Course: Strategic Communications in International Politics

SCERU sponsors a semester-long course on strategic communications at the University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Public Policy (GraSPP). Taught by Director Chiyuki Aoi, this course provides the background for understanding the expanded role of communications in contemporary international security and provides a theoretical framework for analyzing/explaining the role of strategic communications in contemporary diplomacy and statecraft. This course will further situate contemporary uses of strategic communications in the evolving character of warfare today, especially the hybridization of threats and warfare. Issues covered include: functions and approaches of strategic communications; the social impact of the evolution of information technologies; persuasion and coercion as a communicative process; public affairs and public diplomacy; disinformation from a historical perspective; uses of communications by non-state actors; governmental institutions and the apparatus of strategic communications; and strategic communications in the Indo-Pacific. This course is recommended in preparation for the GraSPP-King’s College London double-degree programme. Guest lecture sessions conducted throughout the semester provide GraSPP students the opportunity to hear from leading scholars, experts, and practitioners of strategic communications.

Course: Technology and the Transformation of Warfare

Director Chiyuki Aoi also teaches Technology and the Transformation of Warfare. The course examines the impact of modern and contemporary technological change, especially in the spheres of communications and media, on the character and conduct of warfare. The lectures introduce the fundamental theories and historical studies dealing with the transformation of warfare, and then moves on to explore more contemporary concepts and theories about war’s transformation, ranging from “hybrid war” to “war amongst the people,” to provide a framework through which the theories can be bridged. Of particular interest in the course is the role of various communication media, such as social media, and evolution in war documentary and film-making techniques, such as embedded journalism, and their impact on the conduct and the (perceived) legitimacy of warfare. The course will feature guest speakers and a session dedicated to the role of strategic communications in warfare.