Dr Mariëlle Wijermars (M.W.)

On research leave at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies during the academic year 22/23.

Dr Mariëlle Wijermars is Assistant Professor in Cyber-Security and Politics. She conducts research on Internet governance with a focus on the impact of Internet policy on human rights, and on the framing of cyberthreats and policy responses. Her research is guided by an interest in the precarious balance between protecting citizens, infrastructures and institutions against cyberthreats and safeguarding rights and freedoms – from the right to privacy to the freedom of the press. Trained as a Russianist, her research draws upon Russia as its main empirical case study. In collaboration with Tetyana Lokot (Dublin City University), she is currently conducting a study on the global politics of Internet freedom.

Before joining FASoS, Mariëlle was a Rubicon postdoctoral fellow at the University of Helsinki. Her NWO-funded project Selling Censorship: Affective Framing and the Legitimation of Internet Control in Russia examined how Internet policy is framed and legitimated in Russian political and media discourses.

Currently, Mariëlle is also a visiting researcher at the Aleksanteri Institute of the University of Helsinki, where she acts as the Principle Investigator of the project Sustainable Journalism for the Algorithmic Future funded by the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation (2020-2022). The project examines the adoption of digital technologies in Russian news media and the role of Russian 'big tech' (Yandex) in shaping the Russian information space. She is involved in the Nordic workshop series ‘Algorithmic Governance in Context: Towards a Comparative Agenda for Studies of Algorithmic Governance across Politics, Culture, and Economy’, funded by NOS-HS (2019-2020), and is a member of the Expert Pool on Cyber and Expert Pool on Russia of the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (Hybrid CoE).

Mariëlle is the editor of The Palgrave Handbook of Digital Russia Studies (with Daria Gritsenko and Mikhail Kopotev) published by Palgrave Macmillan (2021) and Freedom of Expression in Russia’s New Mediasphere (with Katja Lehtisaari) published by Routledge (2020). She is the author of Memory Politics in Contemporary Russia: Television, Cinema and the State (Routledge 2019). Mariëlle is also an editor of the open access journal Studies in Russian, Eurasian and Central European New Media (digitalicons.org).

Mariëlle previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher on the project Russian Media Lab: Freedom of Speech and Critical Journalism in Russia (University of Helsinki) and as a lecturer in East European Studies at the University of Amsterdam. She has been a visiting researcher at the Center for Advanced Internet Studies (CAIS), the Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research, National Research University Higher School of Economics – Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and Russian State University for the Humanities. She holds a PhD (2016) and Master’s degrees in Slavic Languages and Cultures (2012, cum laude) and International Relations and International Organisation (2010) from the University of Groningen.