Mariëlle Wijermars fellow at Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies

Mariëlle Wijermars has been awarded a CORE Fellowship from the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies for the 2022/2023 academic year.

As a fellow at the Collegium, Mariëlle will conduct a research project on ‘The Platformisation of Authoritarian Control in Russia’.

While there has been a surge in research on how authoritarian states use digital technologies to exercise control and constrain challenges to their rule, theorisation of the characteristics and dynamics of ‘networked authoritarianism’ remains limited. In particular, key aspects of how the Internet functions today – with the rise of global platforms, algorithmic recommender systems and the concentration of power in increasingly integrated digital infrastructures – have been insufficiently addressed. This project aims to reconceptualise how we understand the relationship between authoritarian regimes and digital technologies by drawing upon recent scholarship in media and communication, in particular on platformisation, and engaging with the ‘infrastructural turn’ in Internet Governance. The aim of the project is to develop a theoretical framework of platformisation of authoritarian control and test this framework on the case of Russia to provide novel insights into how digital technologies (re)shape authoritarian practices.

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