Political communication, propaganda and influence in the era of fake news
The term ‘propaganda’ is increasingly prevalent in today’s political debates and discourse, alongside other terms such as ‘fake news’ and ‘disinformation’. But what is the history of these concepts? How were they developed and deployed, and to what purpose? And how has the modern media environment, particularly the use of social media, given them a new relevance? This module explores the evolution of political communication, in particular the phenomenon of propaganda. You will explore the theory and practice of propaganda and strategic communication, and case studies from the Second World War to current political debate. You will also engage with the challenges our current information environment poses for politics, society, and security.
This module will consist of a minimum of 45 contact hours with teaching taking place between 9am and 5pm from Monday to Friday. An indicative timetable will be available shortly and a detailed timetable for this module will be available on KEATS from June 2020.
Learning outcomes and objectives
Upon completion of the course you should:
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key theories of political communication and propaganda.
- Have acquired the ability to critically engage with and evaluate case studies of communication and propaganda.
- Demonstrate an ability to engage critically with the scholarly debates over the nature, role, and impact of various political campaigns.
- Have developed analytical and critical skills that are transferable to broader political and security related courses.
- Have developed more confidence and competence in your academic writing and presentation skills, and will have gained team-working and cooperation skill from completing group-based tasks.
Taught by the Department of War Studies
, Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy
, King's College London
- Seminar discussions
- Group based tasks
Module assessment - more information
Students will submit:
1 x 1500 word essay. Individual. 60%.
1 x presentation, 5 minute recorded power point concerning a political communication case study. Group task (2/3 per group), accompanied by a submission of a 500 word summary of the presentation. 30 %.
1 x 500 word ‘blog post’ type submission, commenting on a case study. 10%.