Securitization of Russian disinformation in EU

Linnea Engel Birch Kadziola & Mai Solmer Poulsen

Student thesis: Bachelor project


This project examines how disinformation from Russia is securitized by EU, and which implications this have on the relationship between EU and Russia. This is important for understanding weaponization of information in the digital era.
The project uses two different analysis strategies to explore the two levels of EU. Through a reverse process tracing we investigate on the EU level how the strategies concerning disinformation have a prior speech act. Here we use the theoretical framework of the securitization theory from the Copenhagen School. The same theoretical framework will be used to investigate how disinformation from Russia is securitized by the political elite in the selected countries; Latvia, Germany, and Denmark. This will be done through a discourse analysis of empirical data collected through interviews with politicians from the countries and statements found in the media. The analysis is supported by legal documents and reports from security- and intelligence services. We incorporate the regional security complex theory from the same school of academic to examine if the countries securitize in same way. The result of our analysis is, that EU successfully securitize disinformation from Russia through the EU East StratCom Task Force. Germany securitize disinformation on the national level opposed to Denmark and Latvia, even though these countries have a securitizing speech act. The discourse shows that both the EU and the three countries securitize the same way. This project concludes that disinformation from Russia is securitized by EU as a threat to the democracy of EU and that this will have critical implications on the relationship between Russia and EU because of the intersubjective image of Russia as the enemy.

EducationsBasic - Bachelor Study Program in Social Science, (Bachelor Programme) Bachelor
Publication date28 May 2018
Number of pages57
SupervisorsSune Haugbølle