity and security

Belarus and Eastern Partnership: National and European values

Korosteleva was commissioned by the Office for Democratic Belarus as principal investigators to undertake a nationwide representative survey in Belarus between 20 May and 4 June 2013 focusing on the country's relations with the EU and the (Eurasian) Customs Union (ECU); as well as public perceptions, values, and attitudes towards the afore-mentioned entities.

Three particular trends are observable in Belarus's public relations:[9]

  • Comparative trends demonstrate a positive and substantive shift in public attitudes towards the EU; reflected in higher levels of awareness, more knowledge about EU structures and policies, more interest in EU affairs, more perceivable commonalities with the EU as a polity, more appreciation of EU support, and most importantly, identity-based preferences developing in relation to the latter.
  • At the same time, normative underpinnings of public behaviour remain firmly rooted in cultural traditions and historical legacies of the past.
  • Levels of awareness about the (Eurasian) Customs Union (ECU) are relatively high (90%). Importantly, the majority of respondents see the ECU as more relevant in addressing immediate economic and energy security concerns.

European External Action Service (EEAS)

Korosteleva's evidence,submitted to the United Kingdom House of Lords European Union Committee was cited in the report on the European External Action Service.[10] The committee noted:

52. Professor Elena Korosteleva (University of Kent) has studied Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova, three of the Eastern Partnership countries. She had observed that the EEAS could be beneficial both as a global force and for overcoming divisions in government and institutions, but thought that a number of management problems needed to be addressed to achieve coherence and continuity in competences at the lower levels of the EEAS, especially in delegations. She also advocated a clearer delineation of roles and responsibilities in relation to Member States and efforts to engage with host countries. Structural reform was needed to replace divided structures, loyalties and competences by "collective service to the common good."

European Neighbourhood Policy Research and Eastern Partnership Initiative Research (ENP\EaP Research)

Korosteleva's primary research focus is on the conceptual and methodological limitations of the Eastern Partnership initiative, especially concerning the notion of partnership, as the focal point of the initiative. Through a major ESRC research project she examines the EU's relations with Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova in contrast to the international relations approach adopted by Russia. She notes that the top-down EU-centric governance approach (based on EU rule and norm transfer) clashes with the notion of partnership, which is based on reciprocal exchange and co-operation on issues of mutual interest.

Korosteleva's research of the existing EU practices in Eastern Europe has so far revealed two-level tensions.

First, from the examination of official documents, elite interviews and public surveys across the EU border, it has transpired that conceptually the EU has limited uniform awareness of what it is trying to promote in its eastern neighbourhood under the aegis of 'shared values', 'collective norms' and 'joint ownership'. Not only is there a discrepancy in the EU's own rhetoric - juxtaposing its 'universalist' values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law (Europeanisation), with its 'realist' security 'needs' to protect its borders and safeguard its own citizenry (securitisation); there is also an evident clash of the EU's vision of good governance with what the neighbours perceive to be such, stemming from their own unique historical experiences and cultural traditions.

Second, empirically, the EU seems to favour a 'top-down' governance approach (based on rule/norm transfer and conditionality) in its relations with outsiders, which is clearly at odds with a voluntary idea of 'partnership', and explicitly limits the input of 'the other' in the process of reform. In the absence of a workable notion of partnership, external governance (unintentionally) circumscribes the EU's actions to the EU-centred vision of governance, without necessarily connecting it to the 'visions' and 'needs' of the partner states. Consequently, without the substantive knowledge of its partners, the EU encounters protraction even from the most 'enthusiastic' neighbours, such as Moldova and Ukraine; and resistance from those who are not sufficiently motivated by the 'universal' appeal of EU governance.

Research outputs

Korosteleva's The European Union and its Eastern Neighbours: Towards a more ambitious partnership? (2012) explores the EU's relations with its eastern neighbours. Based on the extensive original research - including surveys, focus-groups, a study of school essays and in-depth interviews with key people in Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Russia and in Brussels - it assesses why the EU's initiatives have received limited legitimacy in the neighbourhood has been so poorly received.

