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Michael Cole

Illiberal democracy in Russia and right-wing politics in Europe (UT)

Michael Cole is a PhD candidate at the University of Tartu, Estonia and visiting researcher at the Jagiellonian University, Krakow. He has a strong interest in The Far-Right, Sociolinguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), particularly in relation to Russia and Eastern Europe. His current research as part of the FATIGUE programme focuses on the influence of ‘Shared History’ and ‘Competition with the West’ narratives in Russia on far-right populist discourses in Georgia and Ukraine. Michael is also working on different Russian language media representations of the 2018 Kerch Strait Incident, the use of animals by populists to gain support on social media, and the relationship between football and far-right populism. He is regularly contributor to the UCL SSEES Research Blog and Lossi 36, and has presented his work at conferences in Finland, Estonia, Poland, Sweden, and Denmark.

Michael is supervised by Andrey Makarychev at the University of Tartu and Zdzisław Mach at Jagiellonian University.


Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @NotTheMikeCole


Work in Progress:

Soft Power, Cats, Branding and the Ukrainian Far-Right

Academic publications:

  • 09/2021: Cole, M. (2021). Political Street Stickers in Resistance to Biopower in Poland: The Case of Krakow During the 2020 Polish Presidential Election Campaign. Journal of Illiberalism Studies, DOI:
  • 11/2020: Cole, M. (2020). A Taste of Georgia. Far Right Populism with a Unique Georgian Flavour. Populism, DOI:
  • Book Chapter ‘Populist Tactics: Ramzan Kadyrov’s use of football as a political tool during the 2018 FIFA World Cup (In Progress)
  • Article ‘Russian Influence in the Georgian Far Right’ (In Progress)
  • Article ‘Far-Right Influence on Ukrainian World War Two Narratives Online’ (In Progress)
  • Article ’Alternative Truths: A Comparative Analysis of the Kerch Strait Incident in Russian Language News Reports’ (In Progress)

Blog posts:



Conference Presentations: