The World Information War
Western Resilience, Campaigning, and Cognitive Effects
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.
Table of Contents
Foreword Rick Legett Introduction: The world information war Robert Johnson and Timothy Clack Part I: How Did This War Start? 1. A brief history of propaganda: ‘a much maligned and misunderstood word’ David Welch 2. Homo Digitalis enters the battlefield David Patrikarakos Part II: Truth, Cognition, and Control 3. Democracy and contemporary media: what is the problem? Alexander Prescott-Couch 4. The changing nature of propaganda: coming to terms with influence in conflict Alicia Wanless and Michael Berk 5. ‘Does my suffering matter?': Storytelling and the military Oliver Lewis and Chris DeFaria Part III: How Others Fight 6. Women, digital imagery, and the Islamic State: ‘guns and roses’ Rebecca Fallon and Timothy Clack 7. Social media, computational propaganda, and control in China and beyond Gillian Bolsover 8. Russian information war: construct and purpose Keir Giles Part IV: Policy Response and How to Fight 9. Algorithmic pluralism: media regulation and system resilience in the age of information warfare Damian Tambini 10. Digital propaganda, counterpublics, and the disruption of the public sphere: the Finnish approach to building digital resilience Corneliu Bjola and Krysianna Papadakis 11. Information warfare: theory to practice Robert Johnson 12. Artificial intelligence, security and society Keith Dear Part V: On the Horizon 13. From Beijing bloggers to Whitehall writers: observations on the ‘invisible war’ Timothy Clack and Louise Selisny 14. War in an age of uncertainty Nigel Inkster
Timothy Clack is the Chingiz Gutseriev Fellow at the University of Oxford, UK, and co-editor of the Routledge Advances in Defence Studies series.
Robert Johnson is the Director of the Changing Character of War Centre at the University of Oxford, UK.