The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) of 2004, and the subsequent Eastern Partnership (EaP) of 2009 heralded a new form of relations with the EU's neighbours - partnership based on joint ownership and shared values - which would complement if not entirely replace the EU's traditional governance framework used for enlargement. These initiatives, however, have received a mixed response from the EU's eastern neighbours. It shows how the key elements of "partnership" have been forged mainly by the EU, rather than jointly, and examines the idea and application of external governance, and how this has been over-prescriptive and confusing.

Korosteleva's second major publication from this research is an edited volume entitled Eastern Partnership: A New Opportunity for the Neighbours? (2011). This book, written in partnership with in country experts, offers a collective assessment of the development and impact of the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership Initiative on its eastern neighbours - Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova in particular, with Russia's added perspective. The volume uniquely bridges the perspectives of all parties across the EU's eastern border, in an attempt to understand advantages and problems related to the effective implementation of the EU policies in the eastern region. The undertaken research points to the prevalence of the top-down and conditional governance approach in EU treatment of the outsiders, which is not only Eurocentric and prescriptive in nature, but also falls short of the declared partnership principles. Without the understanding of partners' internal dilemmas and needs, which could only be achieved through the equivalence and reciprocity of partnership, the EU would struggle to make the policy effective and legitimate in the region, and to buttress its reputation as a 'credible force for good' on the international arena.

'The Quality of Democracy'

Korosteleva working with Derek Hutcheson (eds) explore how the countries of the former Eastern Bloc and Soviet Union have exhibited remarkable diversity in their post-communist regime paths in The Quality of Democracy in Post-Communist Europe (2005). They argue that whereas some states have become demonstrably more democratic and have moved in the space of fifteen years from the periphery to the centre of European politics, in others the political and economic climates seem hardly to be better, and their societies no more free, than in the final years of the Cold War. Assessing progress towards democracy in the former Eastern Bloc - or the lack of it - requires a qualitative examination of post-communist polities. This research brings together a number of perspectives, both macro and micro-analytical, on the 'quality' of democracy in post-communist Europe.

Belarusian politics

Korosteleva with Colin Lawson and Rosalind Marsh (eds) argue in Contemporary Belarus between Democracy and Dictatorship (2003) that Belarus is unique among the states of the former Soviet bloc, in that after a decade of transition', the country remains stalled' and backward-oriented. Political and economic changes are characterised by half-measures, and recently a new suppression of dissent has been introduced; the country balances between the prospect of democracy and a retreat to authoritarianism. These developments contrast starkly with the many democratic changes in neighbouring states and suggest a possible alternative path for future development in Eastern Europe. Korosteleva provides a thorough overview of current developments in Belarus. It looks at historical, political, economic and social changes, and at international relations, especially relations with Russia and the European Union, considering all these factors both in their domestic and international contexts and defines the type of democracy, if any, which exists in Belarus, exploring the prospects for further democratisation.

Korosteleva with Stephen White and John Lowenhardt (eds) continue the analysis of Belarusian politics in Post Communist Belarus (2005). They note that Belarus is one of the least studied European states to emerge from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. In fact, few Western specialists paid much attention to its affairs during the Soviet era. Nevertheless, Belarus constitutes an important and sensitive border region between Russia and the western part of the continent. In Postcommunist Belarus, a stellar group of contributors examines the issues and the search for identity that Belarus has confronted in the period leading up to and following independence. The country is run in an authoritarian fashion by President Alexander Lukashenko and many observers, both inside and outside Belarus, would use the term "dictatorship" to describe his rule. Belarusian authorities prefer to emphasise the strong support of the people for the president and his cautious approach to economic reform. It seems unlikely that the country can hold out permanently against the wider pressures of democratisation and economic reform that are transforming its neighbours. The country's situation offers political scientists many facets for comparison with established models. Belarus is grappling with challenges that are conceptual and psychological as much as they are political, economic, and social.

