We live in a world of influence operations run amok, where dark ads, psy-ops, hacks, bots, soft facts, trolls, and even world leaders seek to shape our very reality. In this surreal atmosphere created to disorient us and undermine our sense of truth, we’ve lost not only our grip on peace and democracy—but our very notion of what those words even mean.
Join SNF Agora Visiting Scholar Peter Pomerantsev, as he takes us to the front lines of the disinformation age with his latest book, This is not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality. Forty years after his dissident parents were pursued by the KGB, Pomerantsev finds the Kremlin re-emerging as a great propaganda power. Blending reportage, family history, and intellectual adventure, This Is Not Propaganda explores how we can reimagine our politics and ourselves when reality seems to be coming apart.
Pomerantsev is a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Institute of Global Affairs at the London School of Economics, an author, and TV producer. He studies propaganda and media development, and has testified on the challenges of information war to the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the UK Parliament Defense Select Committee. He writes for publications including Granta, The Atlantic, Financial Times, London Review of Books, and Politico, among others. His first book, Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, won the 2016 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, was nominated for the Samuel Johnson, Guardian First Book, Pushkin House, and Gordon Burns Prizes. It is translated into over a dozen languages.
This talk is presented by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins, as part of its Democracy Dialogues series.