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Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them$
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Joseph E. Uscinski

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190844073

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190844073.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 12 April 2021

Conspiracy Theories in Post-Soviet Russia

Conspiracy Theories in Post-Soviet Russia

(p.360) 24 Conspiracy Theories in Post-Soviet Russia
Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them

Ilya Yablokov

Oxford University Press

Throughout the post-Soviet period various conspiracy theories, most of which have been anti-Western, have moved from the margins of intellectual life to the mainstream of Russian politics. The trauma of the Soviet collapse enabled political elites to offer a conspiratorial reading of the event, and use this both for the purpose of nation-building and for suppressing democratic opposition by accusing its proponents of having destroyed the Soviet Union from within. Russian political elites use conspiracy theories to tackle emerging challenges by dividing Russian society into a majority loyal to the Kremlin, and a minority which is supposedly out to destroy Russia. The state authorities, including top-ranking politicians, seem to be the main producers of this conspiracy discourse; however, they use it with great care, with much reliance on the support of intellectuals who take part both in the production and dissemination of these theories to the general public. Studying conspiracy theories in Russia provides us with a means to comprehend domestic politics and to explain the strategies of the Russian political elite on both the domestic and international levels.

Keywords:   conspiracy theory, Russia, New World Order, Putin, color revolutions, Ukraine

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