Defense Against Negative Strategic Communications

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Judith Reid


Connections: The Quarterly Journal, Volume 17, Issue 3, p.52-60 (2018)


Central Europe, culture, Eastern Europe, Hofstede, propaganda, strategic communications


Strategic messaging is ever more important in the age of explosive social media, and not all information on the Internet is benign. Negative information campaigns were used by Hitler in the Austrian Anschluss, and more recently by Vladimir Putin in the annexation of Crimea and the conflicts in Donetsk and Luhansk. Similarly, seeds of public dissent and discord have been entering through Russian trolls and bots into American social media. Central and Eastern European countries are particularly vulnerable to negative messaging from Russia, or even from terrorist groups. This article delves into cultural paradigms of the US, Russia and numerous Central and Eastern European societies to uncover cultural areas of vulnerability to outside influences; how the cultural underpinnings of power, competition, individualism, uncertainty avoidance, long term orientation and indulgence can highlight openings to negative influences. It concludes with ideas for nations to guard against unwanted information attacks.