New book co-edited by Corneliu Bjola explores use of digital technology for disinformation

21 December, 2018

A timely new book edited by ODID Associate Professor Corneliu Bjola  and James Pamment of Lund University, Sweden, explores the ‘dark side’ of digital diplomacy, highlighting some of the major problems facing democratic institutions in the West and providing concrete examples of best practice in reversing the tide of digital propaganda.

Digital diplomacy is now part of the regular conduct of international relations, but information warfare is characterised by the exploitation or weaponisation of media systems to undermine confidence in institutions: the resilience of open, democratic discourse is tested by techniques such as propaganda, disinformation, fake news, trolling and conspiracy theories.

This book introduces a thematic framework by which to better understand the nature and scope of the threats that the weaponization of digital technologies increasingly pose to Western societies.

The editors instigate interdisciplinary discussion and collaboration between scholars and practitioners on the purpose, methods and impact of strategic communication in the Digital Age and its diplomatic implications. What opportunities and challenges does strategic communication face in the digital context? What diplomatic implications need to be considered when governments employ strategies for countering disinformation and propaganda?

Exploring such issues, the contributors demonstrate that responses to the weaponisation of digital technologies must be tailored to the political context that make it possible for digital propaganda to reach and influence vulnerable publics and audiences.

Corneliu Bjola and James Pamment (eds) (2018) Countering Online Propaganda and Extremism: The Dark Side of Digital Diplomacy, Routledge