9.6.2022 CIS #26
Gregory Asmolov

Le séminaire du CIS reçoit Gregory Asmolov (King’s College London) le 9 juin 2022, de 14h à 15h30, pour un exposé en visioconférence et en anglais.

Participatory warfare revised: innovation and the role of digital crowds in the Russia-Ukraine war

EN. Over the last decade, we have seen the increasing role of digital crowds in conflicts. New forms of digital mediation reconstitute the relationship between crowd and conflicts, while giving rise to new forms of participatory warfare. The role of digital platforms in supporting various modes of conflict-related mobilisation is evident following the Russian aggression against Ukraine. The Russia-Ukraine war offers a broad range of examples of conflict-related innovation and crowdsourcing initiatives that support crowd resource mobilisation to address various conflict-related goals, starting from humanitarian aid and protecting cultural heritage to intelligence gathering and participation in cybersecurity operations.

The purpose of the talk is to examine how the dynamics of digital innovation that has been driven by digital crowds change the balance of power between the state actors. Relying on the concept of open innovation and generativity, the talk examines the role of digital platforms in the Russia-Ukraine war. It follows the change in the nature of participation in war relying on digital sourcing. The talk identifies generativity as the key feature of the development of war-related innovation and argues that digitally-mediated participation in warfare becomes more open and more offensive. The talk offers a notion of “open war” to explain the innovative advantage of the Ukrainian side in face of the Russian invasion. It also examines the role of domestication of warfare in shaping different forms of participation on two sides of the war.

Gregory Asmolov is a Lecturer in Digital Entrepreneurship at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London. His research interests include crisis-related digital innovation, digital disconnection, digital sovereignty and participatory warfare. Gregory’s research seeks to contribute to understanding the role of digital mediation in the relationship between users and conflicts, and to build a detailed picture of the forms of civic engagement in modern warfare.

Gregory Asmolov

His recent publications include “The disconnective power of disinformation campaigns” at Journal of International Affairs (2018), “The effects of participatory propaganda: From socialization to internalization of conflicts” at MIT Journal of Design and Science (2019) and “From Sofa to Frontline: The Digital Mediation and Domestication of Warfare” at Media, War & Conflict (2021).

Gregory holds a PhD from the Media and Communications Department at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), MA in Global Communication from George Washington University and BA in Communication and International Affairs from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Prior to his academic career, Gregory has worked as a security reporter for Russian newspapers Kommersant and Novaya Gazeta.