1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Disinformation and National Security

Edited By Rubén Arcos, Irena Chiru, Cristina Ivan Copyright 2024
    453 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This interdisciplinary Handbook provides an in-depth analysis of the complex security phenomenon of disinformation and offers a toolkit to counter such tactics.

    Disinformation used to propagate false, inexact or out of context information is today a frequently used tool of political manipulation and information warfare, both online and offline. This Handbook evidences a historical thread of continuing practices and modus operandi in overt state propaganda and covert information operations. Further, it attempts to unveil current methods used by propaganda actors, the inherent vulnerabilities they exploit in the fabric of democratic societies and, last but not least, to highlight current practices in countering disinformation and building resilient audiences.

    The Handbook is divided into six thematic sections. The first part provides a set of theoretical approaches to hostile influencing, disinformation and covert information operations. The second part looks at disinformation and propaganda in historical perspective offering case study analysis of disinformation, and the third focuses on providing understanding of the contemporary challenges posed by disinformation and hostile influencing. The fourth part examines information and communication practices used for countering disinformation and building resilience. The fifth part analyses specific regional experiences in countering and deterring disinformation, as well as international policy responses from transnational institutions and security practitioners. Finally, the sixth part offers a practical toolkit for practitioners to counter disinformation and hostile influencing.

    This handbook will be of much interest to students of national security, propaganda studies, media and communications studies, intelligence studies and International Relations in general.


    Rubén Arcos, Irena Chiru and Cristina Ivan

    Part I. Theoretical Perspectives: Concepts and Definitions

    1. Hybrid Security Threats and the Information Domain: Concepts and Definitions

    Cristina Ivan, Irena Chiru, and Rubén Arcos

    2. Deterrence by Denial and Resilience Building

    James Pamment and Bjorn Palmertz

    3. Military Deception and Perception Management

    James J. Wirtz

    Part II. Historical Perspectives

    4. Cold War Active Measures

    Sanshiro Hosaka

    5. Historical Disinformation Practices: Learning from the Russians

    Randolph H. Pherson, Deanna Labriny, and Abby Diorio

    6. Influence Operations and the Role of Intelligence

    Jan Goldman

    7. Asymmetrical Conflict in the Information Domain: The Case of Russia

    Bjorn Palmertz and James Pamment

    Part III. Contemporary Challenges

    8. Disinformation: The Jihadists’ New Religion

    Jamil Ammar

    9. Digital Disinformation, Electoral Interference, and Systemic Distrust

    Josephine Lukito

    10. A Perception Management Take on Propaganda as Political Warfare

    Adrian Tudorache

    11. The Use and Abuse of History by Russian Embassies on Twitter: The Case of the Baltic States

    Corneliu Bjola and Ilan Manor

    12. Using Mimetic and Rhetorical Theory to Critique a Disinformation Consensus: The Problem of "Personal Vigilance"

    Hamilton Bean and Bryan C. Taylor

    13. Deepfake Disinformation: How Digital Deception and Synthetic Media Threaten National Security

    Agnes Venema

    14. The Strategic Logic of Digital Disinformation: Offense, Defence and Deterrence in Information Warfare

    H. Akin Unver and Arhan S. Ertan

    15. Conspiracy Theories and Unfounded Rumours in Contemporary Democracies: Beyond Truth and Trust

    Ruxandra Buluc

    16. Cognitive Warfare: Understanding the Threat

    Alina Bârgăoanu and Flavia Durach

    Part IV. Countering Disinformation and Building Resilience

    17. Journalistic Approaches to Information Sources, Fact-Checking, Verification and Detached Reporting

    Pablo Hernández-Escayola

    18. A National Security Perspective on Information Leaks

    Aitana Radu and Joseph Cannataci

    19. An Ethical Understanding of Military Strategic Communication, Public Relations, and Persuasion

    Irena Chiru and Ruxandra Buluc

    20. Emotional Diplomacy in Times of Uncertainty and Disinformation

    Tereza Capelos and Grete Krisciunaite

    21. Open-Source Information for Intelligence Purposes: The Challenge of Disinformation

    Veli-Pekka Kivimäki

    22. Protective Factors Against Disinformation

    Cristina Ivan

    Part V. General Trends and Regional Specificities in Countering Disinformation

    23. The EU Approach to Combating Disinformation: Between Censorship and the "Market for Information"

    Valentin Stoian

    24. The Strategic Security Environment and NATO’s Perspectives in Developing Effective Strategic Communications (2014-2022)

    Vira Ratsiborynska

    25. The Baltic Experience in Countering Contemporary Russian Disinformation

    Aleksandra Kuczyńska-Zonik

    26. The Disinformation Threat: Lessons from the Chinese Experience

    Dan Dungaciu and Lucian Dumitrescu

    27. The Perils of Disinformation in Latin America

    Florina Cristiana (Cris) Matei

    Part VI: A Toolkit for Practitioners

    28. The Use of Discourse Analysis in Propaganda Detection and Understanding

    Julian Richards

    29. Anticipatory Approaches to Disinformation, Warning and Supporting Technologies

    Rubén Arcos and Cristina M. Arribas

    30. AI Technologies to Support Detection of Information Manipulation on Social Networks and Online Media: A Quick Overview

    Frédérique Segond

    31. Wargaming Disinformation Campaigns

    Roger Mason

    Conclusions - Analysing and Assessing Disinformation and Hostile Influencing

    Francois Fisher


    Rubén Arcos is a senior lecturer in communication sciences at University Rey Juan Carlos (URJC) in Madrid, Spain, and a researcher of the Cyberimaginario research group. He is a cofounder and codirector of IntelHub—International Online Intelligence Hub.

    Irena Chiru is a professor of intelligence studies at ‘Mihai Viteazul’ National Intelligence Academy, Romania. She is a member of the editorial advisory board of the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence.

    Cristina Ivan is researcher at the National Institute for Intelligence Studies, "Mihai Viteazul" National Intelligence Academy in Romania. She holds a PhD in cultural studies.

    'Supported and edited by excellent and up to date experts, this handbook is a most timely and highly pertinent contribution to a multidisciplinary and comprehensive understanding of one of the core challenges for our present and future security in freedom and prosperity. It should be used as a core reference for all academic and operational endeavours in this field.'

    Gerhard Conrad, Former Director of the European Union Intelligence Analysis and Situation Centre (EU INTCEN)

    'Like nuclear war shaped the XX century, hybrid and information wars will shape the XXI century. On the battlefield and in the AI labs, shaping politics and public opinion, the forces of disinformation threaten freedom and human rights. This book is a powerful handbook for leaders, scholars, and citizens eager to defend democracy.'

    Gianni Riotta, Princeton University, USA