Proceedings of The 3rd International Conference on Social Sciences in the 21st Century
Fear Factor Caused by Outside Propaganda Pressure and its Influence on the Policy of the Small Countries
According to political theorists, propaganda can have the most powerful influence through activating the fear factor. Therefore, it is very important to identify the influence on the political decision-making process made by propaganda directly, or indirectly, through activation of the fear factor.
Due to the nature of the fears (they might be rational or irrational) caused by propaganda, they can lead to social turmoil. Thus, we link outside propaganda influence to the security of the state, including small states that do not have the resources to pursue their own interests and therefore become a policy object for large actors.
We investigate outside propaganda pressure in small countries and its impact on the policy – internal affairs, or international relations. In this regard, we studied open and covert propaganda of major actors and the frequent appeals of their narratives to the fear factor as a tool of achieving short-term goals at the expense of the same time harming long-term goals. We investigated narratives of target countries’ political spectrum (as internal as well as external actors) which amplify the fear factor (intentionally or unintentionally). We studied the nature of these narratives and the forms of societies’ responses to them.
The article is based on the results of an in-depth case study in Georgia and a comparison of the results of other post-communist (post-Soviet and central European) case studies. In the case of Georgia, we identified harmful and useful narratives for the long-term strategic development of the country. This enabled us to identify pressure that might negatively impact the national security of the country.
Nowadays, at the background of the development of contemporary communication technologies and highly effective focus of communication channels that can be made on the audience, when we face the transformation of information warfare methods, political communication is necessarily multifaceted and the relevant campaigns do contain elements of psychological warfare.
That is, communication texts of political entities mostly contain messages that comprise a component of information warfare and affect the mental health of society.
Keywords: propaganda; political communication; security; media; politics.