The Effect of Russian Information Operations

The great migration of our public debates, from print through television to social media, has given opportunities for external influence on democratic discourse and an explosion of interest in information operations.

Information operations are critical for Russia’s strategy against the West. Russia is unlikely to overpower the West through its military strength, but its information operations hold an almost unlimited promise of increasing polarization, and undermining Western unity.

Correctly understanding how information operations are effective is critical for countering them adequately. In this brief, author Oscar Jonsson aims to contribute to this knowledge by surveying what we know about the effectiveness of information operations and suggesting recommendations on how to improve democracies’ information resilience.

About the author

Oscar Jonsson is Director of Phronesis Analysis. He holds a PhD from the Department of War Studies, King’s College London and is the author of The Russian Understanding of War (Georgetown University Press). He has earlier been Director of the Stockholm Free World Forum and Academic Director of the Center for the Governance of Change at IE University.

About the editor

Tove Hovemyr is Domestic Policy Expert at Fores and holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) from Uppsala University. She has formerly been a political staff member of Sweden’s previous Minister of Integration Erik Ullenhag.

About ELF

The European Liberal Forum (ELF) is the official political foundation of the European Liberal Party, the ALDE Party. Together with 46 member organisations, we work all over Europe to bring new ideas into the political debate, to provide a platform for discussion, and to empower citizens to make their voices heard.

ELF was founded in 2007 to strengthen the liberal and democrat movement in Europe. Our work is guided by liberal ideals and a belief in the principle of freedom. We stand for a future-oriented Europe that offers opportunities for every citizen. ELF is engaged on all political levels, from the local to the European.

We bring together a diverse network of national foundations, think tanks and other experts. At the same time, we are also close to, but independent from, the ALDE Party and other Liberal actors in Europe. In this role, our forum serves as a space for an open and informed exchange of views between a wide range of different actors.

About Tankesmedjan Fores

Fores – Forum for reforms, entrepreneurship and sustainability – is the green and liberal think tank based in Sweden. With one foot in academia and the other in the public debate, Fores works every day towards solutions and policies that strengthen the liberal democracy. Through our three work groups we seek scientifically based, forward-looking policies on Growth, Security and Trust.