Dr. Heidi Tworek is Associate Professor, jointly appointed at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs and History. Her research brings a historical sensibility to policy discussions, particularly around communications and international organizations. She has briefed or advised officials and policymakers from multiple European and North American governments on media, democracy, and the digital economy. She co-edits the Journal of Global History and manages the United Nations History Project.
Alongside her academic publications, her writing has been published in English and German in major magazines and newspapers, including Foreign Affairs, Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Globe and Mail, Wired, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Der Tagesspiegel, ZEIT, and The Conversation. Heidi also appears regularly on national radio and television in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany.
Her Twitter account is @HeidiTworek.
News from Germany: The Competition to Control World Communications, 1900-1945 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2019).
Co-editor (with Teresa da Silva Lopes and Christina Lubinski), Routledge Companion to the Makers of Global Business (37 chapters, London: Routledge, 2019).
Co-editor (with Jonas Brendebach and Martin Herzer), Exorbitant Expectations: International Organizations and the Media in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (New York: Routledge, 2018).
“Oligopolies of the Past? Habermas, Bourdieu, and Conceptual Approaches to News Agencies,” Journalism: Theory, Criticism, Practice (2019).
“Online Disinformation and Harmful Speech: Dangers for Democratic Participation and Possible Policy Responses,” (co-authored with Chris Tenove), Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law 13 (September 2019), pp. 215-232.
“Communicable Disease: Information, Health, and Globalization in the Interwar Period,” American Historical Review 124.3 (June 2019), pp. 813-842.
“The Death of News? The Problem of Paper in the Weimar Republic,” Central European History 50.3 (September 2017), pp. 328–346.
“The Natural History of the News: An Epigenetic Study,” co-authored with John Maxwell Hamilton, Journalism: Theory, Criticism, Practice 18.4 (April 2017), pp. 391–407.
“How Not to Build a World Wireless Network: German-British Rivalry and Visions of Global Communications in the Early Twentieth Century,” History and Technology 32.2 (August 2016), pp. 178–200.
“Introduction,” to “Imagined Use as a Category of Analysis: New Approaches to the History of Technology,” co-authored with Simone Müller, History and Technology 32.2 (August 2016), pp. 105–119.
“Changing the Rules of the Game: Strategic Institutionalization and Legacy Companies’ Resistance to New Media,” co-authored with Christopher Buschow, International Journal of Communication 10 (April 2016), pp. 2119–2139.
“Political and Economic News in the Age of Multinationals,” Business History Review 89.3 (Fall 2015), pp. 447–474.
“Introduction” to “The Governance of International Communications: Business, Politics, and Standard-Setting in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries,” co-authored with Simone Müller, Journal of Policy History 27.3 (July 2015), pp. 405–415.
“The Savior of the Nation? Regulating Radio in the Interwar Period,” Journal of Policy History 27.3 (July 2015), pp. 465–492.
“Editorial — Communicating Global Capitalism,” co-authored with Simone Müller, Journal of Global History 10.2 (July 2015), pp. 203–211.
“The Telegraph and the Bank: On the Interdependence of Global Communications and Capitalism, 1866–1914,” co-authored with Simone Müller, Journal of Global History 10.2 (July 2015), pp. 259–283.
“Journalistic Statesmanship: Protecting the Press in Weimar Germany and Abroad,” German History 32.4 (Winter 2014), pp. 559–578.
“Magic Connections: German News Agencies and Global News Networks, 1905–1945,” Enterprise & Society 15.4 (Winter 2014), pp. 672–686.
“The Creation of European News: News Agency Cooperation in Interwar Europe,” Journalism Studies 14.5 (October 2013), pp. 730–742.
“Peace through Truth? The Press and Moral Disarmament through the League of Nations,” Medien & Zeit
25.4 (December 2010), pp. 16–28.
“The Path to Freedom? Transocean and Wireless Telegraphy, 1914–1922,” Historical Social Research 35.1 (April 2010), pp. 209–233.
“Policy Lessons from Five Historical Patterns in Information Manipulation,” W. Lance Bennett and Steven Livingston (eds.), The Disinformation Age: Politics, Technology, and Disruptive Communication in the United States (Cambridge University Press, 2021), pp. 169-189.
