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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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The Hidden and the Revealed

The Hidden and the Revealed

Styles of Political Conspiracy Theory in Kirchnerism

Chapter:
(p.395) 27 The Hidden and the Revealed
Source:
Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them
Author(s):

Tanya Filer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190844073.003.0027

Critics note that conspiracy theory offers populist leaders a ready narrative form for producing fear of “outsiders.” Yet conspiracy theory also helps to sustain populist authority in other, less commented, ways. This chapter explores the varied uses of conspiracy theory to populism through a case study of Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (2007—2015). It identifies two styles of conspiracy theory, which I term “the hidden” and “the revealed,” that Fernández actively engaged in her attempt to control the political narrative in Argentina and to maintain popular legitimacy. Together, these dual forms of conspiracy theory furnished Fernández with an efficient method for bolstering two crucial tenets of populist authority: vertical leadership, and the illusion of direct contact with “the people.”

Keywords:   Kirchernism, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Argentina, conspiracy theory, populism

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