How Hybrid Regimes Use Propaganda
We identify and theorize a new kind of election intervention, by hybrid regimes, in democracies, arising from state-to-state political communication. We argue that instabilities inherent in hybrid regimes cause them to generate a specific type for propaganda for domestic use, one emphasizing illiberal tenets and principles. This discourse is beneficial to populist and anti-systemic parties in democracies. Powerful hybrid regimes send abroad such communication in order to reap the benefits from a non-systemic political ecology in election-holding states. We find evidence for the argument in analysis of the refugee crisis in Germany, where we identify how political communication by Kremlin-sponsored media both aligned with and promoted issues close to the far-right populist AfD party, in a manner dependent on the local election calendar. We discuss the broader implications for this new type of international propaganda on election interventions and the rise of populism. Under review. Available from SSRN.