Acceso abierto

The return of propaganda: Historical legacies and contemporary conceptualisations


In this introductory article, we discuss the rise of the “classical” theories of propaganda, starting with an historical exposé of the concept, which traces its roots and trajectory through the field of academic analysis. Propaganda is then discussed in relation to other adjacent concepts such as soft power, public diplomacy, nation branding, fake news, and so on. In a third section, the concept of propaganda is discussed in relation to the present datafied world, marked by various forms of crises – of democracy and of the environment, for example. In the last section, the articles included in this themed issue are presented and related to the preceding historical and conceptual discussion.