The politics of countering foreign disinformation

March 23, 2023 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm Europe/Rome Timezone
Sala Belvedere, Villa Schifanoia
Alessandra Caldini

In recent years, numerous commentators have cited disinformation, originating from Russian, Chinese, and domestic sources, as a contributor to political polarisation and the erosion of trust in the U.S. and Europe. In response, politicians, think tanks, corporate leaders, NGOs, and scholars have warned of and devoted significant resources to countering disinformation. This talk presents a first cut at developing a framework on the political implications of this discourse in democracies. It asks how both liberal and illiberal actors frame, contest, and instrumentalise disinformation in the public discourse. Episodes from the US and EU member states are used to illustrate how these dynamics play out in practice. In light of the intense focus on disinformation in a relatively short time span, the preeminence of particular narratives about its consequences, and the largely technical solutions that have been proposed to counter it, there is a need for a critical perspective that foregrounds the politics around disinformation.

Speaker(s): Scott Radnitz (European University Institute)