Conspiracy culture
in Conspiracy theory and American foreign policy
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This chapter engages with approaches that move away from the paranoid style paradigm, using these resources to rethink the issue of Arab-Muslim conspiracy theory. A central theme advanced in what I call the conspiracy culture literature is that conspiracy theories are more common than was previously thought because the underlying sociological and psychological dynamics that produce them are actually widespread. Many of the themes identified in this literature resonate across cultural horizons, highlighting important commonalities and potential points of connection with Arab-Muslim political culture. Yet extrapolating these theories remains a fraught enterprise. The problem is suggested by the reticence of postcolonial scholars about the usefulness of Eurocentric frameworks for radically dissimilar regions. Instead I develop a discursive understanding of conspiracy theory that emphasises the relationship between power and knowledge.

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