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Destruct, direct and suppress: Sputnik narratives on the Nordic countries
Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Political Science Section, Sektionen för krishantering och internationell samverkan.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9315-054x
Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Political Science Section, Sektionen för säkerhetespolitik och strategi.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0198-2221
Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Political Science Section, Sektionen för krishantering och internationell samverkan.
2021 (English)In: Journal of International Communication, ISSN 1321-6597, Vol. 27, no 1, p. 15-37Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Projection of strategic narratives to gain competitive advantages is a central feature in the global competition for status and power. This article presents a comparative narrative analysis of how the Russian state sponsored news platform Sputnik narrates Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden 2014–2019. The objectives are to uncover what negative work strategic narratives can perform and to decipher how adverse narratives are constructed. The findings suggest that Sputnik uses a mix of standard strategies and tailor-made narratives, working to destruct, direct and suppress the Nordics. The analysis exposed distinct differences as Sputnik narrated Sweden and Denmark more negatively than Norway and Finland. The narratives can serve to divide and weaken the Nordics and the EU, and undermine international reputations of each state. The strategy of division through narratives is particularly problematic as polarization challenges Western democracies and the EU. The article furthers narrative research by testing a recently crafted analytical framework and by presenting findings that indicate a need for a broadened research agenda. Whereas previous research has primarily centred on how malign information influence can harm democracy, our results indicate that narratives can cause a broader variety of harms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2021. Vol. 27, no 1, p. 15-37
Keywords [en]
strategic narratives, narrative analysis, information influence, Nordic countries
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Statsvetenskap med inriktning mot krishantering och internationell samverkan; Statsvetenskap med inriktning mot strategi och säkerhetspolitik
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-9414DOI: 10.1080/13216597.2020.1817122OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-9414DiVA, id: diva2:1465644
Projects
Informationspåverkan: Sårbarheter och effekter
Funder
Swedish Civil Contingencies AgencyAvailable from: 2020-09-10 Created: 2020-09-10 Last updated: 2021-04-28Bibliographically approved

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Deverell, EdwardWagnsson, CharlotteOlsson, Eva-Karin

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