“Make Germany Great Again” – Kremlin, Alt-Right and International Influences in the 2017 German Elections

ANNE APPLEBAUM, PETER POMERANTSEV, MELANIE SMITH AND CHLOE COLLIVER, DECEMBER 2017

This report presents the findings of a project run with partners from the Arena Project, part of the Institute for Global Affairs at LSE, that investigated Kremlin and other foreign attempts to influence the 2017 German elections. The project uncovered the tactics and narratives employed by Kremlin-sponsored media, pro-Kremlin social media networks and the international alt right to distort political discourse during the election campaign period.

The report explores how these efforts differed across three audiences in Germany: the nationalist right, the left wing and the Russian-speaking population. Through a mixed methodology that included social media analysis, investigative journalism and broadcast media monitoring, the report demonstrates the coordination of attempts to manipulate the debate between the online and offline. The report provides recommendations for steps that can be taken by domestic and international civil society, policymakers, and media in order to build a proportional and effective response to these efforts.

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Political Monopoly: How Europe’s New Authoritarians Stifle Democracy and Get Away With it

"Political Monopoly: How Europe’s New Authoritarians Stifle Democracy and Get Away With it" is a new analysis of how Europe’s new authoritarians in Hungary, Poland and elsewhere consolidate power while maintaining a democratic facade. Comparing them to economic monopolies, it proposes a framework of “political anti-trust” to restore competitive politics.

The Genesis of a Conspiracy Theory

This briefing paper provides an overview of the key trends in activity around the QAnon conspiracy theory from 2017 to 2020. Crucially it points to major spikes in QAnon activity in March 2020, suggesting both an increase in activity to promote the conspiracy theory and the spread of this conspiracy to new audiences.