Policy Memos

The 'Hidden Hand' of External Enemies: The Use of Conspiracy Theories by Putin's Regime

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Deploying and seeking to capitalize on conspiracy theories is fairly common among political actors worldwide. Explaining some events as the result of an internal or external opponent’s sinister plans can empower theorists and disempower adversaries. With their actions, conspiracy theorists can mobilize supporters, reduce their own responsibility for failures, create scapegoats , sharpen popular negative sentiments, and provide easy explanations for social problems (particularly at times of crisis). Furthermore, such theories can serve as a means of entertainment, thereby raising their popularity and extending their reach. [...] 

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About the author

Lead Researcher, Peace and Conflict Studies
Institute of World Economy & International Relations (IMEMO), Moscow