The core members of the UPTAKE team are:

Viacheslav Morozov is Professor of EU-Russia Studies at the University of Tartu and Chair of the Council of the Centre for EU-Russia Studies. Before moving to Tartu, he taught for 13 years at his alma mater, the St. Petersburg State University, Russia, where he defended his PhD in world history in 1997. Professor Morozov has published extensively on Russian national identity and foreign policy, and, more recently, on Russian domestic affairs. His recent research focuses on how Russia’s political and social development has been conditioned by the country’s position in the international system. This approach has been laid out in his most recent monograph Russia’s Postcolonial Identity: A Subaltern Empire in a Eurocentric World (Palgrave, 2015), while the comparative dimension was explored in the edited volume Decentring the West: The Idea of Democracy and the Struggle for Hegemony (Ashgate, 2013). In UPTAKE, Prof Morozov is the leader of work package 2 (Annual Conference) and a member of the Steering Group.

Elena Korosteleva is Professor of International Politics and Jean Monnet Chair in European Politics at the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent. She is a co-founder and co-director of the Global Europe Centre at Kent, British Academy research fellow, BASEES and CEELBAS executive committee member, and a founding member of the Brussels-based Eastern Partnership Advancement Centre (EPAC). Sociologist by training, Elena runs regular surveys of the Eastern Partnership region, and is a Visiting Professorial Fellow of the Belarusian, Moldovan and Armenian State Universities. She has published widely on the EU’s  Eastern Neighbourhood. Her recent subject-specific monographs include EU Policies in the Eastern Neighbourhood: the practices perspective (Routledge 2014), The EU and Its Eastern Neighbours: towards a more ambitious partnership? (Routledge 2012) and Eastern Partnership: A New Opportunity for the Neighbours? (Routledge 2011). Prof Korosteleva is the leader of UPTAKE work package 5 (Summer and Winter schools) and a member of the Steering Group.

Stefan Hedlund is Professor and Research Director at the Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES) at Uppsala University, Sweden. Trained as an economist, he has specialized in Russian affairs since the final days of Leonid Brezhnev, in the early 1980s. Over the years, his research interests have branched far outside the economics box, to include, above all, a devouring interest in Russian history. He has published extensively, on matters ranging from the Soviet system, to post-Soviet transition, and institutional dimensions of the interaction between state and market in a modern economy. His most recent monographs are Putin’s Energy Agenda: The Contradictions of Russia’s Resource Wealth (Lynne Rienner, 2014) and Invisible Hands, Russian Experience and Social Science: Approaches to Understanding Systemic Failure (Cambridge University Press, 2011). Prof Hedlund is the leader of UPTAKE work package 4 (Collaborative Projects and Workshops) and a member of the Steering Group.

CasierTom Casier is Academic Director of the Brussels School of International Studies, University of Kent,  as well as Jean Monnet Chair and Senior Lecturer in International Relations. He is Deputy Director of the Global Europe Centre. He is also Visiting Professor at the University of Leuven (KULeuven), where he lectures on political developments in Central and Eastern Europe. Previously held positions include Researcher of the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research at KULeuven, Lecturer at EIPA (European Institute of Public Administration) in Maastricht and at EHSAL in Brussels. From 2003 to 2007 he was Assistant Professor at the University of Maastricht, where he was also founding Director of the MA in European Studies. Currently, Dr Casier coordinates a Jean Monnet Multilateral Research Group (MRG) on EU-Russia relations, with the Universities of Carleton, St. Petersburg State University and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. In UPTAKE, Dr Casier is a member of the Steering Group.

Heiko Pääbo is Lecturer of Politics of the Baltic Sea Region states and the Head of the Centre for Baltic Studies at the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies, University of Tartu. He received his PhD from Tartu (2011). Dr Pääbo’s research focuses on memory politics and politics of the Baltic Sea Region. He has published on collective memory based conflicts, identity issues, and Estonian memory politics. He has written chapters about politics and international relations for high school and higher education textbooks, and he is also responsible for Tartu’s participation in two International Master programme consortia (IMESS with UCL and CEERES with Glasgow). Dr Pääbo leads UPTAKE work package 3 (Staff Exchange and Academic Mobility).

