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2020 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

5. Character Assassination as Strategic Communication in EU-Russia Relations

Authors: Sergei A. Samoilenko, Marlene Laruelle

Published in: Strategic Communication in EU-Russia Relations

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

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Abstract

This chapter examines character assassination as a set of strategies used by conflicting parties in international affairs. Specifically, it views character assassination as strategic communication embedded in the context of political standoff. Mass media manufacture political conflicts by incorporating character assassination into their framing strategies and tactics. The chapter highlights differences between the European Union (EU) and Russia in their strategic application of character assassination, which inevitably contributes to the current geopolitical tensions between the parties. The authors advocate for future research into character assassination as strategic communication in the areas of international affairs, public diplomacy, and crisis communication.

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Footnotes
1
Putin’s popular aphorisms and catch-phrases, which can be considered a populist communication technique, have been quite discussed by the media, but they remain limited to about a dozen memorable formulas, a small number for more than 18 years in power. The most famous of these, “dunk them in the toilets,” was made in September 1999, when Putin was only Prime Minister and had to appear as a tough leader able to break Chechnya’s secessionist tendencies. Since then, many have been made during his annual televisual Q&A sessions, such as “plowed away like a slave on a galley” to describe his own work, “shearing a piglet” to comment on the US accusation of protecting Edward Snowden, “don’t waste time for it” when asked about his health, “oinking alone” to describe US satellites spying on Russia, and several references to traditional Russian jokes or quotes from popular Soviet novels.
 
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Metadata
Title
Character Assassination as Strategic Communication in EU-Russia Relations
Authors
Sergei A. Samoilenko
Marlene Laruelle
Copyright Year
2020
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-27253-1_5