The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Interest Groups, Lobbying and Public Affairs

Living Edition
| Editors: Phil Harris, Alberto Bitonti, Craig S. Fleisher, Anne Skorkjær Binderkrantz

War Public Affairs: Nature and Narrative

  • Pier Paolo PedriniEmail author
Living reference work entry


“War public affairs” refer to communication strategies and techniques, carried out by governmental players in order to promote and “sell” to the public opinion a military effort or a country’s engagement into a war, thus fostering public support for it.

War public affairs have a lot in common with commercial advertising. From World War I onward, propagandists have always used their techniques to package their messages and their persuasive discourses to influence the people’s opinions and actions, in order to obtain public approval.

The fundamental elements of both strategies include the repetition and the simplicity of the message, the use of colloquial language and of significant and easily understandable symbols, and the necessity of provoking emotional responses into the public.

All these tactics are used to sell the “war product” by a persuasive narrative with stereotyped formulas. In this sense, a strategy of war public affairs can be identified in every war, and the...


War propaganda War marketing Persuasion Manipulation Falsehood Advertising Public relations 
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Further Reading

  1. Morrelli, A. (2010). Principes élémentaires de propaganda de guerre: utilisable en cas de guerre froide, chaude où tiède. Bruxelles, Belgium: Aden.Google Scholar
  2. Pedrini, P. P. (2017). Propaganda, persuasion and the great War. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  4. Stanley, J. (2015). How propaganda works. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Taylor, P. M. (2003). Munitions of the mind: War propaganda from the ancient world to the nuclear age. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LuganoSwitzerland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Alberto Bitonti
    • 1
  1. 1.Università della Svizzera ItalianaLuganoSwitzerland