Projekte / Wissenschaft
Conspiracy theories are becoming increasingly widely discussed in the media and research. How the belief in conspiracy theories affects political action, however, is still an open question. This research project aims to investigate this question on the basis of two representative samples from Germany and Israel by showing that conspiracy beliefs serve as a radicalization multiplier.
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Finanzierungszeitraum 30.04.18 23:59 Uhr
Realisierungszeitraum June 2019
Fundingziel 2.000 €
2. Fundingziel 3.000 €
Representative Study – participant recruitment in Israel
Representative Study – participant recruitment in Germany
Kategorie Wissenschaft

Worum geht es in dem Projekt?

Ever since the last US presidential election, conspiracy theories have become a topic of public interest. In contrast to common assumptions, conspiracy beliefs are very widespread across the globe – including in Germany and Israel. Twenty-four percent of the Germans believe that that the CIA killed John F. Kennedy and 13% think that the Euro was invented to destroy the power of Germany (Schultz, 2017). In Israel, one third of Israelis do not believe the official version of the killing of Yitzhak Rabin (Caspit, 2015).

Was sind die Ziele und wer ist die Zielgruppe?

This project is a sub-project of a larger project dealing with the question of the role of conspiracy theories for political radicalization. The other studies focus on the extent to which people react to terrorist attacks with conspiracy beliefs and whether this affects their political opinions. Now we want to find out how conspiracy also affects the extent to which people advocate violence and how they are increasingly moving outside the democratic system.

Warum sollte jemand dieses Projekt unterstützen?

The role of conspiracy theories for the mobilization of violent action can currently only be guessed. Historical examples such as the persecution of Jews during the plague epidemic in the Middle Ages and National Socialism with its anti-Semitic conspiracy theories show the potential of conspiracy theories as vehicles for violent mobilization up to genocide. Conspiracy theories also play a major role in current right-wing populist discourses.

Understanding how conspiracy theories affect politically extreme groups is relevant - scientifically and socially. Within the framework of this project, factors responsible for radicalization processes will be identified in order to be able to draw up concrete action derivations for practical social work with young people and adults at risk.

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