Down the rabbit hole we go!

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Conspiracy theories are not fringe ideas, tucked neatly away in the dark corners of society. They are politically, economically, and socially relevant to all of us. They are intertwined with our everyday lives in countless ways. Just like other ideas, they have consequences which can sometimes be deadly. Conspiracy theories can also encourage good behavior and uncover wrongdoing. Beyond shaping the composition and nature of governments through democratic processes, conspiracy theories exert a profound effect on policy choices. Sometimes this is a top-down process by which political elites use conspiracy rhetoric to justify or propagate particular policies; in other instances conspiracy theories can percolate from the bottom up, and affect policy through direct democracy or by influencing the actions of otherwise nonconspiratorial elites. Conspiracy theories are often discussed, but much less understood. What do we know about conspiracy theories and what answers continue to elude us? What makes conspiracy theories so important now?

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationConspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe them
PublisherOxford University Press
Pages1-32
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9780190844073
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Keywords

  • 2016 election
  • Brexit
  • Conspiracist ideation
  • Conspiracy
  • Conspiracy theory
  • Ideology
  • Policy
  • Trump
  • Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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  • Cite this

    Uscinski, J. (2018). Down the rabbit hole we go! In Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe them (pp. 1-32). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190844073.003.0001