“Fake News: A Usable History,” (co-authored with John Maxwell Hamilton), in Joshua Grimm (ed.), Fake News! Misinformation in the Media (Louisiana State University Press, 2020), pp. 13-31.
“From Early Modern Moon Hoaxes to Nazi Propaganda: A Brief Anthology of Fake News,” (co-authored with John Maxwell Hamilton), in Joshua Grimm (ed.), Fake News! Misinformation in the Media (Louisiana State University Press, 2020), pp. 48-63.
“Communications and Technology,” in Paula Baker and Donald T. Critchlow (eds.), Oxford Handbook of American Political History (Oxford University Press, 2020), pp. 408-426.
“A Union of Nations or Administrations? Voting Rights, Representation, and Sovereignty at the International Telecommunications Union in the 1930s,” in Gabriele Balbi and Andreas Fickers (eds.), History of the International Telecommunication Union: Transnational Techno-Diplomacy from the Telegraph to the Internet (de Gruyter, 2020), pp. 243–264.
“Digital History and Global Publics,” in Valeska Huber and Jürgen Osterhammel (eds.), Global Publics: Their Powers and Limits, 1870-1990 (Oxford University Press, 2020), pp. 313–342.
“Scoop: The Challenge of Foreign Correspondence,” (co-authored with John Maxwell Hamilton) in James E. Katz and Kate Mays (eds.), Social Media and Journalism’s Search for Truth (Oxford University Press, 2019), pp. 133–150.
“Introduction to the Makers of Global Business,” (co-authored with Teresa da Silva Lopes and Christina Lubinski) in Teresa da Silva Lopes, Christina Lubinski, and Heidi Tworek (eds.), The Routledge Companion to the Makers of Global Business (Routledge, 2019), pp. 3-16.
“Global Communications,” (co-authored with Richard John) in Teresa da Silva Lopes, Christina Lubinski, and Heidi Tworek (eds.), The Routledge Companion to the Makers of Global Business (Routledge, 2019), pp. 315-331.
“Introduction,” (co-authored with Jonas Brendebach and Martin Herzer) in Jonas Brendebach, Martin Herzer, and Heidi Tworek (eds.), Exorbitant Expectations: International Organizations and the Media in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Routledge, 2018), pp. 1-16.
“Protecting News before the Internet,” in Richard R. John and Jonathan Silberstein-Loeb (eds.), Making News: The Political Economy of Journalism in Britain and America from the Glorious Revolution to the Internet (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), pp. 196–222.
Policy Papers and Briefs
“Is News Property? How Digital Platforms are Resurrecting a Centuries-Old Question,” Centre for International Governance Innovation (October 30, 2020).
“Trolled on the Campaign Trail: Online Incivility and Abuse in Canadian Politics,” (co-written with Chris Tenove), Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions, UBC (October 29, 2020). Media coverage in CBC, Globe & Mail, The Tyee, Yahoo News. Appearances on CBC.
“How a Public Health Approach Could Help to Curb the Infodemic,” Centre for International Governance Innovation (October 15, 2020).
“Lessons Learned from Taiwan and South Korea’s Tech-Enabled Covid Communications,” TechStream, Brookings Institution (October 6, 2020).
“Should Big Tech be Setting the Terms of Political Speech?” (with Samantha Bradshaw et al.) Centre for International Governance Innovation (October 5, 2020).
“Covid-19 Has Democratic Lessons to Teach. Has Angela Merkel Helped Germany to Learn Them?” (with Ian Beacock and Sudha David-Wilp), Transatlantic Take, German Marshall Fund of the United States (October 2, 2020).
“Democratic Health Communications during Covid-19: A Rapid Response,” (co-written with Ian Beacock and Eseohe Ojo), Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions, University of British Columbia (September 15, 2020), 112 pages. Featured in New York Times, Financial Times Alphaville, CNN, Vice, Georgia Straight, STAT news podcast. Appearances on CBC, CJOB, CKNW, Global News BC, TVO.
