Portrait of Professor Elena Korosteleva

Professor Elena Korosteleva

Professor of International Politics
Director of the Global Europe Centre (Professional Studies)


Elena Korosteleva is Professor of International Politics, and Jean Monnet Chair of European Politics, which she was awarded twice by the European Commission in recognition of her research and teaching excellence. Before joining the School in 2012, Elena was Senior Lecturer in International Politics and Director of the newly established Centre for European Studies at Aberystwyth University. Drawing on this experience, in 2013 Elena successfully launched the Global Europe Centre (GEC) at Kent, in partnership with Professor Whitman. Professor Korosteleva is presently the Principal Investigator for the 3rd largest project at the University of Kent GCRF UKRI COMPASS project (ES/P010849/1, 2017-21, £4mln), supported by the British government via UKRI, to address the challenges of capacity-building in developing countries. In particular, the COMPASS project, along with its partner at the University of Cambridge, seeks to establish ‘the hubs of excellence’ at the top-level HEIs in Azerbaijan (ADA University), Belarus (BSU), Tajikistan (TNU) and Uzbekistan (UWED) for global partnership-building in the areas of research integrationimpact governance, and sustainable communities.

Elena received her Doctoral Degree in European Politics from the University of Bath (2001), and a PhD equivalent in Political Sociology from the Belarusian State University (1997). Thereafter she served as a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow, and is currently a Visiting Professor at the LSE IDEAS and the College of Europe (Natolin). Elena served as member of the International Advisory Board for the GLOBSEC and Central European Strategy Council; Professorial Fellow of the Dahrendorf Forum at LSE IDEAS, and core group member, Munich Security Conference (2018). Elena works closely with UK (Westminster, FCO, DFID, British Council, WFD, HM Embassies) and EU institutions (European Commission, External Action Service, European Parliament and regional EUDs), and EU organisations (TEPSA, IRI, CEPS), and national governments in wider Eurasia. Elena is a regular media commentator for BBC, ITV, France24, Sky News and national news channels.

Elena's research interests include the concepts of governance, resilience as self-governance, regional order-building, peoplehood and democracy promotion; EU Global Security Strategy and Foreign Policies (ENP/EaP) including relations with Russia, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and China. In 2011 Elena completed a large ESRC-funded project (RES-061-25-0001) titled 'Europeanising or securitising the outsiders: Assessing the EU's partnership-building with Eastern Europe' (2008-2011), which findings contributed towards revising EU policies in the eastern neighbourhood, with a particular focus on ‘partnership’. Recently, she also acted as CoI to the H2020 UPTAKE (EU 691818) project ‘Building Research Excellence in Russian and East European Studies’, led by the University of Tartu in partnership with Uppsala, which scored the highest evaluation mark from the European Commission for exceeding our research development targets by over 500% (please visit the project site).

Elena is currently in charge of the GCRF COMPASS project (2017-21), the largest grant in the history of the Faculty of Social Sciences, and the 3rd largest at the University of Kent; and CoI to the new GCRF AGRE project, in partnership with Durham and Oxford, working on connectivity and the effects of globalisation across the wider Eurasian region. Elena’s funding application succes  totals over £8mln, including collaboration with all major UK (GCRF, ESRC, AHRC, British Academy, FCO) and EU (H2020; EuropAid; Jean Monnet and ERASMUS+) funders.

Elena has more than 100 publications, including 10 authored and edited monographs. Her major academic articles appeared in the journals of Contemporary Security Policy; International Relations & Development; Cooperation & Conflict; Democratization; and International Relations. Elena is currently working with Dr Irina Petrova on a manuscript Change, Resilience and Adaptive Governance in wider Eurasia; and with Professor Trine Flockhart (Southern Denmark University) - on resilience and multi-order governance.

Research interests

  • Concepts of partnership, governance and order in IR and EU studies
  • Resilience, capacity-building and sustainable development
  • EU Foreign Policy and External Relations, including European Neighbourhood Policy and Eastern Partnership
  • Europe as a global order-making actor
  • Pluralising and contextualising democracy
  • EU Relations with Russia, eastern region and Central Asia
  • EU Global Security Strategy and resilience

Current Projects:

  • COI to the GCRF AGRE project 'Fostering Adaptive Governance and Resilience in Local Communities of Central Asia: from fragmented past to connected future?' In partnership with the Universities of Durham and Oxford, Prof. Korosteleva and Dr Petrova are working to build strategic partnerships for research and government relations across wider Eurasia, spanning Belarus in the west, Pakistan in the south, and Mongolia in the east. This is the 1st phase of the project aiming to prepare a full-fledged proposal to explore the effects of connectivity on local stakeholders in the region.

  • PI to the GCRF UKRI COMPASS project (ES/PO10849/1, 2017-21; £4,1mln). In partnership with Professor Siddharth Saxena from the University of Cambridge, Elena focuses on resilience and adaptive governance while developing research excellence and capacity-building with the Belarusian State University, ADA University, University of World Economy and Diplomacy in Uzbekistan and National University in Tajikistan. The project connects academic research with the world of policy and civil society. 
  • PI to EASMUS+ project (2016-2-UK01-KA107-034991, 2017-18, €90K & 2019-20, €100K) ‘Developing strategic research and multi-disciplinary partnerships with Belarusian State University’.

Recently completed projects

  • H2020 UPTAKE (EU 691818; 2016-19, €1,1mlm) project 'Building Research Excellence in Russian and East European Studies' in partnership with the Universities of Tartu and Uppsala. For more information visit the project site.
  • SIBA, Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy, EUROPAID, 2016
  • CEELBAS Development fund, a seven-member consortium, AHRC, 2014-16
  • ODB/SIDA Belarus’ values survey, 2016
  • European Partnership Fund, University of Kent, 2015
  • Slovak Atlantic Commission ‘Widening Participation in Moldova’, 2013-14
  • European Commission, Jean Monnet LLP, 2013-16
  • European Commission UK, wider community project, 2014
  • FCO/British Embassy (Minsk) project ‘Promoting Democracy by Education in Belarus’, 2013
  • ODB/SIDA project ‘Engendering European values by education in the eastern region’, 2013
  • European Commission, Jean Monnet LLP, Pilot Project ‘Teaching EU in schools’, 2012
  • European Commission, Jean Monnet Life Long Programme, 2011
  • ESRC 1st Grants Scheme ‘Assessing the EU’s partnership-building approach with Eastern Europe’, 2008-11





Professor Korosteleva is interested in supervising research degree students who wish to explore conceptually and practically, the notions of governance, order, resilience, democracy, ‘the local’ vs ‘the global’, and foreign & security policy, of the EU, Russia, China especially in relation to the expanding region of wider Eurasia.

Current research students

  • Polina Bishenden (2nd year GCRF PhD student), Gender Norms localisation in Central Asia 
  • Huawei Zheng (3rd year GCRF PhD student), Eurasian Economic Union as an order-making actor
  • Tanya Radchuk (4th year PhD student), Small States’ Foreign Policy: the Case of Belarus 

Past research students

  • Susanne Szkola (PhD, 2020), Collective identity constructions and perceptions of security in the South Caucasus (2009-2015)
  • Alisa Karpovich (MRES, 2019)
  • Miruna Beldiman (MRES, 2018)
  • Igor Merheim-Eyre (PhD, 2017), The soft-civilian power: Europe and consular affairs in a changing international system
  • Eske Van Gils (PhD, 2016) EU bargaining power: Examining EU-Azerbaijan relations
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