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Kiril Avramov


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REE 335 • Political Warfare/Propagnda

43944 • Fall 2018
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM MEZ 1.212
(also listed as GOV 360N)

Description:

This seminar focuses on the phenomenon of political warfare in contemporary global context, with a focus on Russia and Eastern Europe. The course will broaden students’ understanding of the nature of political warfare, including its role and limits in achieving influence over opponents’ decision-making processes via non-lethal methods. Using historical case studies as a starting point, we will explore the evolution of techniques of political warfare, including psychological warfare and propaganda. Through readings and discussion, students will learn to evaluate various frameworks for evaluating the deployment of “weaponized information”, often used in combination with force, subversion, economic pressure and public diplomacy, to achieve national strategic and tactical goals. We will also look at the role of intelligence in crafting, disseminating and exploiting information in both historical and contemporary contexts. Finally, we will investigate contemporary forms of disinformation, conspiracy theories, and “fake news” as “weaponized” by non-liberal democratic regimes in pursuit of their respective foreign policy goals.

Students will be expected to attend relevant events organized by UT Austin’s Intelligence Studies Project.

 

Learning outcomes:

1) understand the nature of political warfare in the contemporary context 2) evaluate the role and toolbox of psy-ops in historic and contemporary contexts and 3) analyze and critically evaluate instances of propaganda and strategic messaging.              

 

Target audience:

Students interested in intelligence studies, international relations and diplomacy, Russian foreign policy, as well as Russian and Eastern Europe area studies.

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