Strategies and Resilience Against Disinformation Influences - How Germany and Sweden respond to Russian disinformation

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Sammanfattning: In recent years the EU and its member states have seen increased activities of Russian disinformation influences impacting the national information environment. Germany and Sweden are interesting cases in relation to this issue as such hybrid threats target them both. This study aims to describe the national responses of the two countries in relation to Russian disinformation. A document analysis of government policies was conducted and combined with the theoretical framework of democratic deterrence and strategic narratives, which resulted in themes as a foundation for the analyses and discussion. As the countries are similar in nature and presented as such in the study, it is expected that they apply predominantly similar countermeasures. The results partly confirm this, however, they also show significant differences. The countries’ approaches differ primarily in regulations aiming at controlling the dissemination of disinformation in the online environment. Additional differences make clear that Swedish policy documents better clarify the countermeasures of Sweden and thus are more informative about how to respond to Russian disinformation and hybrid interference in general. In contrast, the German policy documents are more discreet in terms of describing countermeasures, which makes it challenging to fully interpret and characterize Germany’s countermeasures. In conclusion, the policy documents of Germany and Sweden differ in their description of countermeasures towards Russia and hybrid interference in general, which in a greater context impacts the informative quality and possible educational purpose of such policies. The results suggest that policy documents could be more explanatory and comprehensive for informative and educational purposes for relevant stakeholders and the public in general.

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