1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Conspiracy Theories

Edited By Michael Butter, Peter Knight Copyright 2020
    700 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    700 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Taking a global and interdisciplinary approach, the Routledge Handbook of Conspiracy Theories provides a comprehensive overview of conspiracy theories as an important social, cultural and political phenomenon in contemporary life.

    This handbook provides the most complete analysis of the phenomenon to date. It analyses conspiracy theories from a variety of perspectives, using both qualitative and quantitative methods. It maps out the key debates, and includes chapters on the historical origins of conspiracy theories, as well as their political significance in a broad range of countries and regions. Other chapters consider the psychology and the sociology of conspiracy beliefs, in addition to their changing cultural forms, functions and modes of transmission. This handbook examines where conspiracy theories come from, who believes in them and what their consequences are.

    This book presents an important resource for students and scholars from a range of disciplines interested in the societal and political impact of conspiracy theories, including Area Studies, Anthropology, History, Media and Cultural Studies, Political Science, Psychology and Sociology.

    Part I
    Definitions and approaches
    Todor Hristov, Andrew McKenzie-McHarg and Alejandro Romero Reche
    1. Conceptual history and conspiracy theory
    Andrew McKenzie-McHarg
    2. Conspiracy theory in historical, cultural and literary studies
    Peter Knight and Michael Butter
    3. Semiotic Approaches to Conspiracy Theories
    Massimo Leone, Mari-Liis Madison and Andreas Ventsel
    4. Philosophy and conspiracy theories
    Juha Räikkä¿ and Juho Ritola
    5. Psychoanalysis, critical theory and conspiracy theory
    Nebojša Blanuša and Todor Hristov
    6. Conspiracy theory as occult cosmology in anthropology
    Annika Rabo
    7. Sociology, social theory and conspiracy theory
    Türkay Salim Nefes and Alejandro Romero Reche
    8. Conspiracy theories in political science and political theory
    Julien Giry and Pranvera Tika
    9. Social psychology of conspiracy theory
    Olivier Klein and Kenzo Nera
    10. Social network analysis, social big data and conspiracy theories
    Estrella Gualda Caballero

    Part II
    Psychological factors
    Jan-Willem van Prooijen, Karen Douglas, Aleksandra Cichocka and Michal Bilewicz
    1. Personality traits, cognitive styles and worldviews associated with beliefs in conspiracy theories
    Anthony Lantian, Michael Wood and Biljana Gjoneska
    2. Social-cognitive processes underlying belief in conspiracy theories
    Jan-Willem van Prooijen, Olivier Klein and Jasna Miloševic Ðordevicz
    3. Motivations, emotions and belief in conspiracy theories
    Karen M. Douglas, Aleksandra Cichocka and Robbie M. Sutton
    4. Conspiracy theories as psycho-political reactions to perceived power
    Roland Imhoff and Pia Lamberty
    5. How conspiracy theories spread
    Adrian Bangerter, Pascal Wagner-Egger and Sylvain Delouvée
    6. Conspiracy theories and intergroup relations
    Mikey Biddlestone, Aleksandra Cichocka, Iris Žeželj and Michal Bilewicz
    7. Consequences of conspiracy theories
    Daniel Jolley, Silvia Mari and Karen Douglas
    8. Countering conspiracy theories and misinformation
    Péter Krekó

    Part III
    Society and politics
    Eiríkur Bergmann, Asbjørn Dyrendal, Jaron Harambam and Hulda Thórisdóttir
    1. Who are the conspiracy theorists? Demographics and conspiracy theories
    Steven M. Smallpage, Hugo Drochon, Joseph E. Uscinski and Casey Klofstad
    2. Conspiracy theory entrepreneurs, movements and individuals
    Jaron Harambam
    3. Conspiracy theories and gender and sexuality
    Annika Thiem
    4. Conspiracy theories, political ideology and political behaviour
    Hulda Thórisdóttir, Silvia Mari and André Krouwel
    5. Functions and uses of conspiracy theories in authoritarian regimes
    Julien Giry and Dogan Gürpinar
    6. Conspiracy theory and populism
    Eiríkur Bergman and Michael Butter
    7. Radicalisation and conspiracy theories
    Benjamin Lee
    8. Antisemitism and conspiracism
    Kjetil Braut Simonsen
    9. Conspiracy theory and religion
    Asbjørn Dyrendal

    Part IV
    Media and transmission
    Stef Aupers, Dana Craciun and Andreas Önnerfors
    1. Rumours, urban legends and the verbal transmission of conspiracy theories
    Anastasiya Astapova
    2. Conspiracy theorising and the history of media in the eighteenth century
    Andrew McKenzie-McHarg and Claus Oberhauser
    3. Genres of conspiracy in nineteenth-century British writing
    Ben Carver
    4. Conspiracy in American narrative
    Timothy Melley
    5. Conspiracy theories and visual culture
    Ute Caumanns and Andreas Önnerfors
    6. Conspiracy theories in film and television shows
    Michael Butter
    Decoding mass media / encoding conspiracy theory
    Stef Aupers
    The Internet and the spread of conspiracy content
    Simona Stano
    9. Networked disinformation and the lifecycle of online conspiracy theories
    Hugo Leal
    10. Conspiracy theories and fake news
    Kiril Avramov, Vasily Gatov and Ilya Yablokov

    Part V
    Histories and regions
    Ilya Yablokov, Pascal Girard, Nebojša Blanuša and Annika Rabo
    1. Conspiracy theories in the Roman empire
    Victoria Emma Pagán
    2. Conspiracy theories in the Middle Ages and the early modern period
    Cornel Zwierlein
    3. Freemasons, Illuminati and Jews: Conspiracy theories and the French Revolution
    Claus Oberhauser
    4. Conspiracy Theories in Europe during the twentieth century
    Pascal Girard
    5. Conspiracy theories in Putin’s Russia: the case of the ‘New World Order’
    Ilya Yablokov
    6. Conspiracy theories in and about the Balkans
    Nebojša Blanuša
    7. Conspiracy theories in Turkey
    Dogan Gürpinar and Türkay Salim Nefes
    8. Conspiracy theories in the Middle East
    Matthew Gray
    9. Conspiracy theories in Southeast Asia
    Viren Swami, Hanoor Syahirah Zahari and David Barron
    10. Conspiracy theories in American history
    Michael Butter
    11. Populism and conspiracy theory in Latin America: a case study of Venezuela
    Rosanne Norris Hooper


    Michael Butter is professor of American Studies at the University of Tübingen, Germany. He is the author of Plots, Designs, and Schemes: American Conspiracy Theories from the Puritans to the Present (2014) and The Nature of Conspiracy Theories (2020).

    Peter Knight is professor of American Studies at the University of Manchester, UK. He is the author of Conspiracy Culture (2000), The Kennedy Assassination (2007) and Reading the Market (2016) and editor of Conspiracy Nation (2002) and Conspiracy Theories in American History: An Encyclopedia (2004).

    Together they directed the COST Action COMPACT [Comparative Analysis of Conspiracy Theories].