This book outlines the threats from information warfare faced by the West and analyses the ways it can defend itself.

Existing on a spectrum from communication to indoctrination, information can be used to undermine trust, amplify emotional resonance, and reformulate identities. The West is currently experiencing an information war, and major setbacks have included: ‘fake news’; disinformation campaigns; the manipulation of users of social media; the dissonance of hybrid warfare; and even accusations of ‘state capture’. Nevertheless, the West has begun to comprehend the reality of what is happening, and it is now in a position defend itself. In this volume, scholars, information practitioners, and military professionals define this new war and analyse its shape, scope, and direction. Collectively, they indicate how media policies, including social media, represent a form of information strategy, how information has become the ‘centre of gravity’ of operations, and why the further exploitation of data (by scale and content) by adversaries can be anticipated. For the West, being first with the truth, being skilled in cyber defence, and demonstrating virtuosity in information management are central to resilience and success.

This book will be of much interest to students of strategic studies, information warfare, propaganda studies, cyber-security, and International Relations.

chapter |17 pages


The world information war
ByRobert Johnson, Timothy Clack

part I|25 pages

How did this war start?

chapter 1|13 pages

A brief history of propaganda

‘A much maligned and misunderstood word’
ByDavid Welch

chapter 2|10 pages

Homo Digitalis enters the battlefield

ByDavid Patrikarakos

part II|50 pages

Truth, cognition, and control

chapter 3|16 pages

Democracy and the contemporary media

What is the problem?
ByAlexander Prescott-Couch

chapter 4|18 pages

The changing nature of propaganda

Coming to terms with influence in conflict
ByAlicia Wanless, Michael Berk

chapter 5|14 pages

‘Does my suffering matter?’

Storytelling and the military
ByOliver Lewis, Chris DeFaria

part III|67 pages

How others fight

chapter 6|25 pages

Women, digital imagery, and the Islamic State

‘Guns and roses’
ByRebecca Fallon, Timothy Clack

chapter 7|17 pages

Social media, computational propaganda, and control in China and beyond

ByGillian Bolsover

chapter 8|23 pages

Russian information warfare

Construct and purpose
ByKeir Giles

part IV|93 pages

Policy response and how to fight

chapter 9|21 pages

Algorithmic pluralism

Media regulation and system resilience in the age of information warfare
ByDamian Tambini

chapter 10|28 pages

Digital propaganda, counterpublics, and the disruption of the public sphere

The Finnish approach to building digital resilience
ByCorneliu Bjola, Krysianna Papadakis

chapter 11|17 pages

Information warfare

Theory to practice
ByRobert Johnson

chapter 12|25 pages

Artificial intelligence, security, and society

ByKeith Dear

part V|30 pages

On the horizon

chapter 13|22 pages

From Beijing bloggers to Whitehall writers

Observations on the ‘invisible war’
ByTimothy Clack, Louise Selisny

chapter 14|6 pages

War in the age of uncertainty

ByNigel Inkster