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Hybrid warfare and a plan to safeguard societies


September 2020 - August 2026

THREAT-DEFUSER explores the role of "soft" information strategies propagated through mass and social media that constitute hybrid warfare. We investigate Norwegian perceptions of Russia, as well as Russian perceptions of Norway, in the context of Norwegian national security.

THREAT-DEFUSER is a multi-disciplinary project that combines state-of-the-art methodologies from political science, linguistics and media studies to forge new methodologies. Whereas academic disciplines tend to be disproportionately focused on the English-speaking world, THREAT-DEFUSER breaks away from that narrow view, focusing instead on Russian and two official languages of Norway: Norwegian and North Saami. Three cultural perspectives are opened up: 1) a major international language, since Russian is the second most-used language on the Internet; 2) a majority national language; 3) a minority indigenous language.

The tools created by THREAT-DEFUSER are portable to other languages, cultures, and domains, and will be shared open source with the international research community. THREAT-DEFUSER actively disseminates research findings to political authorities (via evidence briefs and closed workshops), to academics (via high-quality open access scholarly journals), and to the public at large through a dedicated, regularly updated website, podcasts, school visits and an app that facilitates rapid response to the dynamic landscape of news and social media.

THREAT-DEFUSER assesses Russia's increasingly assertive role in matters of foreign and security policy, particularly in relation to their engagement in hybrid warfare. The same tools are implemented also to analyze Russian attitudes to Europe that have a direct bearing on Norwegian-Russian relations.

THREAT-DEFUSER is funded by the Research Council of Norway, grant number 300002.

This project is administered by UiT The Arctic University of Norway, in collaboration with:

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