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Global Challenges
Issue no. 13 | May 2023
The Global Disinformation Order
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Articles for this issue
Global Challenges
Issue no. 13 | May 2023
The Global Disinformation Order

The present issue seeks to better apprehend the nature of this new era of digital disinformation and how it differs from prior eras marked by the dissemination of more traditional propaganda (notably the Cold War) or by the spread of American (or liberal) soft power through mass media and consumption. In so doing the issue seeks to address a series of questions such as: has traditional propaganda consisting in over-selling a model or ideology by means of manipulation and mass media been replaced by the generalisation of disinformation in the post-truth era characterized by systematic epistemic deconstruction and the outright discreditation of any truth claims? What is the role of states (as opposed to other actors) in this process and what tools and operational mechanisms are they mobilizing to pursue their global (dis-)information campaigns? What is the impact of the generalisation of alternative facts and disinformation campaigns on the international order? Who is to win and lose from it? What can be done, notably at the international level and the UN, to counter the noxious effects of global disinformation campaigns and to recreate trust in the global information order?

Articles for this issue

The Global Disinformation Order
  • I
     

    Narrative Warfare in the Digital Age

    Reading time: 6 min
  • 1
     

    Propaganda and Disinformation between East and West: A Long-Term Perspective

    Reading time: 5 min
  • 2
     

    The Politics of International Legal Justifications: On Truth, Lies and Bullshit

    Reading time: 5 min
  • 3
     

    Interpreting Disinformation

    Reading time: 6 min
  • 4
     

    Vulgar Vibes: The Atmospheres of the Global Disinformation Order

    Reading time: 5 min
  • 5
     

    The Propaganda War over Ukraine: Unanimity, on Both Sides?

    Reading time: 4 min
  • 6
     

    “Dezinformatsiya” and Foreign Information Manipulation and Interference

    Reading time: 6 min
  • 7
     

    The Politics of Information Manipulation in the 21st Century: A Case Study of the Islamic Republic of Iran

    Reading time: 5 min
  • 8
     

    The Islamic State’s Virtual Caliphate

    Reading time: 5 min
Other Issues
Issue no. 11 | March 2022
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The Uncertain Future of Human Rights
Global Challenges
Issue no. 11 | March 2022
The Uncertain Future of Human Rights

After 70 years of existence, human rights are facing criticism from many sides, some even claiming their fundamental inadequacy for the 21st century or imminent end. The human rights regime, based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and several subsequent covenants, is variously being accused of being elitist, Eurocentric and/or imperialistic in its universal claims and remaining blind to local customs and cultural specificities; of being implemented too tamely, inconsistently or even counterproductively by International organisations that are frequently co-opted by powerful state interests; and of being unable to address fundamental societal issues and transformations such as inequality, digital transformations and climate change.

Further critiques castigate human rights’ unmet promises, framing them as a neoliberal smokescreen, or admonishing their anthropocentrism, overlooking the rights of animals, plants or other non-human entities such as robots. In such a state of flux and uncertainty, human rights have also become, to some extent, victims of their own success, being articulated not only by an increasing armada of human rights actors and activists but also by atavistic forces referring to them more cynically. Such inflationary use of human rights, increasingly following a logic of transversality as reflected in the ever-expanding UN human rights issues or the flourishing of corporate CSR strategies and codes, ultimately risks eroding their operability and epistemic traction.

However, as shifting geostrategic constellations, the rise of populism, identitarian politics, authoritarian governments and the current epidemic are all contributing to further fragilising human rights, they remain more crucial to the world’s future than ever. The current Dossier therefore asks how the human rights regime will likely evolve faced by such challenges. Can it reinvent itself and, if so, how? Can we imagine human rights without the pretension to universalism and beyond the decline of the liberal paradigm? Are we moving towards human rights that are more collective in nature or of variable geometry? New perspectives and insights are needed from the legal, social and human sciences to answer these pivotal questions.

This dossier was produced by the Graduate Institute's Research Office in collaboration with the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.

Issue no. 9 | March 2021
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The Moving Fault Lines of Inequality
Global Challenges
Issue no. 9 | March 2021
The Moving Fault Lines of Inequality

While poverty has been diminishing in absolute terms and relative income has been growing on a global scale for over two centuries, inequality – as measured by instruments such as the Gini coefficient – has been increasing steadily since the early 1980s. With the financial crisis of 2007, the growing digitalisation of the economy and the current pandemic, global inequality has further worsened, seeing the fortunes of the superrich attaining unprecedented levels and revenue concentrating in the top percentiles of societies.

Concurrently to the aggravation of the social fracture, additional fault lines have been opening or hardening along logics of race, gender, ethnicity and religion. Identarian revendications and logics of difference and exclusion have come to complement, compete with or supersede more traditional struggles for equality in a postmodern and neoliberal context that has normalised inequality, homogenised societies and done away with earlier grand narratives and collective agendas. 

The consequences of inequality(ies) are dramatic, as reflected in the polarisation and fragmentation of societies, worsening health and mortality indicators, political tensions and violence, a decline in democracy, and mistrust in state institutions. The objective of the current issue of Global Challenges is therefore – by reverting to the analytical tools of social science – to reflect on the causes behind the multifaceted growth of inequality(ies), anticipate their noxious fallouts and explore potential remedies.