GGR Issue Briefings / Working Papers

Democracy and Human Rights Program

An Analysis of Counter-Narratives to Disinformation about the COVID Vaccine

AuthorRei Kamikawa, Sosei Oi, Tomoya Maeda
DateMay 28, 2024

AbstractThere are growing concerns that one of the contributing factors to the spread of vaccine hesitancy is the dissemination of misinformation on the internet, where unsubstantiated information exchanges take place among individuals often referred to as “naturalists" on social media platforms. To explore potential solutions to the concerns, this paper analyzes the personas targeted by the entities that disseminate disinformation. Subsequently, it examines effective countermeasures for disseminating counter-narratives against disinformation and highlights the concerns and societal considerations in implementing these strategies.

Democracy and Human Rights Program

China’s YouTube Propaganda in Latin America

DateFebruary 13, 2024

AbstractOn February 13, 2024, Sascha Hannig Nuñez, a doctoral student in the Graduate School of Law, authored an article, "China’s YouTube Propaganda in Latin America," which was published in The Diplomat. In this article, Hannig stated that Chinese state media share common objectives and aim to shape public opinion along Beijing's perspective under the guidance of President Xi Jinping. She pointed out that Spanish-language channels operated by the China Media Group, including China Global Television Network (CGTN), Xinhua enespañol, and Hola China (CCTV), adopt different strategies, and their influence on viewers is limited. However, she noted that videos on specific topics attract more attention; for example, those addressing cultural issues or regional crises tend to receive higher viewer engagement.

Democracy and Human Rights Program

Being Connected from Myanmar: “We Are Still Here”

DateApril 30, 2024

Abstract*This paper was written based on an interview conducted on March 8, 2024.

Democracy and Human Rights Program

Challenges in Measures against Digital Influence Operations: Why can’t the EU/US deal with the methods used by China, Russia, and Iran?

AuthorKazuki Ichida
DateApril 15, 2024

AbstractThe digital influence operation measures being undertaken in the EU and the US focus on dealing with disinformation, which in turn includes dealing with foreign interference and major social media platforms. However, the main aim of the CRI (China, Russia, and Iran) operation is to widen the polarization and distrust that already exist within their counterparts, and the use of disinformation and major social media platforms is only one of the ways to do so. The effectiveness of EU and US measures is limited in scope because the CRI can use other options to circumvent them. Since the attacker's goal is to divide the target country and spread distrust, it is essential for the defender to have an overarching understanding of the domestic situation in order to conduct research and to cope with the influence operation. However, surveys and research often involve case studies, and the overall picture is rarely examined, so effective findings are scarce. Current countermeasures, which are symptomatic treatments lacking a holistic picture, tend to fall into alarmism that issues indiscriminate warnings, and as a result, may deepen polarization and distrust. It is important to prioritize the understanding and sharing of the big picture in countermeasures against digital influence operations.

Democracy and Human Rights Program

Reflections of a Myanmar Activist: Navigating Struggles and Fostering Resilience in Japan for the Homeland

AuthorHnin Htet Htet Aung
DateApril 12, 2024

Abstract*The paper was written based on an interview conducted on March 1, 2024.

Democracy and Human Rights Program

Hong Kong Activism from the Perspective of Journalism and Cultural Ideas

DateMarch 28, 2024

Abstract*This paper was written based on an interview conducted on February 27, 2024.

Democracy and Human Rights Program

Freedom of Party Formation through the Constitutions of Thailand

AuthorParin Jaruthavee
DateMarch 22, 2024

AbstractThe freedom of party formation is fundamental to democratic values but is often overlooked in Thailand. Contrary to its intended purpose of safeguarding rights and freedoms, the Thai constitution inadvertently impedes these very principles. By imposing stringent requirements for party formation and facilitating easier dissolution, the constitution not only imposes burdens on political parties but also restricts the freedom to establish them. Such constraints significantly undermine Thai citizens’ political participation and representation. Furthermore, the ease of party dissolution manipulates Thailand’s political context, and is often used as a strategic chess piece in the broader political game. This dynamic further complicates the political landscape in Thailand and highlights the need for constitutional reform to truly reflect the voice of the people.

Democracy and Human Rights Program

Visualizing Record China Discourse through Exponential Family Embeddings

AuthorWu Tung-Wen
DateMarch 21, 2024

AbstractThis paper employs exponential family embeddings, a Bayesian machine learning method, to analyze the discourse in articles published by Record China. Specifically, it estimates the meaning of words in Record China articles by using exponential family embeddings. As a result of the estimation, this paper quantitatively reveals China's argument that Chinese democracy is superior and the discourse that the U.S. is a threat. If the amount of data is expanded in the future, it will be possible to visualize changes in Record China's discourse and differences between this discourse and that of the Japanese media in general. (The content of this article is solely the opinion of the author and has nothing to do with dip Corporation, to which the author belongs.)

Democracy and Human Rights Program

Motherhood in Activism: A Dialogue with a Myanmar Activist Living in Japan

AuthorHnin Htet Htet Aung
DateMarch 13, 2024

Abstract* This paper was written based on an interview conducted on February 22, 2024.

Democracy and Human Rights Program

China–Georgia Relations: A New Move on the Chessboard?

AuthorAnna Dolidze
DateMarch 8, 2024

AbstractOn January 14, 2024, a high-level delegation from Georgia’s ruling party visited China to bolster ties related to the Middle Corridor Initiative, connecting China and Europe. Georgia support this initiative due to obstacles in the northern route via Russia caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict. China has been active in Georgia through investments and participation in the Belt and Road Initiative. The visit follows a Strategic Partnership Statement signed in 2023, marking a significant milestone. However, the specifics of the partnership remain vague, and Georgia's foreign policy priorities primarily focus on relations with Russia and Western allies. The statement aims to deepen political, economic, and cultural ties, but its practical outcomes are uncertain. Consideration of other regional players like Russia, the United States, and Turkey is crucial, given their historical interests in the Caucasus region. Georgia's pivot towards China represents a shift in its foreign policy approach, but its impact on bilateral relations remains uncertain amidst the complex geopolitical dynamics of the Caucasus.