Ilana Hartikainen is a PhD candidate at the University of Helsinki, studying celebrity populist leaders and their strategies for success in the hybrid media system. She did her BA at Northwestern University in English and Slavic Studies and her Erasmus Mundus double Masters at the University of Glasgow and Corvinus University of Budapest in Russian, Central, & East European Studies and Political Science, where she researched the continuing success of the Czech communist party. Between degrees, she spent a year in Liberec, Czech Republic as a Fulbright English teaching assistant.
Ilana is also a member of the Department of Education at the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes in Prague, where she co-created the educational website Socialism Realised: Life in Communist Czechoslovakia, 1948-89. Before her PhD, she worked as a journalist. When she’s not thinking about populism, Ilana is most likely pole dancing or hanging out with her corgi, Jupi.