Center for Spatial Analysis in International Relations

The Center for Spatial Analysis in International Relations (within the structure of the Institute for International Studies of MGIMO University) is the first ever scientific lab of its kind.

The Center was founded in 2019, based on two previously existing MGIMO entities: the Center for Regional Political Studies and the Geopolitical Studies Club.

The research conducted at the Center is focused on the transformation of the spatial structure of international relations, territorial differentiation on internal political processes that have an impact on a countries’ foreign policy, and also regional and cross-border aspects of world politics. The Center’s aim is to conduct advanced research in the field of international relations employing empirical methods of spatial analysis (mapping, clustering and modeling in GIS), spatial econometrics, electoral geography, and critical geopolitics.

To collect basic empirical data, the Center conducts scientific field expeditions that also include sociological polling and expert in-depth interviews. The employees of the Center have already conducted many field expeditions, including visits to Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Moldova, Georgia, Kazakhstan, China, and many border regions of Russia.

The Center is oriented towards international cooperation and participates in joint scientific projects with the colleagues from the US, Western Europe and CIS countries. The Center’s researchers actively participate in the activities of the IPSA Research Committee for Geopolitics.

The lab is also an educational and resource hub for research employing spatial analysis in different humanitarian and social disciplines, primarily in political and human geography. In addition to regular full time researchers, the Center also invites external experts and interns, including MA and PhD students from MGIMO and other universities.

The director and professorial research fellow of the Center is Dr. Igor Okunev.


Igor Okunev Igor Okunev

Ph.D. (Cand. Polit. Sc.) in Political Science, Associate Professor


+7 495 234-83-84