Anton Shirikov is a political scientist who studies propaganda, misinformation, and political polarization. His current research uses surveys and experiments to understand what makes citizens more vulnerable to propaganda and authoritarian state media. In other work, he examines polarization, inter-ethnic trust and political elites in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and other countries.
At the Harriman Institute, Dr. Shirikov will work on a project titled “Propaganda and Doubt: How Citizens Resist State-Sponsored Misinformation,” which investigates the conditions under which citizens treat propaganda and misinformation critically and the tools that citizens rely on to detect false information. This analysis builds on the data that Dr. Shirikov has recently collected in Russia and Ukraine, as well as new surveys and experiments. Another goal of the project is to understand how we can help citizens to recognize propaganda and media bias more effectively. This part of the project involves developing experimental interventions that encourage Russians to approach news information thoughtfully and to use independent news sources.
Dr. Shirikov received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2022. Before academia, he was a journalist and editor in Russian independent media.
In recent publications, Dr. Shirikov has examined how Ukrainian oligarchs protect their wealth (prize for the Best Article published in 2020–2021 from the American Association for Ukrainian Studies) and how the Russian government and official propaganda responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Shirikov’s analysis and commentary have recently appeared in The Washington Post, The Financial Times, USA Today, on PBS NewsHour, and in other outlets. His research has been supported by the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, the Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and a Foundational Integrity and Impact Research Grant from Facebook.