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

His work investigates how political groups and governments use algorithms, automation and technology to manipulate public opinion. He also studies how people employ technologies to increase civic engagement in authoritarian settings. His current research utilizes social data science to study disinformation on fringe social media platforms and disruptive anti-vaccination movements. Aliaksandr is part of the Oxford Martin Programme on Misinformation, Science and Media.

Aliaksandr completed his doctorate at the Westminster School of Media and Communication, University of Westminster, where he also worked as a research associate. 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 digital leaders 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 powerful than others.

Before pursuing his doctorate, Aliaksandr received a Master of Arts in European Studies from Aarhus University (Denmark). He also holds degrees in 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 University College London, University of Portsmouth, University of Westminster and Middlesex University. He was involved in teaching subjects related to digital methods, political communication, digital activism, communication theories and media production. He was a fellow at German Marshal Fund of the United States.

Research Interests:

political communication, computational methods, digital media, social movements, political disinformation, messaging platforms.

Position held at OII:

  • Postdoctoral Researcher, April 2020 –


Current projects

  • Resistance to Resilience: Oxford Martin Initiative on Vaccine Misinformation

    Participants: Professor Phillip Howard, Dr Jonathan Bright, Dr Aleksi Knuutila, Dr Aliaksandr Herasimenka

    This project builds on existing data science to understand the extent to which credible public health information is outweighed by false content on social media and measure the effectiveness of public health communication responses in real‐time.





Integrity Statement

In the past five years my work has been financially supported by the Global Challenges Research Fund, Open Society Foundations, the oneworld Alliance and the German Marshall Fund of the United States. As part of my science communication and policy outreach, I have served in an unpaid advisory capacity to the World Health Organisation.

I conduct my research in line with the University's academic integrity code of practice.