Dr Aliaksandr Herasimenka

Oxford Martin Fellow

Aliaksandr is a postdoctoral researcher and Director of Research at the Programme on Democracy and Technology at the Oxford Internet Institute.

His work investigates how political groups and governments use algorithms and technologies to manipulate public opinion. He also studies how people adopt technologies to increase political engagement in authoritarian settings. His current research utilises social data science to study disinformation on fringe digital platforms disseminated by sceptic and contrarian movements.

Aliaksandr completed his doctorate at the Westminster School of Media and Communication, University of Westminster. His dissertation investigated how the authoritarian contexts of Belarus and Russia shape newer forms of grassroots leadership and digitally-enabled political organising. This work showed how civic leaders have built ad hoc shadowed organisational structures and deployed vast digital communication ecologies to address authoritarian surveillance and censorship. The study explained why some anti-authoritarian movements are more sustainable than others.

Aliaksandr also holds degrees in European Studies from Aarhus University (Denmark), as well as Political Science and Computer Science. Aliaksandr worked as a journalist, an editor and a media coordinator in an international NGO. He also held visiting and graduate assistant teaching positions at Middlesex University, University College London, University of Portsmouth, and University of Westminster. He taught such subjects as digital methods, political communication, digital activism, communication theories and media production. He was a fellow at German Marshal Fund of the United States.