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Foreign Propaganda, Perceptions and Policy

North Korean soldier smashing U.S. Capitol building with a fistThe goal of this course is to prepare the student to recognize and analyze the use of foreign disinformation and propaganda to affect U.S. perceptions and policy formation, and to employ countermeasures against them.

Propaganda as a tool of statecraft can be traced to antiquity. The refinements and innovations introduced in the 20th century and the information technology revolution give the foreign propagandist greater opportunities than ever to attempt to influence perceptions and policy in the United States and elsewhere. Those who shape public opinion or design or implement U.S. national security strategy and foreign policy are among the principal targets of foreign propaganda.

This course examines the history, theory and methodology of foreign propaganda and disinformation in modern statecraft, both from democratic and non-democratic countries, with an emphasis on how the practitioners target the United States. It is intended to help prepare the student to recognize foreign propaganda in all its forms, to analyze and isolate it, and to employ countermeasures.