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Narrative, disinformation and strategic influence


Portrait of Scott Rustin

Center Director and Research Professor: Scott W. Ruston, PhD iSearch

A scholar of narrative and strategic communication, Professor Ruston’s research focuses on the socio-cultural dimensions of the information domain. Current research projects focus on analysis of propaganda and information operations in so-called Gray Zone operations, as well as narrative-based interventions influencing attitude, belief and behavior. He has applied his expertise in narrative theory and media studies to a variety of counter violent extremism and counter violent extremist ideology research contexts, including: analysis of extremist narratives; strategies for counter or alternative narratives; and the neurobiology of narrative comprehension. He is co-author of Narrative Landmines: Rumors, Islamist Extremism and the Struggle for Strategic Influence (Rutgers University Press, 2012), as well as articles on strategic communication, extremist videos and the narrative potential of new media technologies. He leads GSI’s Disinformation Working Group, a university-wide, interdisciplinary group of scholars tackling issues related to societal and personal resilience to disinformation, the effectiveness of disinformation, and other topics.