Global Security Initiative

Narrative, disinformation and strategic Influence

In the 21st century security environment, information has become a key instrument of national power and has transformed the impact of non-state actors. Adversaries use propaganda and disinformation to assault political will, manipulate public opinion and erode socio-political institutions, thereby weakening democracies. Better understanding the information environment and its impact on geopolitical events and human behavior is vital to maintaining security and making better policy decisions. By conducting cutting-edge research in the overlapping fields of strategic communication, influence, data analytics and gray zone operations, GSI generates actionable insights, tools and methodologies to maneuver in the information environment and for security practitioners.


  • Narrative analysis research to inform strategic communication and information operations in gray-zone contexts
  • Fusion of humanities, social science and computer science theory methods and tools to better analyze, share and dissect relevant data

Featured project

Analyzing messaging to mitigate threats

GSI and its affiliate, ASU's Center for Strategic Communication, are partnering with Lockheed Martin to investigate how parties hostile to U.S. interests might frame a story in the media to justify and generate support for future actions. For example, an adversary may claim a local population is oppressed to justify a coming invasion. By identifying storytelling trends that indicate an imminent act, this research will help policymakers to identify potential threats and improve the odds of deterrence.