Influence operations conducted by foreign states is today an element of world politics which will not go away. While there are completely legitimate ways for states to communicate with target groups in other countries, the so called public diplomacy, recent years have witnessed also the more clandestine attempts to influence public opinion and decision making.

Cyber intrusions, the spread of propaganda and disinformation, and covert financial support to political parties in the EU, are some very real threats which democracies have to manage. And although Russia is often singled out as the main culprit, the situation is in fact more complicated.

In this talk, Martin Kragh will discuss how influence operations and disinformation have become phenomena of world affairs.

Martin Kragh is Head of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. Kragh's research interests include Russia's economy and history, but also the political development in Russia and the former USSR. Martin Kragh holds a PhD from the Stockholm School of Economics (2009) and is associate professor (docent) at the Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies.

Discussant to Kragh’s talk is NUPI researcher Malin Østevik. She will talk about the national context that Russian influence operations and activities originates from. This is based on an ongoing project with NUPI colleague Jakub M. Godzimirski on Russian strategic communication towards Europe.

There will also be a Q&A session towards the end of the event. Here, Kragh and Østevik will be joined by Carsten F. Rønnfeldt. He is an Assiciate Professor on International Politics at Krigsskolen. He holds a PhD in International Relations from London School of Economics and has previous worked at the Norwegian Insititute of International Affairs (NUPI), for the UN and for hemanitarian organisations in a number of countries.

Chair is Senior Research Fellow at NUPI Njord Wegge. His research focuses on issues of security and defense, including issues pertaining to hybrid warfare, intelligence and national security.