Andrey Ignatiev 1
  • 1 Russian State University for the Humanities, GSP-3, 6 Miusskaya Sq, Moscow, 125993, Russian Federation

The Theater of Political Crisis: Conspiracy as a “Matter of Belief”

2015, vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 44–67 [issue contents]

The article discusses various “conspiracy theories,” considering them to be a special frame or paradigm of discourse. This frame considers long-term societal and global trends as consequences of a conspiracy aiming to shift power to its initiators. It has been shown that every “conspiracy theory” presupposes a specific marking of social space that can be viewed as an attachment to the “theatre metaphor.” This specific marking of social space does not occur in private by the founder of the method, but to situations of the public execution of power. This thesis discusses and proves the hypothesis that “conspiracy theories” are becoming functional constructs in crisis situations of a so-called “representative democracy,” in ensuring the legitimacy of a respective political regime, in the perspective of crisis management, and in the initiations of effective political actors. The conclusion is that “conspiracy theories” are rather typical for the late-modernity societies than for the politically archaic contexts. These late modernity societies are characterized by secularization, “public sphere” accessibility, influential media, representation crisis,  and “shadow” practices. Additionally, it has been shown that totalitarian political ideologies and regimes can be considered as “conspiracy theories” derivatives, resulting in a valid projection of this specific frame or paradigm of discourse on real political conflicts which emerge from societal or global crises.

Citation: Ignatiev A. (2015) Teatr politicheskogo krizisa: zagovor kak «predmet very» [The Theater of Political Crisis: Conspiracy as a “Matter of Belief”]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 14, no 1, pp. 44-67 (in Russian)
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