20 Mar

We are delighted to announce that Manchester members of our project team will contribute to the development of the “Beyond Disinformation” research network together with our colleagues at the University of Toronto and the University of Melbourne. The project “Beyond Disinformation: Assessing Digital Communications Strategies of Hybrid Neo-Authoritarian Empires” received funding from the three universities involved. It aims to bring together faculty members, postdoctoral researchers, and PhD students from Manchester, Melbourne, and Toronto (MMT) for virtual and in-person research cluster events. The project is headed by Stephen Hutchings (University of Manchester), Dara Conduit (University of Melbourne), and Kenzie Burchell (University of Toronto). It seeks to deepen the collaboration between MMT in disinformation research. 

More specifically, addressing major new international developments including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s embrace of foreign interference, the project aims to improve our understanding of the digital political communication strategies of emerging "hybrid neo-authoritarian empires", examining their impact on domestic, global, and diasporic audiences. We will extend our transnational, methodological, and interdisciplinary expertise in collaboration with Melbourne and Toronto to explore two new crucial avenues: 1) emerging translingual digital governance techniques and technologies of Neo-Authoritarian empires; 2) transnational networks of nonstate actors and diaspora media audiences participating in the construction of repressive informational orders, a permanent consolidation of hybrid war globally. Through intensive scholarly exchanges, we will develop pioneering toolsets for comparatively studying Russia’s and China’s global activities with concerted focus on the European, MENA and Australasia regions. 

The research network aims to produce publications, as well as further collaborative projects and grant applications.

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