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HISTORY, POLITICAL THEORY, INTERNET

Author Archives: Alfred Moore

New publication on conspiracy and democracy!

I’ve recently published a special issue of Critical Review, in which a group of political theorists reflect on the place of conspiracy and conspiracy theory in democratic politics. Our former guest on the project, Lawrence Quill, has a piece based on his successful lecture on Technological Conspiracies. I’ve written an introductory essay as well as […]

28 July 2016
How do conspiracy theories relate to non-democratic regimes?

One of the striking features of ‘conspiracy theory’ in the advanced democracies is how marginal it is. Conspiracy theory is a term of derision, and political leaders tend to be wary of being associated with any claims that could plausibly be called a conspiracy theory. The anxious liberals of the 1950s who gave us terms like ‘conspiracy theory’ […]

21 December 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
Science and Conspiracy

Our conference, titled Suspect Science: Climate Change, Epidemics, and Questions of Conspiracy, starts today! Here’s a re-post of a short article introducing the conference, and also introducing a guest week that we are editing at openDemocracy, where several of our conference participants have now published short essays. Imagining Conspiracies about Science Many serious people are worried […]

17 September 2015
Technological Conspiracies

On Tuesday Lawrence Quill gave a public lecture on Technological Conspiracies. It was creative, thought-provoking, and opened with a charming advert for a family robot. We’ll post a video of the lecture here soon, but in the meantime here’s a text of the comments I gave after the talk, where I raised some questions about technology, […]

11 June 2015
Of Cynics and Conspiracy Theorists

What separates cynics from conspiracy theorists? When people use the language of conspiracy it’s not always clear exactly what sort of conspiracy they have in mind. In this post we analyse the data from our opinion poll to explore how respondents talk about hidden power.

23 February 2015
Must a conspiracy always go right up to the top?

“This goes all the way to the top” is one of the great clichés of conspiracy theory. It conjures an image of a group of cackling evildoers hatching a nefarious plot in a smoky room, swearing an oath and then secretly carrying out their elaborate design. In this model of a conspiracy, a small secret […]

2 February 2015
The Guy Fawkes Conspiracy
The Guy Fawkes Conspiracy

It’s the archetype of a conspiracy, complete with oaths of secrecy, a smoky room, and an agreement to commit treason. But, in the words of this BBC article, Was Guy Fawkes a Fall Guy? Take care to read past the first dozen or so paragraphs, where you will find that the answer, according to Cambridge […]

5 November 2014
Equal Opportunity Conspiracy Theories?
Equal Opportunity Conspiracy Theories?

Following their visit last term talking about their forthcoming book on American Conspiracy Theories, Joe Parent and Joe Uscinski wrote a piece for the CRASSH blog on the pitfalls and the benefits of collaborative writing. And so saying, we’ve put together a short piece for the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage political science blog, discussing their […]

23 August 2014
Communism, Conspiracy, and Surveillance
Communism, Conspiracy, and Surveillance

Why do people believe in conspiracies? This is the way our topic is often framed. It sets the scene for psychological studies aimed at finding out why people would entertain conspiracy theories – the nuttier the better – and, more broadly, how to respond to these dangerous misperceptions, false beliefs and paranoid suspicions. These are […]

8 June 2014