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HISTORY, POLITICAL THEORY, INTERNET

Category Archives: Controversies

“Denial”: how to deal with a conspiracy theory in the era of ‘post-truth’

I only have a very small part in the film Denial compared to those of David Irving (played by Timothy Spall), Richard Rampton QC (played by Tom Wilkinson), Anthony Julius (played by Andrew Scott), and Professor Deborah Lipstadt (played by Rachel Weisz), but I like to think it’s an important one. When Irving sued Deborah […]

15 February 2017
‘Coalgate’: corruption, an honest bureaucrat and a deeper malaise in India

Nayanika Mathur, University of Cambridge “Corruption. It’s like a demon sitting on my brain and eating it with a fork and knife.” So bemoans a character in the novelist Aravind Adiga’s Between the Assasinations set in India. While it is commonplace and easy to bemoan the pervasiveness of corruption in India, it is harder to […]

23 August 2016
The Miami Conference

“It’s hard to question a category and measure with it at the same time” – it was in these terms that my colleague Alfred attempted to explain one of the many rifts running through a recent conference on conspiracy theories. Since the 1980s conspiracy theories have been discovered as a topic worthy of serious academic […]

3 April 2015
Watch “Holocaust Denial: Flat Earth Theory?” talk by Professor Deborah E. Lipstadt (Emory)
Watch “Holocaust Denial: Flat Earth Theory?” talk by Professor Deborah E. Lipstadt (Emory)

Professor Deborah E. Lipstadt (Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University) visited the project in May 2014. Holocaust denial, the attempt to deny that the Third Reich engaged in the annihilation of approximately of six million Jews, has been depicted as a serious threat to historical truth. Others have dismissed […]

4 September 2014
Watch “Conspiracy theories between secular scepticism + religious salvation” talk by Stef Aupers (Erasmus)
Watch “Conspiracy theories between secular scepticism + religious salvation” talk by Stef Aupers (Erasmus)

A Public Lecture by Conspiracy & Democracy Visiting Fellow Stef Aupers (Erasmus University of Rotterdam) In the social sciences, a conspiracy theory is often disqualified as ‘irrational’ superstition or religious belief. In defense, conspiracy theorists present their methods of inquiry as utterly rational – often even more scientific than ‘dogmatic’ institutionalized science. In this lecture, […]

Why conspiracy theories in America are not on the rise after all
Why conspiracy theories in America are not on the rise after all

We recently had a visit from Joe Parent and Joe Uscinski, associate professors in political science at the University of Miami, who gave a public talk based on their forthcoming book: Conspiracy Theories in America (Oxford University Press).   It was a great talk. They’ve put together a highly original data set, and they use […]

6 June 2014
Conspiracy and Democracy Project at the Hay Festival 2014
Conspiracy and Democracy Project at the Hay Festival 2014

Professor Sir Richard Evans, Principal Investigator and overall director of the project spoke at this year’s Hay Festival (a celebration of Literature and the Arts) as part of the Cambridge Series events this past week. The Times (subscription) reported: Why the plot is thicker for Americans The International Business Times reported: JFK Assassination, 9/11 attacks, Diana’s Death: Why […]

2 June 2014
A Climate of Conspiracy
A Climate of Conspiracy

Last year Hugo wrote on the blog about an article called “NASA Faked the Moon Landing – Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science“, by Stephan Lewandowsky, Klaus Oberauer and Gilles Gignac. Their main finding, based on a survey of climate-blog visitors, was that “endorsement of free market […]

8 April 2014
Rhinos or Bangladeshis? The Paranoid Style of the Hindu Right

My Historian colleagues assure me that conspiracy theories run high around the time of revolutions. Going by the feverish profusion of conspiracy theories in India currently, they must also exponentially multiply just before national elections. Another day I will write of the comical and, probably, more-or-less harmless ones. Right now I want to focus on […]

31 March 2014
Aesthetics of conspiracy theories

Nice blog post by a pseudonymous colleague (whose identity is not so secret that he cannot be unmasked after a few moments of assiduous link-following!) He (for it is a he — or perhaps one should say ‘an he’) postulates six rules for a well-formed CT: Rule 1. Lack of evidence proves that there is […]

18 March 2014