Countering Russian & Chinese Influence Activities

Examining Democratic Vulnerabilities & Building Resiliency

CSIS embarked on an ambitious year-long initiative to analyze Russian influence activities in the United Kingdom and Germany and Chinese influence activities in Japan and Australia. While a growing body of literature describes the strategies and tactics foreign influence activities, we sought to better understand how these influence efforts play out in these four democracies and how democratic governments and societies have (or have not) responded. We examined which factors make democracies particularly vulnerable to Chinese or Russian malign influence operations and identified the sources of resilience that enable democratic governments and polities to mitigate, fend off, or push back on malign efforts. We also sought to determine the degree to which China and Russia have been successful in influencing outcomes through their activities. Finally, we assess how the strategies and tactics used by Russia and China differ or converge.

This publication was made possible by the Global Engagement Center at the U.S. Department of State, through the Information Access Fund (IAF) administered by the DT Institute. The opinions, conclusions, or recommendations contained herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the view of the U.S. government or the IAF.

Heather A. Conley

Amy Searight

Cyrus Newlin

Tim Kostelancik