While fake news in social media has been receiving increasing attention, disinformation in diplomatic communication, especially in times of war and conflict, has not been discussed as prominently. We are interested in tackling several aspects surrounding the topic of communication, including questions such as: How are narratives used in diplomatic communication and why are they important? What is the role of diplomatic communication and narratives in conflict? How can we grasp diplomatic narratives – and how can we identify and counteract disinformation in them? In our transdisciplinary workshop we will bring together speakers from diplomacy and academia to shed light on these questions from very different perspectives.
In the two public events, we will engage in discussions with former and current diplomats on their experience with strategic communication and countering disinformation, especially since the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine. We will also debate how diplomatic language has possibly changed since Chancelor Scholz proclaimed a “Zeitenwende” not just for German foreign policy.
In our two closed panel discussions, we will explore strategic narratives and conflict on the one hand and religious narratives in war on the other hand. We understand strategic narratives as stories that countries tell to both domestic population and audiences abroad to convince them of their views of the past, present and future. By telling such stories, countries are attempting to convince others of their framing of the given situation. The aim of the panel is to find ways of studying such narratives to better understand ongoing tensions and conflicts in global relations. By including religious narratives when studying war, we move away from a state-centrist approach to International Relations. The contributions will cover a spectrum of religious communication, ranging from specific religious actors’ diplomatic communication to general patterns of (inter-) religious communication in certain conflicts. The overall aim is to establish how religious diplomatic communication, particularly in times of war, might be characterized.
Dr. Katharina McLarren & Dr. Juris Pupčenoks, Fellows, Academy of International Affairs NRW
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