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    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression on 30/09/2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/19434472.2016.1236143

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‘It’s not paranoia when they are really out to get you’: the role of conspiracy theories in the context of heightened security

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Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>01/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression
Issue number1
Volume9
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)4-20
Publication statusPublished
Early online date30/09/16
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Conspiracy theories have been seen as important supporting components in extreme political beliefs. This paper considers conspiracy theories in the counter jihad movement, an international network combining cultural nationalism with xenophobia towards Muslims. This paper evaluates the nature of conspiracy belief through the analysis of several key texts published by counter jihad activists, and of content published on a daily basis by three core websites. The findings show the Islamisation conspiracy theory to be highly modular, with authors able to mix and match villains. The analysis of daily published content demonstrates that, at the routine level, conspiracy theory is rarely used openly as a call to action. This is in keeping with other examples of conspiracy theory in extreme right wing movements in which conspiracy is seen as justification for existing prejudices. However, the political and security context the counter jihad operates in also affords the movement opportunities to support some of their claims, often by reproducing or reinterpreting mainstream or quasi-mainstream reporting, without reverting openly to conspiracy tropes. In the case of the counter jihad movement, as well as potentially other far-right movements, conspiracy theory may be taking a back seat to a more sophisticated public relations approach

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression on 30/09/2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/19434472.2016.1236143