“Why Doesn’t TikTok Get Policy Makers’ Attention?” Centre for International Governance Innovation (June 25, 2020).
Co-lead (with Peter Pomerantsev), Final Report Drafting Team, “Freedom and Accountability: A Transatlantic Framework for Moderating Speech Online. Final Report of the Transatlantic High-Level Working Group on Content Moderation Online and Freedom of Expression” (June 2020).
“Paris Call Community for Countering Election Interference: What Democracies Can Learn from the Government of Canada,” (co-written with David Salvo), Alliance for Securing Democracy, German Marshall Fund of the United States (May 26, 2020).
“Should There Be a Public Health Exemption for Section 230?” TechStream, Brookings Institution (May 18, 2020).
“Why the U.S. Needs a Pandemic Communications Unit,” TechStream, Brookings Institution (April 29, 2020).
“How to Use Communications as a Medical Intervention,” German Marshall Fund of the United States (April 1, 2020).
“A New Blueprint for Platform Governance,” Centre for International Governance Innovation (February 24, 2020).
“Dispute Resolution and Content Moderation: Fair, Accountable, Independent, Transparent, and Effective,” (lead author, co-authored with Ronan Ó Fathaigh, Lisanne Bruggemann, and Chris Tenove), Transatlantic Working Group on Content Moderation Online and Freedom of Expression, Annenberg Public Policy Center at University of Pennsylvania (January 14, 2020), 34 pp.
“How Transparency Reporting Could Incentivize Irresponsible Content Moderation,” Centre for International Governance Innovation (December 10, 2019).
“How Platforms Could Benefit from the Precautionary Principle,” Centre for International Governance Innovation (November 19, 2019).
“What Does Twitter’s Ban on Political Ads Mean for Platform Governance?” (with Joan Donovan et al.), Centre for International Governance Innovation (November 5, 2019).
“Social Media Councils,” CIGI Series on Platform Governance, Centre for International Governance Innovation (October 2019).
“Disinformation and Democracy in Historical Perspective,” NATO Association of Canada/Association Canadienne pour L’OTAN (Fall 2019), pp. 15-18.
“Social Media Platforms and the Upside of Ignorance,” Centre for International Governance Innovation (September 2019).
“Looking to History for Lessons on Platform Governance,” Centre for International Governance Innovation (July 2019).
“Without Improved Transparency, Platform Regulation Is a Pipe Dream,” Centre for International Governance Innovation (July 2019).
“Internet Governance Can’t Be Divorced from Infrastructure Governance,” Centre for International Governance Innovation (July 2019). Translated into French and published by Institut Montaigne (December 2019).
“An Analysis of Germany’s NetzDG Law,” (co-authored with Paddy Leerssen), Transatlantic Working Group on Content Moderation Online and Freedom of Expression, Annenberg Public Policy Center at University of Pennsylvania and Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam (April 2019).
“The Next North American Election: How Canada is Protecting Itself and What Can Still be Done,” (co-authored with David Salvo), Alliance for Securing Democracy, German Marshall Fund of the United States (March 2019).
“How a Standards Council Could Help Curb Harmful Online Content,” (co-authored with Fenwick McKelvey and Chris Tenove), Policy Options (February 2019).
“Poisoning Democracy: How Canada Can Address Harmful Speech Online” (co-authored with Chris Tenove and Fenwick McKelvey), Public Policy Forum (November 2018), 34 pp.
“What the History of Radio Tells Us about Technology and Democracy,” Chatham House (October 2018).
“Communications and the Integrity of Elections,” The Global Exchange (September 2018).
“How History Helps Us to Uncover the Real Successes of Middle Power Internationalism,” Centre for International Policy Studies, University of Ottawa (July 2018).
“Responsible Reporting in an Age of Irresponsible Information,” Alliance for Securing Democracy, German Marshall Fund of the United States (March 2018), 10 pp.
“Suspicious Minds: U.S.-German Relations in the Trump Era,” (co-authored with Frédéric Bozo et al.) Transatlantic Academy (May 2017), 34 pp.
