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About me

Who I am

I am a Research Associate and a Visiting Lecturer at the Westminster School of Media and Communications, University of Westminster. My work lies at the interface of political communication, political science and technology studies focusing on authoritarian states use social media to manipulate public opinion. I specialise in political communication, social movements, authoritarian manipulation and computational methods of social science.

My Degrees

I hold a PhD from University of Westminster, an MA in European Studies from Aarhus University (Denmark) and a BA in Political Science from European Humanities University (Vilnius, Lithuania).

My Other Experience

I also held teaching positions at UCL, University of Portsmouth and Middlesex University. I worked as a journalist and an editor, as well as a media coordinator in an international NGO.


At the University of Westminster, I was involved in teaching the following modules:


- Media and Globalization

- Media and Society

- Transforming Audiences 

- Information Society


- Researching Media and Communication

- Digital Media: Development and Production 

- Media, Activism & Politics

I also supervise postgraduate dissertations in the areas of social media, social movements, political communication, digital technologies and media management.


I completed my doctorate at the Westminster School of Media and Communication, University of Westminster. My dissertation investigated how digital dissidents in Belarus and Russia used social media platforms to organise and disseminate information. This work analysed how they build ad hoc, segmented and shadowed organisational configurations and deploy vast digital communication infrastructures to address surveillance and censorship. The dissertation challenged the idea that authoritarian regimes have neared full co-optation of the internet.

Recent publications

Denisova, A., & Herasimenka, A. (2019). How Russian Rap on YouTube Advances Alternative Political Deliberation: Hegemony, Counter-Hegemony, and Emerging Resistant Publics. Social Media + Society, 5(2), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305119835200

Herasimenka, A. “Information and Communication Technologies and New Possibilities of Political Participation in Belarus.” In: The Fifth International Congress of Belarusian Studies Working Papers. Volume 5. Kaunas, Lithuania: Vytautas Magnus University Press, 2016. http://icbs.palityka.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/01_herasimenka.pdf

Herasimenka, A. “The New Technologies of the Information and Communication and Possibilities of Political Participation in Non-Democratic Countries (the Case of Belarus).” In: Candon-Mena, J. (ed.). Proceedings of the First International Congress on Social Movements and ICT Move.net. Sevilla, Spain: Compoliticas, 2016. https://congreso-move.net/2016/07/11/actas-del-i-congreso-internacional-move-net/

Herasimenka, A. “The role of social media in transition of power in authoritarian regimes.” In R. Minenkov (Chief ed.), Europe - 2011: The global and the local. Vilnius, Lithuania: EHU, 2012.

Other Publications (dissemination of research results)

Herasimenka, A., & Kavada, A. (2020, January). How ‘WhatsApp group admin’ became one of the most powerful jobs in politics. The Conversationhttp://theconversation.com/how-whatsapp-group-admin-became-one-of-the-most-powerful-jobs-in-politics-126041

Herasimenka, A. “What’s behind Alexei Navalny’s digital challenge to Vladimir Putin’s regime? Five things to know.” Washington Post, Monkey Cage. 2018, February 23. www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/02/23/whats-behind-alexei-navalnys-digital-challenge-to-vladimir-putins-regime-5-things-to-know

Herasimenka, A. “The death of democracy.” Capçalera: revista del Collegi de Periodistes de Catalunya, Issue 178. Collegi de Periodistes de Catalunya, 2018. ISSN 1135-1047. (In Catalan)

Herasimenka, A. “How 2017 became a year of widespread protests in Belarus.” Belarus-Analysen, Issue 34, November. Bremen, Germany: Forschungsstelle Osteuropa, 2017. ISBN 2192-1350. http://www.laender-analysen.de/belarus/pdf/BelarusAnalysen34.pdf (In German)

Herasimenka, A. “Ales Herasimenka: What is the difference between the latest wave of protests in Belarus from the previous.” Nasha Niva. 2017, January 4. nn.by/?c=ar&i=185684 (in Belarusian).

Herasimenka, A. “Political participation and internet platforms: How new communication technologies help Belarusian civic activists.” In: Chulitskaya, T., Ivanou, U., and Stsiapanau, A. (eds.). Politics and Society in Belarus. Issue 1, Vilnius, 2016. ISBN 978-9955-773-96-2. http://www.kas.de/wf/doc/kas_47507-1522-2-30.pdf?161220135156    

Herasimenka, A. “Belarus. The two hidden mechanisms of media censorship.” New Eastern Europe. 2016, May 18. www.neweasterneurope.eu/articles-and-commentary/1997-belarus-the-two-hidden-mechanisms-of-media-censorship 

Herasimenka, A. “A Businessman’s Arrest and the Decline of a Regime.” New Eastern Europe. 2015, May 12. www.neweasterneurope.eu/articles-and-commentary/1581-a-businessman-s-arrest-and-the-decline-of-a-regime