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Understanding Authoritarian Information Manipulation and Dissemination

Understanding Authoritarian Information Manipulation and Dissemination

Event Venue:

Deakin Burwood Corporate Centre 221 Burwood HighwayBurwood, VIC, 3125, Australia ( Map )

About this event

A 2-day hybrid conference with approximately 25 experts and scholars whose research captures the state of authoritarian information manipulation and dissemination around the world. The conference is designed to promote future collaboration and research that informs the dissemination of authoritarianism, and ways to counter it.

The conference aims to provide new conceptual, methodological and empirical insights into the mechanisms by which authoritarian regimes and actors undermine trustworthiness in democratic processes and institutions of other countries. The focus of the conference is to learn from different applied conceptual frameworks and methodologies to shed empirical light on the (digital) strategies used to manipulate democratic narratives, attitudes, and politics. The conference will inform the design of future research and provide much-needed understanding of the complex dissemination of authoritarianism by governments, non-state actors, state-sponsored actors, and political parties/organizations across the world.

The conference especially aims to examine the complexities surrounding the transnational propagation of misinformation and disinformation, investigating its impact on societies, diasporas, politics, and cultures worldwide. We encourage contributions that shed light on this phenomenon across various disciplines and regional contexts. The proliferation and (mis)use of new technologies, directed at manipulating public sentiment, open up new avenues for interdisciplinary investigations into the transnational and international dimensions. Consequently, we pose inquiries into how state actors, those influenced or sponsored by states, and non-state entities manipulate public opinion and sentiments in other countries via digital technologies, polarise societies, and undermine trust in democratic institutions. While extant research has predominantly focused on China and Russia, our conference seeks to glean insights from well-established case studies, including their methodologies, to broaden the scope of research into lesser-explored contexts, where authoritarianism and transnational repression are more subtle.


We are seeking papers that focus on the transnational dimension of repressive, authoritarian, and socially polarising forms of politics. We encourage submissions, but by no means restricted, to the following topics:

· New technologies and manifestations of sharp power to suppress and manipulate information to undermine trustworthiness in democratic processes and institutions at national, transnational and international levels

· The use of AI and software methods to undermine international institutions by governments, non-state actors, state-sponsored actors, and political parties/organizations

· Digital technologies, national-transnational-international disinformation campaigns, and cybersecurity

· The mechanisms of national-transnational-international misinformation dissemination

· Case studies on the cross-border spread of false narratives

· Third actor engagement in disinformation in other countries

· The role of technology in amplifying and countering national-transnational-international misinformation

· Impact assessment on communities and societies affected by national-transnational-international misinformation

· Comparative studies on misinformation in different regions or among diverse communities

· Transnational activities of home states targeting their diasporas

Additional Details

This conference will be hybrid, held online and at Deakin University on 7-8 November 2024. Successful papers will need to submit a draft of 4,000 words no later than 21 October to be shared with the discussants and chairs for each panel.

Key Dates

– Submission Deadline: 15 September 2024

– Notification of Acceptance: 21 September 2024

– Paper Draft Submission: 21 October 2024

– Conference Date: 7-8 November 2024

Contact Information

For inquiries and submissions, please contact Hasnan Bachtiar at

We look forward to your contributions and the vibrant discussions ahead.


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