“Gemeinsam mit den Guten. Wie ein EU-Handelsabkommen mit Kanada zum Wertepaket wurde,” Internationale Politik (May/June 2017): 53-57.
“Kommunikation in der Ära von Fake News,” Zukunftsinstitut Politics & PR 4.0 (April 2017).
“Why Germany Might Take a Maple Leaf out of Canada’s Book,” Transatlantic Academy (March 10, 2017).
“Approaching Trump,” (with Sir Michael Leigh, Stefan Fröhlich, and Joshua Walker), German Marshall Fund (March 8, 2017).
“Political Communications in the ‘Fake News’ Era: Six Lessons for Europe,” Transatlantic Academy Policy Brief (February 13, 2017).
“The European Union Clashes with Google over Copyright,” German Marshall Fund Transatlantic Take (October 11, 2016).
“Ontario’s Covid-19 Messaging Needs a Reset: Here is What to Do,” (with Ian Beacock) Ottawa Citizen (October 20, 2020).
“B.C. Shouldn’t Be Afraid of a Pandemic Election – It Could Strengthen Our Democracy,” (with Ian Beacock) The Province (September 29, 2020).
“Leaving Big Tech to Govern Themselves Doesn’t Work. They’re Getting Even Worse,” The Independent (August 7, 2020).
“Getting Your Book Read When You’re a Humanities Scholar,” (interview of me by Letitia Henville), University Affairs (May 15, 2020).
“Pandemics and History – a Roundtable on COVID-19 and Its Historical Connections (with John Christopoulos, Robert Brain, and Timothy Brook),” UBC History Department (May 3, 2020).
“The Year of Positive Pushback,” Predictions for 2020, Nieman Lab (January 2, 2020).
“Canada Needs a Social Media Council to Help Solve Complex Problems with Online Content Moderation,” Re$earch Money (December 11, 2019).
“News from Germany,” TRAFO: Blog for Transregional Research (August 14, 2019).
“Falsche Nachrichten hat es immer gegeben: Ein Interview zwischen Heidi Tworek und Georg Ismar,” Der Tagesspiegel (August 3, 2019).
“Government-Imposed Internet Blackouts Are A Power Move to Suppress Dissent,” The Conversation (June 24, 2019).
“Author Q&A: Informational Wars,” Vancouver Sun (June 22, 2019).
“A Lesson from 1930s Germany: Beware State Control of Social Media,” The Atlantic (May 26, 2019).
“Information Warfare is Here to Stay: States Have Always Fought for the Means of Communication,” Foreign Affairs (April 2019).
“News from Germany: The Competition to Control World Communications, 1900-1945,” The Page 99 Test (April 2019).
“Informationskriege,” Internationale Politik (March/April 2019), pp. 122-129.
“We Can’t Rely Solely on Silicon Valley to Tackle Online Hatred,” (co-authored with Chris Tenove and Fenwick McKelvey), Globe & Mail (November 12, 2018).
“Quietly, One of Trump’s Tariffs Threatens Democracy,” Washington Post (September 11, 2018).
“L’âge d’or des médias: une exception historique?,” Ina Global (September 4, 2018).
“Als ob Flüchtlinge Touristen wären,” Süddeutsche Zeitung (June 20, 2018), p. 2.
“Why the ‘Golden Age’ of Newspapers was the Exception, Not the Rule,” (co-authored with John Maxwell Hamilton), Nieman Lab (May 2, 2018).
“What Europe Can Teach Canada about Protecting Democracy,” (co-authored with Chris Tenove), The Conversation (April 5, 2018).
“Tweets are the new Vox Populi,” Columbia Journalism Review (March 27, 2018).
“Is Germany’s Foreign Minister Having a Chrystia Freeland Moment?” The Conversation (January 8, 2018).
“Nicht bei der Verteidigung sparen!” (co-authored with Niklas Helwig) ZEIT Online (October 30, 2017).
“Foreign Propaganda is a Problem Again, But Maybe a Smaller One than We Think,” Made by History, Washington Post (October 3, 2017).
“Die Probleme mit Freihandelsabkommen,” Der Tagesspiegel (August 7, 2017), p. 6. Appeared online as “Nichts aus den Fehlern gelernt,” Der Tagesspiegel (August 30, 2017).