Teaching recognition

Korosteleva is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and was awarded the Higher Education Academy BISA-CSAP Teaching Award for Excellence in Teaching International Studies in 2009;.[11]

Pedagogic research

Korosteleva has published [12] on pedagogical enhancement of teaching and learning in higher education using threshold knowledge.

Korosteleva has undertaken research, funded by the Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics (C-SAP) on emergent learning.[13]

Selected publications


  • Korosteleva, E.A, (2012),The European Union and its Eastern Neighbours: Towards a more ambitious partnership? London: BASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies, ISBN 0-415-61261-6[14][15][16][17]
  • Korosteleva, E.A, (1997), Intellektual v socio-kul'turnom kontekste sovremennogo obschestva: dialektika proshlogo i budushchego [The Intellectual in a socio-cultural context of the modern society: the dialectics of the past and the future], ISBN 985-6390-07-9 Minsk: VEDY,(soft cover)


  • Korosteleva, E., Paikin, Z. and Paduano, S., (2019), [3] 'Five Years After Maidan: Towards a Greater EUrasia?. LSE IDEAS'.
  • Korosteleva, E., (2016), [4] The EU and Belarus: seizing the opportunity Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies, November 2016.

Single edited books

  • Korosteleva E.A, (Ed.), (2011), Eastern Partnership: A New Opportunity for the Neighbours?, London: Routledge, ISBN 0-415-67607-X[18][19]
  • Korosteleva E.A, (Ed.), (2011), Vostochnoe Partnerstvo: problemy i perspektivy [Eastern Partnership: problems and perspectives], Minsk: Belarusian State University, ISBN 978-985-491-088-8

Jointly edited books

  • (with) Merheim-Eyre, I. and van Gils, E.(Eds.), (2018), The Politics' and 'The Political' of the Eastern Partnership Initiative: Reshaping the Agenda, London: Routledge, ISBN 978-0-8153-5898-5
  • (with) Natorski, M. and Simao, L.(Eds.), (2014), EU Policies in the Eastern Neighbourhood: the practices perspective, London: Routledge, ISBN 0415720575
  • (with) Hutcheson, D. (Eds.,), (2006), The Quality of Democracy in Post-Communist Europe, London: Routledge, ISBN 0-415-34807-2
  • (with) White, S. and Löwenhardt, J. (Eds.), (2005), Postcommunist Belarus, N.Y. & Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield, ISBN 0-7425-3555-X
  • (with) Marsh, R and Lawson, C. (Eds.), (2003), Contemporary Belarus: Between Democracy and Dictatorship, London: RoutledgeCurzon, ISBN 0-7007-1613-0


