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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

The Consequences of Conspiracism

The Consequences of Conspiracism

What People Believe and Why

(p.131) 7 The Consequences of Conspiracism
Revealing Schemes

Scott Radnitz

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes the results of a survey of 1,000 respondents in each Georgia and Kazakhstan, assessing attitudes toward generic and specific conspiracy theories and responses to two experimental vignettes. The analysis shows that most people are willing to give conspiracy theories the benefit of the doubt, with Georgians being more conspiratorial overall. Yet politicians who promote conspiracy theories are not automatically believed or rewarded politically. In an ironic twist, the success of conspiracy mongers in winning popular support is limited by the very cynicism that conspiracy theories produce in the first place. Finally, conspiracy believers are different from the general population, being more alienated from politics but more socially engaged.

Keywords:   conspiracy theory, survey, survey experiment, Georgia, Kazakhstan, political participation, Russia, propaganda, cynicism

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