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Trust Me: The Politics of Conspiracy Theory with Kiril Avramov

By The University of Texas at Austin

As a kickoff to the Information Wars Social Media Conference here at the University of Texas today, we are releasing this episode featuring one of UT's own speakers, Dr. Kiril Avramov who is not only brilliant but one of the most caring and engaging educators on these Forty Acres! Dr. Avramov was until December 2017 the Acting Vice-Rector for International Relations and Research at the New Bulgarian University (NBU) in Sofia, Bulgaria and an Assistant Professor of Political Science at NBU. He studied previously at Gustavus Adolphus College (USA/MN), the University of Aberdeen (Scotland), University of Sofia (Bulgaria), Central European University (Hungary), and NBU. He taught in the Department of Political Science at the University of Sofia until 2005 and, from 2006-2010, was also the Director of the international consultancy and research institute “Political Capital” in Bulgaria. In 2010, he was appointed as the Director for International Relations of Political Capital at the firm’s headquarters in Budapest. Dr. Avramov’s main research interests are information warfare, psychological operations and mass cognitive hacking, as well as the “weaponization of information” and their respective application and effects on individual and group decision-making processes in the Central and Eastern Europe and MENA regions. Additional areas of interest include political elites’ and non-elites’ decision-making resilience mechanisms and radicalization in post-transition democracies during identified active “psyops” and third party information operations. BOOK RECOMMENDATION: "Fortress Russia: Conspiracy Theories in the Post-Soviet World" by Ilya Yablokov https://www.amazon.com/Fortress-Russia-Conspiracy-Theories-Post-Soviet/dp/1509522662/ref=sr11?crid=3EA8MAIYQ3KII&keywords=fortress+russia&qid=1556198139&s=books&sprefix=fortress+russia%2Caps%2C152&sr=1-1 Note: Dr. Kiril Avramov appears courtesy of the Intelligence Studies Project, a joint endeavor of the Clements Center for National Security and the Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas at Austin. Producer's Note: This episode was recorded on April 12th, 2019, therefore the Ukrainian presidential election had not occurred yet, deeming Volodymyr Zelensky as the uncontested winner. CREDITS Co-Producer: Matthew Orr (Connect: facebook.com/orrmatthew) Associate Producer: Tom Rehnquist (Connect: facebook.com/thomas.rehnquist) Associate Producer: Lauren Nyquist (Connect: facebook.com/lenyquist Instagram: @nyquabbit) Associate Producer: Milena D-K (Connect: facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010939368892 Instagram: @thedistantsea and @milena.d.k) Music/Sound Design: Charlie Harper (Connect: facebook.com/charlie.harper.1485 Instagram: @charlieharpermusic www.charlieharpermusic.com) Producer & Creator: Michelle Daniel (Connect: facebook.com/mdanielgeraci Instagram: @michelledaniel86) Follow The Slavic Connexion on Instagram: @slavxradio, Twitter: @SlavXRadio, and on Facebook: facebook.com/slavxradio . Check out our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDqMRKmAtJRxBVxFTI82pgg Thanks for listening and please don't forget to subscribe!! Special Guest: Kiril Avramov.

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