institute of europe
the institute of europe of the russian academy of sciences

Alekseenkova Elena Sergeyevna

Alekseenkova Elena Sergeyevna
  • Date of birth: 17.09.84
  • Place of birth: Moscow region
  • Scientific degree: Candidate of Political Sciences
  • Education:
    Russian State University for the Humanities, Faculty of History, Political Science and Law, 2001 - 2007, specialty "Political Science"
  • Postgraduate:
    Faculty of Political Science, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, 2007-2009
  • Candidate dissertation:
    “The interaction of social networks and the state in Italian politics of the twentieth century”, 2010, candidate of political sciences.
  • Position:
    Head, Centre for Italian Studies, Senior Researcher, Department of the Black Sea-Mediterranean Studies
  • Professional activities:
    2008 - 2018 - Research Fellow, Centre for Global Issues, Institute of International Studies, MGIMO-University, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.
    2009-2010 - employee of the Analytical Centre under the Government of the Russian Federation.
    2011 – 2019 - Research Manager, Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC).
    2018 - p.t. - Senior Researcher, Centre for Italian Studies of the Institute of Europe, RAS
    2019 – p.t. – Associate Professor, Faculty of world economy and world politics, Higher School of Economics
  • Scope of scientific interests:
    The party-political and socio-economic situation in the Italian Republic, Italian foreign policy, the problem of sovereignty in Italy, EU migration policy and the position of Italy,
    the problem of trust and the functioning of political institutions in Italy, the formation of political movements and anti-system social networks in the history of Italy, discourse-analysis
  • Major publications:

    (for full list, see the bibliography in Russian) 


    1. Alekseenkova E.S. Italy in the Eastern Mediterranean: between economics and geopolitics // Nauchno-analiticheskij vestnik Instituta Evropy RAN, 2020, no. 5 (17), pp.68-75. DOI:
    Abstract. The article analyzes Italian politics in the Eastern Mediterranean in the context of
    current geopolitical rivalries and conflicts. Italian relations with Turkey, that is leading an increasingly active policy in the region, are analyzed in the context of the Libyan settlement and the escalation of the conflict of Turkey with Greece and Cyprus. The conclusion is made that geopolitical escalation in the region and the need to adhere to the principles of European solidarity may negatively
    affect Italy’s ability to realize its economic interests in the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa
    1. Alekseenkova E.S. Practices of the State of Emergency: Consequences of COVID-19 to the Political System of Italy // Contemporary Europe, 2020, no.4, pp. 50-60. DOI:
    Abstract. The article is dedicated to the impact of the COVID-19 on the political system of Italy. The analysis includes the decision-making process in a state of emergency, the character of political communication and the new practices of emergency power, which arose during the pandemic and can influence the subsequent evolution of the Italian political system. Two levels of power relations (sovereignty) have been identified where the most significant changes have occurred: those are state – society relations and centre – regions relations. The pandemic has augmented the role of the executive branch in the decision-making process and of the informal negotiation practices within the elites, has led to a decrease in the role of representative institutions, and to an increase in conflict relations between the center and the regions. The author comes to the conclusion that the emerging trends will entail a new phase of the negotiation between the political forces on the issue of a transformation of the political system.
    1. Alekseenkova E. PRC Discoursive Force Against the Normative Force of the EU: The Case of Italy. Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2020, vol. 64, No 5, pp. 62-72.
    Abstract. The article analyzes China’s attempts to confront the EU’s normative power by the example of Italy joining the “Belt and Road Initiative” on March 23, 2019. The author claims that the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between Italy and China was not so much economic as political for both countries and for the European Union as a whole, which was the reason for the public criticism from Brussels of the actions of the Italian leadership. The author concludes that the political significance of the event for China lies in an attempt to publicly “overcome” the EU normative power, and for Italy, in an effort to uphold the principle of national sovereignty and position itself as an actor within the European Union, capable of influencing the process of formation of the EU normative power in interaction with third countries. At the same time, the case of Italy demonstrates that in opposing the EU normative power, the PRC uses a certain discursive strategy, which is to form a social network of trust within the country and increase the amount of social capital to a level that can influence the political decision-making process. The Italian “government of change” in this case turned out to be the most “convenient” partner, since from the very beginning it has built conflict discourse with Brussels, upholding the principle of national sovereignty in foreign and domestic policy, and thereby undermining the effectiveness of the EU normative power. Thus, the signing of the memorandum reveals the weakening of the normative force of the European Union, the effectiveness of which is being questioned not only by the “new” EU members, but also by the political leadership of one of the founding states of the Union. This reflects a very real risk that the development of the ideas of “sovereignty” can harm the EU’s international activity.
    1. Alekseenkova E. Coalitions metamorphoses in Italy: stability of instability // Coalition Governments in Contemporary Europe: chances and risks: [monograph] / [V.Ya. Schweitzer and others]. - M .: Institute of Evropy RAS, 2020. Pp. 42-50.
    1. Alekseenkova E. Italy’s European Policy: back from «Sovereign Isolation»? // Nauchno-analiticheskij vestnik IE RAN, 2019, no. 5, pp. DOI:
    Abstract. The article analyzes the change of Italian foreign policy from June 1, 2018 (the formation of the first cabinet of Giuseppe Conte) to October 2019 (the first month of the second cabinet of Giuseppe Conte). The author identifies three main phases of Italian foreign policy in this period: the first is «sovereign isolation» – the period of the most severe confrontation with Brussels and the Paris-Berlin tandem; the second is the «coalition of sovereignists» – attempts to form a coalition of like-minded people within the EU; and the third - the desire to return to the ranks of the «protagonists» of the EU.
    Selected publications in foreign languages
    1. Alekseenkova E. Russia Navigates Complex Competing Interests in the Eastern Mediterranean // In Michaël Tanchum (ed.), Eastern Mediterranean in Uncharted Waters: Perspectives on Emerging Geopolitical Realities, Ankara, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, December 2020, p.52-58.
    1. Alekseenkova E. Russia first? The New Constitution’s Impact on Domestic and Foreign Policy // Forward to the Past? New/Old Theatres of Russia’s International Projection. Edited by Aldo Ferrari and Eleonora Tafuro Ambrosetti. Milan, 2020. Pp. 13-32. DOI 10.14672/55262323 URL:
    1. Alekseenkova E. After Coronavirus: “Nuda Vita” and the “Extraordinary Power” of the Modern State// Russian International Affairs Council, April 22, 2020.
    1. Alekseenkova E. Russia during Covid-19: more power to the regions? // Russia: Centre-Periphery Relations in the Time of Covid-19. ISPI Dossier. 20.05.2020. URL:  
    1. Alekseenkova E. Absage an die „souveräne Isolation“? Italien und die Europäische Union // Welt Trends, #160, 2020.
    1. Alekseenkova E. Russia and Italy: No Breakthroughs // Russian International Affairs Council, July 8, 2019.
    1. Alekseenkova E. Connectivity Italian Style // Russian International Affairs Council, March 26, 2019.
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