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Revealing SchemesThe Politics of Conspiracy in Russia and the Post-Soviet Region$
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Scott Radnitz

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780197573532

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197573532.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 28 January 2022

Connecting the Dots

Connecting the Dots

Patterns of Conspiracism in Post-Soviet Politics

(p.67) 4 Connecting the Dots
Revealing Schemes

Scott Radnitz

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes the database of conspiracy claims to understand the purposes conspiracy theories serve for the people who promote them. First, it examines the data as a whole to check whether the frequency of conspiracy claims rose over two decades, and if so, what events were most responsible for the rise. Second, it asks how critical events affect the manifestation and timing of conspiracy claims. Third, it looks at the influence of geopolitical alignments and rivalries. Fourth, it explores the domestic realm and shows how regime type affects conspiracy claims. Finally, it examines how heads of state and other authority figures contribute to the overall patterns of conspiracism in the region. In summary, the chapter demonstrates how conspiracism can be an outgrowth of palpable threats, political competition, and developments abroad.

Keywords:   conspiracy theory, political rhetoric, regime, geopolitics, threat perception, authoritarianism

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