How Hybrid Regimes Use Propaganda for Election Interventions: The Refugee Crisis in Germany

57 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2019 Last revised: 4 May 2020

See all articles by Ashrakat Elshehawy

Ashrakat Elshehawy

University of Oxford

Konstantin Gavras

University of Mannheim

Nikolay Marinov

University of Houston - Department of Political Science

Federico Nanni

Data and Web Science Group

Harald Schoen

University of Mannheim - Department of Political Science

Date Written: July 15, 2019

Abstract

We identify and theorize a new kind of election intervention, by hybrid regimes, in democracies, arising from state-to-state political communication. We argue that instabilities inherent in hybrid regimes cause them to generate a specific type for propaganda for domestic use, one emphasizing illiberal tenets and principles. This discourse is beneficial to populist and anti-systemic parties in democracies. Powerful hybrid regimes send abroad such communication in order to reap the benefits from a non-systemic political ecology in election-holding states. We find evidence for the argument in analysis of the refugee crisis in Germany, where we identify how political communication by Kremlin-sponsored media both aligned with and promoted issues close to the far-right populist AfD party, in a manner dependent on the local election calendar. We discuss the broader implications for this new type of international propaganda on election interventions and the rise of populism.

Keywords: election intervention, propaganda, soft power, far-right, natural language processing

Suggested Citation

Elshehawy, Ashrakat and Gavras, Konstantin and Marinov, Nikolay and Nanni, Federico and Schoen, Harald, How Hybrid Regimes Use Propaganda for Election Interventions: The Refugee Crisis in Germany (July 15, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3420248 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3420248

Ashrakat Elshehawy

University of Oxford ( email )

Oxford
United Kingdom

Konstantin Gavras

University of Mannheim ( email )

Mannheim, D-68131
Germany

Nikolay Marinov (Contact Author)

University of Houston - Department of Political Science ( email )

TX 77204-3011
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.nikolaymarinov.com

Federico Nanni

Data and Web Science Group ( email )

Germany

Harald Schoen

University of Mannheim - Department of Political Science ( email )

Mannheim, D-68131
Germany

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