This chapter explores the link between conspiracy theories, political beliefs and political engagement in order to answer the question of whether conspiracy theories can be viewed as a vehicle for the outsider to articulate their doubts about governments and ruling powers. It examines whether belief in conspiracy theories is linked with a discernible profile of political engagement and participation. Conspiracy theories can serve as a psychological tool for the political outsider to regain a sense of control and increase predictability because they offer an explanation for events that the official account attributes to coincidences, natural forces or a series or random events. There is limited research on the relationship between belief in political conspiracy theories and political participation. Statistical analysis showed no relationship between political ideology and either the Conspiracy mentality questionnaire or belief in specific conspiracy theories. Among people low on political interest, conspiracy theories may further solidify their distaste, lack of trust and alienation from the political process.
|Title of host publication||Routledge Handbook of Conspiracy Theories|
|Editors||Michael Butter, Peter Knight|
|Place of Publication||Abington Oxon|
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 26 Feb 2020|