Vera Axyonova, PhD

REWIRE Fellow (Postdoc)

Kolingasse 14-16 (R. 06.22), 1090 Vienna

✆  +43-1-4277-48321

Web: Political Communication Research Group (POLCOM)

Consultation: Based upon prior agreement

Image © Bernd Wannenmacher

➥  Expert knowledge in domestic and international politics
➥  Political communication, especially perceptions and framing
➥  Critical approaches to international security and conflict studies
➥  International organisations as normative and security actors

Vera Axyonova is a Marie Curie REWIRE Fellow at the Political Communication Research Group of the University of Vienna. In her project, entitled "Expert Knowledge in Times of Crisis – Uncovering Interaction Effects between Think Tanks, Media and Politics beyond Liberal Democracies", Vera examines how and to what extent institutionalised expert groups, such as think tanks, shape policy agendas in non-democratic and hybrid political contexts. Furthermore, she studies how opinions produced by expert elites are adopted by the national media for transmission to the broader public, enabling policymakers to legitimise their decisions in times of crisis.

Before joining the University of Vienna, Vera worked in research, science management and policy consulting, including as the Managing Director of "Academics in Solidarity", a transnational mentoring program for at-risk scholars at Freie Universität Berlin, as a Postdoctoral Researcher/Assistant Professor for International Integration at Justus Liebig University Giessen, and as a Hurford Next Generation Fellow with the Carnegie Endowment's Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative. Vera Axyonova is co-founder of the ECPR Research Network on Statehood, Sovereignty and Conflict. She holds a PhD in Political Science from Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences.

Vera welcomes PhD applications as a postdoctoral member of ViDSS supervisory teams and encourages potential supervisees to get in touch.

  • Axyonova, V. (2024). Responding to crises in authoritarian environments: Russian think tanks between policy evaluation and state endorsement. Review of Policy Research. Advance online publication.
  • Kyselova, T., & Axyonova, V. (2024). Dialogue for peace: The production of knowledge and norms between international practices and local ownership in Ukraine. Peacebuilding. Advance online publication.
  • Axyonova, V., & Lozka, K. (2023). "We are at war": Reflections on positionality and research as negotiation in post-2022 Ukraine. Journal of International Relations and Development, 26, 711-721.
  • Axyonova, V. (2023). A journey to the 'self': From precarity as non-belonging to the search for common ground. In O. Burlyuk, & L. Rahbari (Eds.), Migrant academics' narratives of precarity and resilience in Europe (pp. 1-8). Cambridge: Open Book Publishers. Open access, available for download at
  • Axyonova, V. & Schöppner, F. (2018). Ukrainian think tanks in the post-Euromaidan period: Exploring the Field. In: Shapovalova, N. & Burlyuk, O. (Eds.), Civil society in post-Euromaidan Ukraine: From revolution to consolidation. Stuttgart: ibidem/Columbia University Press, pp. 215-240.
  • Burlyuk, O. & Axyonova, V. (2017). Protecting the rule of law in post-Soviet states: The relevance of European and Eurasian integration. In: Petrov, R. & Van Elsuwege, P. (Eds.), Post-Soviet constitutions and challenges of regional integration: Adapting to European and Eurasian integration projects. London: Routledge, pp. 28-47.