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Personal profile

Biography

I am a political sociologist interested in media, political communication, and political cognition in autocracies, with a specific focus on Russia. Currently, I am a Leverhulme Early Career Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Russian and East-European Studies at the University of Manchester. Before joining the University of Manchester, I was a postdoctoral fellow at King’s Russia Institute at King’s College London (2021 - 2023), where I remain a research associate. I hold a PhD in Social Sciences from the University of Helsinki and an MA in Sociology from the European University at Saint-Petersburg.

I am also a member of the Public Sociology Laboratory, a research group analysing politics and society in Russia and the post-Soviet region in comparative perspective, and an affiliate of the International Panel on the Information Environment, an organisation dedicated to providing actionable scientific knowledge on threats to the global information landscape.

Research interests

My research relies on qualitative and quantitative methods to explore how citizens make sense of the political world in authoritarian environments and in new hybrid media systems.

In my PhD dissertation, I relied on qualitative methods and the conceptual apparatus of cognitive and political psychology to understand media news reception under Russia’s authoritarian regime. The dissertation explored how political engagement affects the ways citizens evaluate the credibility of regime propaganda and interpret political information in a hybrid media system in which the regime attempts to spread similar narratives simultaneously across different types of media, including television, news aggregators, online news media, and social media.

Currently, I work on the project Reflexive Propaganda: Authoritarian Political Communication in a Hybrid Information Environment supported by the Leverhulme Trust. The project relies on a combination of a series of online experiments and computational analysis of social media data to explore how authoritarian propaganda adapts to contemporary saturated media environments by exploiting citizens' reflexivity and awareness of manipulation.

My research has been published in a variety of disciplinary and area studies journals, including Political Communication, Nature Human Behaviour, Politics, Qualitative Psychology, and Europe-Asia Studies.

I also use my expertise to contribute to public discussion by writing for non-academic media and commenting on current affairs. I have made multiple appearances on TV and radio, including BBC, Al Jazeera, CBC, Voice of America, Deutsche Welle. My commentary, analysis, and research have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME Magazine, The Times, Al Jazeera, Foreign Affairs, Newsweek, France 24, The Moscow Times, Open Democracy, and other outlets.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Affiliate, International Panel on the Information Environment

Research Associate, King's College London

Researcher, Public Sociology Laboratory

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures

Keywords

  • political communication
  • political psychology
  • digital media
  • hybrid media systems
  • disinformation
  • propaganda
  • authoritarianism
  • qualitative methods
  • experiments
  • text as data

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