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The Geopolitics of Propaganda: On the Global Digital Culture War

 

This project seeks to understand the global digital resonance of Kremlin propaganda around Russia’s war against Ukraine. We aim to update the decidedly 20th-century concept of propaganda to the 21st-century media environment. In order to do so, we spotlight the cultural contexts, global scales, and participatory dynamic of 21st-century propaganda. 

21st-century propaganda derives its considerable global resonance from a digitally-enabled interplay between top-down and bottom-up practices. To account for both, and for their entanglements, we focus our analyses on two seemingly opposed cases: the (often unwitting) spread of propaganda on the micro-vlogging platform TikTok; and its deliberate dissemination through Russian Embassies’ social media pages.

Practically, this project develops an empirically grounded conceptual basis for a new collaborative line of research that draws on methodologies housed in the departments of communication science, media studies, and cultural analysis. Our principal outreach activity is a ‘practice-based engagement’ project, entitled ‘Ambient Propaganda’.

Marc Tuters is an assistant professor in the New Media and Digital Culture at UvA and affiliated with ASCA, OILab and DMI.  

Linda Bos is an associate professor of Political Communication & Journalism and affiliated with ASCoR.

Boris Noordenbos is associate professor of Literary and Cultural Analysis. He is affiliated with ASCA, and is the principal investigator of the ERC-funded research project Conspiratorial Memory: Cultures of Suspicion in Post-Socialist Europe (2021-2026).