  • "The Challenges of a Changing Eastern Neighbourhood, in Schumacher, T., Marchetti, A. and Demmelhuber, T,, (eds.), Routledge Handbook on the European Neighbourhood Policy. London: Routledge, (London: Routledge, 2017)
  • "EU and Russia: Prospects for Cohabitation in the Contested Region, in Lane, D and Samokhvalov, V., (eds.), The Eurasian Project and Europe: Regional Discontinuities and Geopolitics, (London: Palgrave, 2015)
  • "The EU and its Eastern Neighbours: why 'othering' matters", in Nicolaidis, K. and B. Sebe (eds.), Echoes of Empire: Echoes of Empire: Memory, Identity and the Legacy of Imperialism (London: Tauris, 2015)
  • "Belarus: Neither with the EU nor the ECU?", in Dutkiewicz, P., Sakwa, R. et al. (eds.) Eurasia - From Contested Concept to Emerging Integration (London: Routledge, 2014)
  • "Questioning Democracy Promotion: Belarus' Response to the Coloured Revolutions", in Finkel, E. and Brudny, Y. (eds.) Coloured Revolutions and Authoritarian Reactions (Yale University Press, 2014)
  • "Belarus : political party system", in Sagar, D (ed.) Political Parties of the World (London : Harper Publishers, 2008), 7th edition
  • "Party system development in Belarus 1988-2001: Myths and Realities", in Kulik, A. and Pshizova, S (eds.) Political Parties in Post-Soviet Space: Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, and the Baltics ( London : Praeger Publishers, 2005), pp. 59-75. ISBN 0-275-97344-1
  • (with Rontoyanni, C.) "Belarus: an authoritarian exception from the model of post-communist democratic transition?", in Flockhart, T.(ed.) Socializing Democratic Norms: The Role of International Organisations for the Construction of Europe (London: Palgrave, 2005), pp. 202-232. ISBN 1-4039-4521-7
  • "Why Belarus is unique: explaining institutional and electoral allegiances", in Elo, K and Ruutu, K. (eds.) Russia and the CIS - Janus-faced Democracies (Helsinki : Kikimora Publications, 2005), pp. 89-107. ISBN 952-10-2586-7
  • "Belarus : political party system", in Szajkowski, B (ed.) Political Parties of the World (London : Harper Publishers, 2004), 6th edition, pp. 52-56. ISBN 0-9543811-4-9
  • "Political leadership and public support in Belarus : Forward to the past?", in Lewis, A. (ed.) The EU and Belarus: Between Moscow and Brussels (London: Kogan Page, 2002), pp. 51-71 ISBN 1-903403-02-2
  • "Perspectives on democratic party development in Belarus ", in Lewis, P. (ed.) Party Development and Democratic Change in Post-Communist Europe - the First Decade (London: Frank Cass, 2001), pp. 141-152 ISBN 0-7146-5155-9

UK Parliamentary References


  1. ^ User, Super. "The European Institute for International Law and International Relations (EIIR) - Prof Dr Elena Korosteleva". The European Institute for International Law and International Relations (EIIR). Retrieved 2021.
  2. ^ "Elena KOROSTELEVA | College of Europe".
  3. ^ "Cambridge Journal of Eurasian Studies". Cambridge Journal of Eurasian Studies. 22 November 2016. Archived from the original on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  4. ^ "GCRF-COMPASS: Capacity-building in Eastern Neighbourhood and Central Asia: Research integration, impact governance and sustainable communities - Dimensions".
  5. ^ "University academics lead on research grants worth £7.8 million - University of Kent".
  6. ^ https://www.erasmusplus.org.uk/file/4194/download
  7. ^ House of Lords, European Union Committee, Europe in the world: Towards a more effective EU foreign and security strategy, The Stationery Office Limited, 16 February 2016, Para. 46.
  8. ^ "CEPI presents a public opinion poll in Chisinau".
  9. ^ "Democratic Belarus | Mein Dating Blog". Archived from the original on 1 November 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  10. ^ House of Lords, European Union Committee, The EU's External Action Service Report, The Stationery Office Limited, 19 March 2013, 52-59.
  11. ^ http://www.c-sap.bham.ac.uk/conferences/nov_conf_09/awards_joint.html BISA C-SAP Joint Teaching Award 2009
  12. ^ Korosteleva, E.A. (2010). "Threshold Concept Through Enactive Learnings: How Effective Are They in the Study of European Politics?". International Studies Perspectives. 11: 37-50. doi:10.1111/j.1528-3585.2009.00391.x.
  13. ^ "Blackboard Collaborate".
  14. ^ "Books reviewed November 2012". International Affairs. 88 (6): 1389. 2012. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2346.2012.01137.x.
  15. ^ Book review: Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, Volume 12, Issue 3, 2012 [1]
  16. ^ Book review: Eastern Journal of European Studies, Volume 4, Issue 2, December 2013 [2]
  17. ^ Book review: Europe Asia Studies, Volume 66, Issue 2, 2014
  18. ^ Book review: Journal of Contemporary European Research, Volume 8, Issue 4 (2012) Volume 8, http://www.jcer.net/index.php/jcer/article/download/501/370
  19. ^ Book review: Journal of Borderland Studies, Volume 27, Issue 3 (2012) http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/08865655.2012.750955

External links

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