Democracy and Human Rights Program
【GGR/FFI International Conference】Propaganda, Disinformation and Influence in the Digital Age: Global Reach, Regional Challenges
DateDecember 3, 2022
PlaceMercury Hall (7th floor of the Mercury Tower), Kunitachi campus, Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo
Event Outline

The Institute for Global Governance Research (GGR) and the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) are delighted to announce that we will host an international conference on the effects of online disinformation and propaganda. This conference will bring prominent researchers from around the world to present and discuss their latest research on propaganda, disinformation, and influence in the digital age. This event requires prior registration, and there are 100 places available.

In the past decade, non-democratic states and fringe political groups have used unmoderated, freely available, social media in efforts to influence people covertly in ways that are detrimental to democratic values. Russia’s interference in the US election in 2016 (and later) showed the ease with which online debates could be manipulated in this way. During the Covid-19 pandemic the World Health Organisation warned of the “infodemic” that spread online: propaganda, disinformation and misinformation that was distributed through social media and state controlled news outlets with falsehoods, conspiracy theories and twisted facts that made the work of countering the pandemic more difficult. Finally, the case of Ukraine has highlighted the problem of unchecked online manipulation that targets a country over many years with false narratives.

Hitotsubashi University researchers have done groundbreaking works on Chinese influence efforts targeting Japan and are currently collaborating with a visiting researcher from the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment to expand our understanding of the effects on online disinformation and propaganda in local communities. This conference will bring together prominent researchers of influence operations from not only from Japan and Norway but from around the world to present and discuss the latest research in this arena.


9:30 Introduction: Norway and Japan research
Welcome address by H. E. Inga M. W. Nyhamar (Norwegian Ambassador to Japan)
Arild Bergh (FFI/ Hitotsubashi)
Maiko Ichihara (Hitotsubashi University)
9:50 Horizons of influence operations research
Belén Carrasco Rodríguez (Senior Investigator, Centre for Information Resilience)
Lea Bjørgul (Norwegian Defence Research Establishment)
10:45 State actors in influence operations
Tobias Sæther (Norwegian Defence Command and Staff College)
Ellie Young (Research Analyst for China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, Freedom House)
12:15 Lunch break
13:00 Subnational influence: worth the efforts?
Rune Rafaelsen (former mayor, Kirkenes)
TBD (from Okinawa)
14:30 Can we counter influence operations?
Noboru Nakatani (Vice-President, Japan Safer Internet Association)
Steen Steensen (leader of SCAM project)
16:00 End of the program



Language English (with English to Japanese translation if necessary)
Organizers The Institute for Global Governance Research (GGR) and the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI)
Registration site
Seats available 100


We look forward to your participation.