Microdosing Conspiracy Theories in Politics (the first of four seminars in the Populism and Religion Seminar Series, spring 2024) Elżbieta Drążkiewicz
Conspiracy theories do not enjoy good reputation. They are usually associated with populism and blamed for political radicalisation, social polarisation, and erosion of democracy. But can conspiracy theories help to defend democracy? Reflecting on the most recent Polish parliamentary elections, and the role of conspiracy theories in electoral campaigns of two main political parties, in this talk I will consider the ways in which conflicts over truth are weaponised in politics, and the ways in which they become mainstream rather than marginal phenomena.
Elżbieta Drążkiewicz, is a graduate of Cambridge Anthropology. At Ethnology Department of Lund University she is leading the ERC project CONSPIRATIONS investigating conflicts over conspiracy theories in Europe. She specializes in organisational and political anthropology. While her current focus is on conflicts over truth and actors spreading and countering conspiracy theories, her research also includes studies of global political economy. She is an author of Institutionalised Dreams: The Art of Managing Foreign Aid.
About the Seminar Series
The seminar series on populism and religion is now organized by the Lund University-based research project Beyond Truth and Lies: Conspiracy Theories, Post-Truth, and the Conditions of Public Debate. This project is an affiliate of the ongoing research program At the End of the World: A Transdisciplinary Approach to the Apocalyptic Imaginary in the Past and Present. The seminar series focuses on the theoretical, philosophical, and theological dimensions of populism, with special attention to how conspiracy theories intersect with populism.
Certain conceptions of politics – including political community, political processes, and political decision-making – characterize typical formulations of populist thought. A fundamental conviction of this seminar series is that we must investigate these conceptions if we want to engage in dialogue that goes beyond plain-sense descriptions of, or explanations for, facts, and which deeply addresses questions about how society is – and ought to be – organized. Conspiracy theories – including corresponding elements of culture that shape and are shaped by conspiracy theories – have become increasingly more public in their significance on politics, political decisions, and political movements. We welcome to our seminars a range of intellectually interested parties to discuss these matters, including senior and junior scholars, doctoral students, and beginners.
Seminars are in English, unless otherwise specified. Seminars are open to the public; you may attend by joining on Zoom.
Zoom link: https://lu-se.zoom.us/j/62645329724