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Monthly Archives: November 2015

Are conspiracy theories a threat to democracy?

When I began reading around the literature in conspiracy theory coming out of psychology and political science in particular, and certainly in discussions of conspiracy theory in the media, there was what struck me as a lazy and somewhat self satisfied assumption, never really cashed out, that conspiracy theories were undermining democracy. The ‘dangers to […]

30 November 2015
Conspiracy theories, surprises and democracy

What most – pleasantly – surprised me was how it was in fact possible to link conspiracy theories directly to politics. Most of the literature on conspiracy theories I encountered at first analysed it from the perspective of psychology, American studies etc, but the survey work I have been doing with Rolf and YouGov opened […]

24 November 2015
What has surprised you the most in your study of conspiracy theories?

Because I am a historian, naturally I began with a historical view of the evolution of conspiracy theories over the last couple of centuries or so, based on the idea that the broader and wider the public sphere becomes, the more likely you are to get conspiracy theories based on popular suspicion of government, while […]

18 November 2015
New blog series answering the ‘big’ questions

Ever since we embarked on the project, we’ve found that the subject of our inquiry has intrigued people.  Journalists, visitors, academic colleagues and members of the public regularly ask questions like: What’s your definition of a conspiracy theory? What have you found out? Are conspiracy theories bad for democracy? Did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone? […]