Propaganda to persuade
Political Science Research and Methods, 2021, vol. 9, issue 2, 438-444
I analyze a model in which an incumbent ruler designs a rule for propaganda disclosure that reveals information about her competence to her allies and opponents. A message that increases beliefs about the incumbent's competence is considered as propaganda. I show that for propaganda to be persuasive, it must be limited in frequency. I also demonstrate how various features of the environment affect the frequency of propaganda. Propaganda increases in frequency as the incumbent's allies become more dependent on her and as her opponents become weaker. Further, there is a non-monotonic relationship between the strength of the conflict of interest between both her allies and her opponents and the frequency of propaganda. As conflict increases, the frequency of propaganda decreases up to a threshold beyond which increased conflict is associated with more frequent propaganda.
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