50 min

Scott Radnitz on Why Conspiracy Theories Thrive in Both Democracies and Autocracies Democracy Paradox

    • Government

There's something natural and organic about perceiving that the people in power are out to advance their own interests. It's in part because it’s often true. Governments actually do keep secrets from the public. Politicians engage in scandals. There often is corruption at high levels. So, we don't want citizens in a democracy to be too trusting of their politicians. It's healthy to be skeptical of the state and its real abuses and tendencies towards secrecy. The danger is when this distrust gets redirected, not toward the state, but targets innocent people who are not actually responsible for people's problems.
Scott Radnitz

Support Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information.

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

*Please note during the interview the host says "conspiracy" rather than "conspiracy theory." The transcript has been corrected.*

Scott Radnitz is an associate professor of Russian and Eurasian Studies at the University of Washington and the director of the Ellison Center for Russian, Eastern European, and Central Asian Studies. He is the author of Revealing Schemes: The Politics of Conspiracy in Russia and the Post-Soviet Region and coeditor with Harris Mylonas of the forthcoming book Enemies Within: The Global Politics of Fifth Columns. His article “Why Democracy Fuels Conspiracy Theories” was recently published in the Journal of Democracy.

Key Highlights
Conspiracy theories Russia uses to justify their invasion of UkraineWhy Russia relies on conspiracy theories in its political rhetoricThe use of conspiracy theories in democracies and autocraciesThe recent proliferation of conspiracy theories in the United StatesHow to mitigate the harmful effects of conspiracy theories in politics
Key Links
"Why Democracy Fuels Conspiracy Theories" by Scott Radnitz in Journal of Democracy
Revealing Schemes: The Politics of Conspiracy in Russia and the Post-Soviet Region by Scott Radnitz
Enemies Within: The Global Politics of Fifth Columns edited by Harris Mylonas and Scott Radnitz

Democracy Paradox Podcast
Ronald Deibert from Citizen Lab on Cyber Surveillance, Digital Subversion, and Transnational Repression
Moisés Naím on the New Dynamics of Political Power
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More Information
Democracy Group
Apes of the State created all Music
Email the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.com
Follow on Twitter @DemParadox
100 Books on Democracy
Support the show

There's something natural and organic about perceiving that the people in power are out to advance their own interests. It's in part because it’s often true. Governments actually do keep secrets from the public. Politicians engage in scandals. There often is corruption at high levels. So, we don't want citizens in a democracy to be too trusting of their politicians. It's healthy to be skeptical of the state and its real abuses and tendencies towards secrecy. The danger is when this distrust gets redirected, not toward the state, but targets innocent people who are not actually responsible for people's problems.
Scott Radnitz

Support Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information.

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

*Please note during the interview the host says "conspiracy" rather than "conspiracy theory." The transcript has been corrected.*

Scott Radnitz is an associate professor of Russian and Eurasian Studies at the University of Washington and the director of the Ellison Center for Russian, Eastern European, and Central Asian Studies. He is the author of Revealing Schemes: The Politics of Conspiracy in Russia and the Post-Soviet Region and coeditor with Harris Mylonas of the forthcoming book Enemies Within: The Global Politics of Fifth Columns. His article “Why Democracy Fuels Conspiracy Theories” was recently published in the Journal of Democracy.

Key Highlights
Conspiracy theories Russia uses to justify their invasion of UkraineWhy Russia relies on conspiracy theories in its political rhetoricThe use of conspiracy theories in democracies and autocraciesThe recent proliferation of conspiracy theories in the United StatesHow to mitigate the harmful effects of conspiracy theories in politics
Key Links
"Why Democracy Fuels Conspiracy Theories" by Scott Radnitz in Journal of Democracy
Revealing Schemes: The Politics of Conspiracy in Russia and the Post-Soviet Region by Scott Radnitz
Enemies Within: The Global Politics of Fifth Columns edited by Harris Mylonas and Scott Radnitz

Democracy Paradox Podcast
Ronald Deibert from Citizen Lab on Cyber Surveillance, Digital Subversion, and Transnational Repression
Moisés Naím on the New Dynamics of Political Power
More Episodes from the Podcast

More Information
Democracy Group
Apes of the State created all Music
Email the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.com
Follow on Twitter @DemParadox
100 Books on Democracy
Support the show

50 min

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