Fringe to Mainstream: How the complementary nature of conspiracy theories and populism manifests itself in the Alt-Right.
No Thumbnail Available
While the relationship between conspiracy theory and populism generally remains largely understudied, it mostly lacks research into conspiracy theories and specific populist movements. This thesis analyzes the complementary nature of populism and conspiracy theories and how the effects that conspiracy theories tend to have within populist movements manifest themselves in the specific context of the Alt-Right. By measuring the Alt-Right by the characteristics of populism, it can be categorized as a populist movement. Academic literature combining populism, conspiracy theories and the Alt-Right is scarce, but by combining research into the conspiracy theories and populism and conspiracy theories and the Alt-Right, the research question: how do populism and conspiracy theories complement one another, and how do the effects that conspiracy theories tend to have within populist movements manifest themselves in the specific context of the Alt-Right, can be answered. Conspiracy theories, populism and the Alt-Right contain various shared characteristics that support their complementary nature. By using the White Genocide, the manifestation of the effects of this CT within the case study of the Alt-Right can be illustrated. By demonstrating how CTs manifest themselves in this specific case study, this research contributes not only to the understanding of the effects within the Alt-Right but also to the awareness of the possible effects of CTs on other populist movements. Additional research into the manifestations of the effects of conspiracy theories concerning other specific populist movements is necessary to draw more general conclusions. Keywords: Alt-Right, (right-wing) populist movements, conspiracy theories, white nationalism, White Genocide, post-truth.
Faculteit der Letteren