Weaponisation of social media and online information is a real and emerging threat. Hence, this article aims to broaden our understanding of this phenomenon by introducing the concept of mimetic warfare. Borrowing from mimesis, or a particular representation of reality, this article delves into information conflicts as the ones involving a struggle between well-prepared comprehensive narratives that are intended to affect a target population’s cognition and behaviour. Mimesis as a concept is seen as particularly useful in explaining the multiplicity, proliferation and appeal of such representations and interpretations of facts, events or phenomena. The article then presents a case for the Western states’ proactive involvement in mimetic operations at the home front in order to maintain cohesion and not to cede ground to hostile foreign powers.
Employing a perspective informed by brand management, this article aims at understanding information warfare operations in social media. The state, seen as brand, must project an image of itself to both internal and foreign audiences to unite the domestic audience and/or attract global support. However, in constructing a brand, states are vulnerable to ‘sofa warriors’ – ordinary individuals who have been unwittingly recruited by hostile actors to disseminate (over social media or other platforms) a counter-brand, harmful to the state concerned. These new threats are investigated in light of recent tendencies in online branding, elucidating their status as a national security threat, with the potential to significantly disrupt life in political communities.
This article contains three book reviews, each of which relates in its own way to the larger academic category of political theory. The reviewed books are: Rebel Cities (2012) by David Harvey, States of War: Enlightenment Origins of the Political (2012) by David William Bates, and The Communist Postscript (2009) by Boris Groys.
Cyberspace is a new global space that is yet not fully explored nor effectively regulated. The authors are not sketching a regulatory framework for cyberspace, but instead are inclined to glean valuable experience from the developments in the regulation of other global spaces, especially the sea. First, the peculiarities of cyberspace and cybercrime are briefly outlined. Then, the other global spaces are analysed drawing comparisons between exploration, appropriation and regulations of the sea and the air and cyberspace. The authors suggest that it is vital to learn lessons from the past in order to achieve an effective model of regulation of cyberspace. One of the main focus points of the paper is the position of a pirate and the ways of regulating piracy in different global spaces.
This article combines contributions from three authors, each of whom writes in scholarly response to Brynnar Swenson’s “The Human Network: Social Media and the Limit of Politics,” originally published in the Baltic Journal of Law & Politics 4:2 (2011): 102-124. Ignas Kalpokas reads Swenson’s theories of revolt and social change alongside a robust theory of sovereignty drawn from Carl Schmitt, while also expanding Swenson’s interpretations of the media representations of the Egyptian revolution and the 2011 riots in England by an appeal to theories drawn from Lacanian psychoanalysis. J.D. Mininger also draws from psychoanalytic discourse as he revisits a key interview given in Swenson’s account of the media interpretations of the London riots of 2011. Viktorija Rusinaitė addresses Swenson’s provocation about the limits and status of politics, turning to media theory and the concept of politics found in the work of Jacques Rancière.