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Research Seminar on strategic communication, geopolitics and terrorism in Saint Petersburg

On November 6, 2017, the Saint Petersburg State University hosted the Research Seminar “Information and Psychological Confrontation in the Modern World” with the media and academic support of ASRIE – Association of Studies, Research and Internationalization in Eurasia and Africa, the International Center for Socio-Political Research and Consulting (ICSPSC) and the communications agency SAPMAR.

The Seminar was held in English in the Smolninsky Campus of the Faculty of International Relations and focused its attention on the information and psychological confrontation in the modern world and the effects of strategic communication and propaganda on the international relations, geopolitics, and security.

The event was attended by Evgeny Pashentsev, Professor of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Affair Ministry and Director of ICSPSC, Giuliano Bifolchi, Director of ASRIE Osint Unit and geopolitical analyst specialised in international relations and security, and professors in international relations of the St. Petersburg State University Ruslan Kostyuk, Konstantin Pantserev, Dmitri Rushchin, Konstantin Golubev, and Galina Niyazov.

Evgeny Pashentsev opened the Seminar with a lecture dedicated to the modern information warfare and the tools used to conduct it. Particular attention was given to the development of artificial intelligence which could be used in the future as an offensive tool.

Giuliano Bifolchi underlined the necessity of cooperation between the West and Russia in the field of counter-terrorism and security. The Ukrainian crisis has undermined the relations between the parties allowing terrorist groups such as the Islamic State to propagate their ideological propaganda both on Russia and Europe. Media and think tank have played a fundamental role in the confrontation between the West and the Russian Federation because with their strategies they have increased the distance between the parties.

Konstantin Golubev discussed with the participant his idea that in the modern world it is impossible to fully comply with liberal principles regarding the world of information because any organisation or government can influence the public opinion of another country via the Internet.

Konstantin Pantserev analysed the modern ways of information confrontation with the help of social networks and noted that propaganda could be dangerous for any country independently of who owns these Internet resources.

Dmitri Rushchin presented the impact and effects of political technologies in the modern information society. The event was closed by the speeches of Ruslan Kostyuk and Galina Niyazova.

The Seminar give the opportunities to the participant and the students (half of them visiting students from China) to discuss the contemporary challenges in the world of strategic communication and information, the role of new media, the importance of psychology in the information war, and different aspects of the fight against terrorism in the context of geopolitical cooperation/confrontation.

Particular attention was paid to communication management and the importance of psychology in its development both in the sphere of large companies and at the state level. Media could be considered as “political weapons” because they have the power to broadcast the necessary information and influence the public opinion.

Islamic State and jihadist propaganda threaten contemporary world; strategic communication and psychological warfare are fundamental to contrast the rise of the Islamist threat and overcome diplomatic problems between Europe and Russia.

*Report written by ASRIE Association. Russian article at this link: “В СПбГУ состоялся дискуссионный семинар “Информационно-психологическое противоборство в современном мире.”It is possible to see the photo gallery of the event at this link. For more information regarding psychological warfare and strategic communication or for further events and cooperation it is possible to contact