“Privacy Shapes Our News,” Goethe Institute, Washington DC (June 22, 2017).
“How to Make Facts Matter Again,” OECD Yearbook 2017 (June 2017).
“How Germany is Tackling Hate Speech,” Foreign Affairs (May 16, 2017).
“Cambridge Analytica, Trump, and the New Old Fear of Manipulating the Masses,” Nieman Lab (May 15, 2017).
“Microsoft is Right: We Need a Digital Geneva Convention,” Wired (May 9, 2017).
“How to Spend It: Three Simple Suggestions to Increase German Military Spending,” War on the Rocks (May 2, 2017).
“Was Deutschland von Kanada lernen kann: Die Trump-Diplomatie,” Der Tagesspiegel (March 9, 2017).
“What Makes Health Special?” Invited Blog Post for Reluctant Internationalists, Birkbeck, University of London (December 19, 2016).
“Why the History of News Explains its Future,” (co-authored with John Maxwell Hamilton) The Conversation (May 17, 2016).
Contributor, “What Can One Photo Tell Us about the Media and 2016?,” Politico Magazine (May/June 2016).
“Lab Partners: Experimenting with Active Learning,” (co-authored with Gabriel Pizzorno) Perspectives on History. The Newsmagazine of the American Historical Association (April 2016), pp. 23-24.
“From World Health to World Heritage: Seventy Years of the United Nations,” UN Chronicle 52 (September 2015).
“Das Märchen vom Schicksalstag,” (co-authored with Thomas Weber) Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (November 8, 2014).
“History Lessons: Why Germany’s ‘Google Tax’ Won’t Work,” (co-authored with Christopher Buschow) Nieman Reports (October 23, 2014).
“Does England Have the Solution to the Grade-Inflation Problem?” The Atlantic (October 20, 2014).
“Wettbewerbsvorteile durch Gesetzgebung? Debatten zum Nachrichtenschutz im Wandel der Zeit,” (co-authored with Christopher Buschow) Der Digitale Wandel – Magazin für Internet und Gesellschaft 1.2 (August 2014), pp. 14–16.
“Writing a Student Evaluation Can Be Like Trolling the Internet: How a Long-Despised University Tradition Can Be a Chance to Teach Civility,” The Atlantic (May 21, 2014).
“The Real Reason the Humanities are ‘in Crisis’,” The Atlantic (December 18, 2013).
Interviews and blog posts about the United Nations History Project website on US History Scene, Humanitarianism and Human Rights, Russian International Affairs Council, UN Dispatch, and the United Nations Foundation blog.
Interviews, quotes, and background discussions: CBC, CNN, Committee to Protect Journalists, CTV, Der Tagesspiegel, Deutsche Welle, E&T Magazine (Engineering & Technology Magazine), El País, El Universal, Exberliner, Financial Times, Influence, Kelowna Capital News, La Tercera, Maclean’s, Metro News Vancouver, Ming Pao, Morning Consult, National Journal Research, National Observer (Canada), News 1130, NPR’s On the Media, PassBlue, Politico, Reuters, Star Vancouver, Talking Points Memo, The New Republic, The Telegraph, The Tyee, Toronto Star, Vice.
TV, Radio, and Podcasts
“A Skeptic’s Guide to Democracy,” Writ Large, Lyceum podcasts (April 29, 2020).
“On Trusting Public Health Communications,” Financial Times Alphaville (April 17, 2020).
“Masks and Coronavirus,” BC Today with Michelle Eliot, CBC Vancouver (March 31, 2020).
Segment on 5 CBC stations in British Columbia on health communications around coronavirus (March 24, 2020).
Coronavirus disinformation, segment on Spice Radio, Vancouver (March 12, 2020).
“How This CBC Story Turned into a Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory,” CBC News (January 28, 2020).
“BC’s First Presumptive Case of Coronavirus,” BC Today with Michelle Eliot, CBC Vancouver (January 28, 2020).
“Concerns about Facebook’s Banning Deepfake Videos,” The National, CBC (January 7, 2020).
