- Title Pages
- 1 Down the Rabbit Hole We Go!
- 2 The History of Conspiracy Theory Research
- Section I What Is a Conspiracy Theory?
- 3 What We Mean When We Say “Conspiracy Theory”
- 4 Conspiracy Theory
- 5 Media Marginalization of Racial Minorities
- 6 Conspiracy Theories and Philosophy
- Section II How Do Conspiracy Theorists and Non-Conspiracy Theorists Interact?
- 7 On the Democratic Problem of Conspiracy Politics
- 8 The Politics of Disruption
- 9 Learning about Conspiracy Theories
- 10 In Whose Hands the Future?
- 11 Conspiracy Theory Phobia
- 12 Conspiracy Thinking, Tolerance, and Democracy
- Section III Are Conspiracy Theories “Anti-Science”?
- 13 Don’t Trust the Scientists! Rejecting the Scientific Consensus “Conspiracy”
- 14 Conspiratorial Thinking and Dueling Fact Perceptions
- 15 The Conspiracy Theory Pyramid Scheme
- Section IV What Is the Psychology of Conspiracy Theorizing?
- 16 Conspiracy Theory Psychology
- 17 Conspiracy Rumor Psychology
- 18 The Truth Is Around Here Somewhere
- Section V What Do Conspiracy Theories Look Like in the United States?
- 19 Conspiracy Theories in U.S. History
- 20 Polls, Plots, and Party Politics
- 21 How Conspiracy Theories Spread
- Section VI What Do Conspiracy Theories Look Like Around the World?
- 22 Who Believes in Conspiracy Theories in Great Britain and Europe?
- 23 Why the Powerful (in Weak States) Prefer Conspiracy Theories
- 24 Conspiracy Theories in Post-Soviet Russia
- 25 The Collective Conspiracy Mentality in Poland
- 26 The Conspiratorial Style in Turkish Politics
- 27 The Hidden and the Revealed
- Section VII How Should We Live with Conspiracy Theories?
- 28 Conspiracy Theories and Religion
- 29 The Credulity of Conspiracy Theorists
- 30 Empowerment as a Tool to Reduce Belief in Conspiracy Theories
- 31 Conspiracy Theories for Journalists
The Politics of Disruption
The Politics of Disruption
Social Choice Theory and Conspiracy Theory Politics
- (p.122) 8 The Politics of Disruption
- Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them
Matthew D. Atkinson
- Oxford University Press
What motivates conspiracy theory politics? Strategic, ambitious politicians play a central role in the rise of conspiracy theories. We employ the garbage can model of choice and social choice theory to explain how and why out-of-power politicians engage in innovative and unorthodox efforts to alter their situation. We call these entrepreneurial efforts the politics of disruption. While conspiracy theories are just one tool of disruption, they are typically the most readily available and lowest-cost method available for changing the political game. We argue that scholars interested in explaining the propagation of conspiracy theories should look beyond idiosyncratic psychological factors and place greater analytical focus on systematic political motives and context.
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