Maxim Alyukov is a postdoctoral fellow at King’s Russia Institute. He is also a researcher with an independent research group Public Sociology Laboratory. Maxim holds a PhD in social sciences from the University of Helsinki and an MA in sociology from the European University at Saint-Petersburg.
Maxim’s 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. He also contributes to the public discussion by writing for non-academic media, such as The Moscow Times, Open Democracy, Riddle Russia, and making appearances on TV and radio, including BBC, Al Jazeera, Deutsche Welle, Voice of America, CBC. His commentary and research have featured in outlets including Al Jazeera, New York Times, Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Time Magazine, The Times, The Economist, Newsweek, France 24, The Moscow Times, Open Democracy, Coda Story, and many others.
Maxim’s research focuses on media, political communication, and political cognition in autocracies with a particular focus on Russia. He 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 his PhD dissertation, Maxim applied the conceptual apparatuses of cognitive and political psychology to understand media news reception under Russia’s authoritarian regime. The dissertation explored how political engagement affects the ways Russian citizens interpret the news about the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict and evaluate credibility of the regime propaganda. In addition, it focused on how citizens 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, Maxim continues his work on media reception and extends his research agenda to focus on political cognition in autocracies more generally. Relying on mixed and quasi-experimental methods, he investigates the social aspects of political cognition in authoritarian environments.
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