“Our Brains on Facebook,” Attention Control with Kevin Newman (October 14, 2019).
“Bots, Trolls, and Defending Our Election,” Canadian Global Affairs Institute (October 8, 2019).
“The Evolution of Disinformation,” The Spark, CBC Radio (October 6, 2019).
“Paying for Your Attention: Who’s Putting Political Ads in Your Newsfeed?” CTV Vancouver (October 2, 2019).
“How the Internet is Impacting Democracy,” CTV Morning Live, Vancouver (October 1, 2019).
“The Struggle to Write the Rulebook for Social Media,” Global Translations podcast (with Rep. Ro Khanna, Commissioner Vera Jourova, et al.), Politico (July 25, 2019).
“Published Opinion Is Not Public Opinion,” David Pakman Show (June 18, 2019).
“News from Germany,” New Books Network (June 17, 2019).
“YouTube Moves to Ban Neo-Nazi and Holocaust-Denying Videos,” CBC News Network (June 8, 2019).
“Misinformation Station,” Connected and Disaffected (May 21, 2019).
“Christchurch Call and Online Extremism,” CBC News Network (May 14, 2019).
“Social Media Apocalypse Now,” The Good Fight, Slate (April 10, 2019).
“Germany’s Quest to Control the News,” The American Interest Podcast (April 9, 2019).
“Disinformation in Perspective,” EUScream (March 31, 2019).
“Information Wars, Past and Present,” Late Night Live, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) (March 26, 2019).
“Social Media Bots,” Communications Governance Observatory, McMaster University (December 3, 2018).
“Building a Made-in-Canada Solution to Harmful Online Hate,” The Spark, CBC Radio (November 16, 2018).
“Rhetorik der CSU auf dem Prüfstand,” (CSU Rhetoric under Scrutiny) Tagesthemen, ARD (June 26, 2018).
“Fake News and the Rise of Information Warfare,” The Global Exchange (June 11, 2018).
“Twitter Isn’t the Voice of the People and Media Shouldn’t Pretend It Is,” The Spark, CBC Radio (April 6, 2018).
“The New Old Fear of Media,” Connected and Disaffected (March 28, 2018).
“Net Neutrality,” Mark Leonard’s World in 30 Minutes, European Council on Foreign Relations (December 18, 2017).
“Facebook, Politics, and Foreign Influence,” The Spark, CBC Radio (October 22, 2017).
“Freedom of Speech and Populism,” The Brainstorm podcast (with Hans Kundnani and Yascha Mounk), Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (August 21, 2017).
“Securing a Digital Battlefield,” .Future Podcast (June 28, 2017).
“The Future of Ransomware and the Networked World,” The Spark, CBC Radio (May 21, 2017).
“Women at the United Nations,” Woman’s Hour, BBC Radio 4 (February 3, 2017).
“Unpicking the United Nations,” (with Lord Mark Malloch Brown, Jussi M. Hanhimäki, and Carolyn Medel-Anonuevo), The Forum, BBC World Service (November 20, 2016).
“The United Nations at 70: Then & Now,” (with Susan Pedersen, Ambassador John Negroponte, Nina Khrushcheva, William Cohen, Ian Hurd, and Matthew Russell Lee) Huffington Post Live (October 24, 2015).
Panel Discussion Participant, “Are the Humanities in Crisis?,” KCRW (December 27, 2013).
Regular appearances since 2017 on radio and TV on CBC News Network, CBC Radio, CTV, City TV Vancouver, CJOB (Winnipeg), CKNW (Vancouver), Euronews, National Post Radio, News1130 (Vancouver), Ottawa Today 1310, Spice Radio Vancouver, 900 CHML (Hamilton, Ontario).
Ralph Gomory Prize, Business History Conference (2020)
Wiener Holocaust Library Fraenkel Prize (2020)
Honorable Mention, Council for European Studies Book Award (2020)
Herman E. Krooss Prize for Best Dissertation in Business History (2014)
Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching (awarded 12 times, 2008-2015)
Non-Resident Fellow, Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Non-Resident Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States
Term Member, Council on Foreign Relations