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We consider two analytical devices used by political communication scholars to study international politics: framing theory and strategic narratives. Both emphasize the role of language and ideas in international affairs, placing them within the constructivist tradition of international affairs scholarship. We contend that the framing literature struggles to manage the complexities of contemporary international affairs, mostly because of its almost exclusive focus on national news organizations and political institutions, rather than on the wider range of transnational information flows and institutions. Strategic narratives scholarship embraces the transnational dimensions of contemporary struggles over meaning played out on digitally networked platforms. In this context, we discuss the nature and intent of transnational influence campaigns, typically referred to as disinformation campaigns. We argue that the strategic narratives framework is better suited to capturing the complexities and purposes of transnational struggles over meaning.