Publications

Ahead of Macedonia’s naming referendum on September 30, Nazi imagery and accusations have been inserted into the political dialogue online. Content spread by the mostly anonymous campaign to boycott the referendum falsely claimed the local politicians and foreign officials who support the referendum are also Nazi supporters or fascists.

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Iran began its military involvement in Syria in 2011, at the outbreak of the civil war. Tehran’s immediate objective was to defeat the Syrian opposition militarily to save Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The maintenance of the Shia-Alawi-dominated regime in Damascus was key to the Islamic Republic’s long-term regional strategy, the creation of a contiguous Shia arc of influence in the region, linking Iran through Iraq to Syria and Lebanon. The Syrian theater also witnessed changes to Iran's traditional use of proxies, militias, and plausible deniability.

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A significant number of Brazilians joined the social network Gab.ai after Twitter suspended accounts associated with the far-right in the country.

Users from the country have since become one of the largest groups to access the Gab website, second only to the United States. Gab is well-documented as a fertile environment for the spread of conspiracy theories and hate speech.

Read the full analysis on Medium.
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African film, music, and fashion are exploding in popularity on the global stage. From Nigeria’s Nollywood film industry to the visual arts in South Africa, creative and cultural industries (CCI) represent a new realm of economic op­portunity. From artists to distrib­utors, Africa’s creative economy is currently estimated to employ about half a million people, generates $4.2 billion in revenue, and is growing rapidly. In order to expand Africa’s share of the $2.25 trillion global entertainment market, African governments, busi­nesses, and investors should find innovative ways of supporting, promoting, and investing in CCI.

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With one week left ahead of the nationwide referendum to determine the name of the country, Macedonia’s information environment is becoming clouded with distorted and polarizing narratives by some Russian media outlets, especially from Sputnik — a state-funded online outlet.

@DFRLab analyzed recent coverage by Sputnik on the Macedonia referendum and found exclusively one-sided, polarizing, or misleading content.

Read the full analysis on Medium.
Ahead of Macedonia’s naming referendum on September 30, the boycott proponents attempted to both use and disparage similar nationalist sentiment in the United States.

A failed referendum would complicate the country’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic community for the foreseeable future. Namely, Greece is adamant the country’s name has to change to lift their veto on Macedonia’s NATO and European Union membership. The agreed name containing the word “North” is a compromise reached between the two countries on June 17, 2018 (so called Prespa Agreement).

Read the full analysis on Medium.
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For several years, Turkey has been hosting the world’s largest refugee population. This report, “Toward Long-Term Solidarity with Syrian Refugees? Turkey’s Policy Response and Challenges,” takes a comprehensive look at the policies, actors and issues that have characterized Turkey’s approach to Syrian refugees since 2011. In this age of mass refugee flows, Turkey distinguishes itself from other countries for demonstrating both financial and organizational capacities, as well as a strong political will to welcome refugees. Open door, camps and temporary protection have been at the core of Turkey’s approach. But an uninterrupted inflow of refugees, as well as a complicated foreign and domestic political environment, has put some limitations on Turkey’s welcome. And Turkey’s praised policy put in place in 2014-2015 has been slowly dismantled over time (with the sidelining of camps, the closing of the border, the limitation on freedom of movement for Syrians, early returns, possible push backs, etc.), and a new sense of direction now needs to be put in place.

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In an era of increasing technological, cultural and geo-political change, the rise of disinformation undermines the institutions that nations rely on to function and creates risks across society. At the heart of the challenge is the battle of truth and trust. In this report, “Whose Truth: Sovereignty, Disinformation and Winning the Battle of Trust, John Watts draws upon a rich discussion on the threat that disinformation poses to state’s sovereignty by a diverse group of experts as part of a US Special Operations Command program. The paper explores the themes and key takeaways of a discourse that explored the causes and impacts of the current complex information environment, its implications for state sovereignty, the range of threats it poses and how a natural maturation of the changed environment can be accelerated by groups at every layer of society.

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Amid a deep political crisis, Brazil will elect a new president, new state governors, and a new Congress in two rounds of voting — the first on October 7 and the second on October 28. The stakes are high, and misinformation or disinformation have the potential to influence the electoral process. Any accusations of large-scale falsehood could cast into question the legitimacy of the process, or the results.

Read the full analysis on Medium.

English | Macedonian | Albanian

September 17, 2018

To the Citizens of Macedonia:

From the day of your nation's independence, the United States of America has been your steadfast friend. The American people have admired your peaceful emergence from the ashes of Yugoslavia. We have respected your courage in upholding democratic values and free institutions. And we have supported your aspirations to achieve prosperity and security in a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace.

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