• Social Research An Int'l Quarterly

CONSPIRACY/THEORY / Vol 89, No. 3 (Fall 2022)

Updated: Apr 18

Arien Mack, Journal Editor

Oz Frankel, Guest Editor

Dolunay Bulut

Endangered Scholars Worldwide

Mia Bloom and Sophia Moskalenko

Gendered Aspects of QAnon

Eliot Borenstein

Conspiracy Theory in Russia

Michael Butter

Conspiracy Theory after Trump

Trump and his legacy of conspiracism for the Republican Party, tying this to larger shifts in the status of conspiracy theories in American culture and history.

Nicolas Guilhot

Jennifer Hochschild and David Beavers

Conspiracy and COVID-19

We are working together on research about the impact of Covid-19 on support for President Trump during 2020. We are analyzing survey data that include Americans’ views about various Covid conspiracies (the survey firm calls them “theories.”)

Peter Knight and Clare Birchall

“Do Your Own Research!”: Conspiracy Theories and the Internet

With their relentless drive to connect the dots into one over-arching explanation, conspiracy theories seem to be made for the internet and its logic of hyperlinked connectivity. Once marginal ideas can now readily find a community of believers, creating complex pathways of transmission between the margins and the mainstream. Although it is very tempting to blame social media for the rise of conspiracism and a corresponding decline of democracy, those claims rest on shaky premises. First, some studies of online conspiracism in effect come dangerously close to creating their own conspiracy theory: they conjure up the image of social media users as the passive, unwitting dupes of a powerful cabal of Silicon Valley tech firms pulling the strings behind the scenes. Second, epidemiological metaphors of the “viral” spread of “memes” creating an “infodemic” of misinformation rely on the mistaken notion that participants in online culture are merely the passive recipients of targeted misinformation that is nearly impossible to resist. In contrast, in this article we focus on how the dynamic processes of meaning making and community formation interact with the technological affordances of the varying social media platforms.

Sandra Laugier

Skepticism and mistrust in the context of conspiratorial thinking; possibly also representations of conspiracies in popular culture

Timothy Melley

The Conspiracy Imaginary

The essay will explore the role of popular narrative in providing ready-to-hand scripts about social power that feed into conspiracy discourse.

Russel Muirhead and Nancy Rosenblum

Jan-Werner Müller

Conspiracy theories and populism.

Fabian Muniesa

David Robertson

Conspiracy, Religion, and Knowledge

How "conspiracy theory" and "religion" act as strategies for managing specific kinds of knowledge claims in late capital societies, possibly examining some recent examples of how religion/cult rhetoric has moved into the political sphere, moving to a broader analysis of a shift in the epistemic economy.

Joseph E. Uscinski

QAnon and how it continues and departs in both form and content vis-a-vis prior venues of conspiratorial thought

Erol Saglam

Statecraft, Violence, and Paranoia

Michal Bilewicz and Roland Imhoff

The presence of conspiracy theories on the extremes of left-right political spectrum. This is a pattern that we repeatedly observe in psychological studies of conspiracy mentality: it is more often visible among the radicals than in the center.

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