Berg_vEiki Berg is Professor of International Relations at the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies, University of Tartu. His research focuses on critical geopolitics, the study of borders and border regions, contested states, territoriality and sovereignty. He has published widely in leading peer-reviewed journals on bordering practices, identity politics and power-sharing in post-conflict settings. He is co-editor of Routing Borders Between Territories, Discourses and Practices (Ashgate, 2003) and Identity and Foreign Policy: Baltic-Russian Relations and European Integration (Ashgate, 2009). In 2003-2004 he served as member of the Estonian Parliament and observer to the European Parliament, EPP-ED faction, Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy. In 2012, he received the National Science Award in Social Sciences for research on “Identities, Conflicting Self-Determination and De Facto States”. Prof Berg is a member of the UPTAKE Steering Group.

Vello Pettai is Professor of Comparative Politics at the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies, University of Tartu. He specializes in post-communist democratization, including elections, party system development and institutional change. He has published in World Politics, Europe-Asia Studies, East European Politics and Societies. In 2015, he co-authored (with Eva-Clarita Pettai) the book Transitional and Retrospective Justice in the Baltic States (Cambridge University Press), which laid out a new framework for the study of truth and justice politics in the post-communist world. Most recently, Prof Pettai received a four-year Personal Research Grant from the Estonian Research Council for an in-depth, regional study of the Varieties of Democracy database. For over 10 years Vello Pettai has served as an expert for the Economist Intelligence Unit, Freedom House’s Nations in Transit and the Bertelsmann Transformation Index. He served on the Executive Committee of the European Consortium for Political Research for six years. Between 2005-2015 he was also a member of the High Council of European University Institute, serving as President during 2012-13. In UPTAKE, Prof Pettai will serve as a member of the Steering Group.

Leonid Polishchuk is an economist with broad interests and expertise in social and economic development, political economy, institutions, culture, and policy reform. Throughout his career he held academic appointments in Russia (Higher School of Economics, Moscow), Canada (University of British Columbia, Vancouver), US (University of Maryland at College Park and California Institute of Technology) and in Sweden (University of Uppsala). He has published extensively in academic journals and monographs in the above thematic areas.  His current research is on the role of institutions and culture in transition and developing countries, and especially on the impact of norms and values for the quality of governance, political participation, and other outcomes. Dr Polishchuk has participated in a large number of international development and capacity building projects, including programs funded by the US International Development Agency, the World Bank, and the UNDP. Dr Polishchuk is a member of the UPTAKE Steering Group.

Piret Ehin is Senior Researcher at the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies at the University of Tartu and founding Director of the Centre for EU-Russia Studies at the same institution. Her research interests include democracy, legitimacy and political support, European integration and Europeanization, and international relations in the Baltic Sea region. Her work has appeared in the European Journal of Political Research, Journal of Common Market Studies, Cooperation and Conflict, Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties and the Journal of Baltic Studies. She has co-edited a book on Russian-Baltic relations in the context of European integration (Ashgate, 2009) and has extensively studied the ethnic cleavage in Estonian politics. She is the Estonian country collaborator for cross-national survey projects such as the European Election Studies (EES) and the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES). Dr Ehin is the Coordinator of the UPTAKE project, acting as the leader of work package 1 (Management).

Maili Vilson is PhD Candidate in Political Science and Research Communication specialist at the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies. Her dissertation focuses on the discursive construction of neighbours in the European Neighbourhood Policy. Her research interests include EU foreign policy, democratisation, EU Eastern and Southern neighbourhood. Building on her previous extensive experience with university marketing, communication and web administration, Maili Vilson serves as the leader of UPTAKE work package 6 (Dissemination and Communication).


Varje Kuut is Senior Specialist for international projects at the University of Tartu. She has been involved in the administration of international projects financed by the Council of the Baltic Sea States, European Commission, the Nordic Council of Ministers and various other national and international foundations. Varje Kuut is responsible for administrative and financial issues in the consortium.