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How do populism and conspiracy theories intersect? A case study of the populist radical left and right in France during the Covid-19 pandemic

Abstract : It is often assumed that conspiratorial thinking shares important affinities with the Manichean views of populism, and its profound distrust of elites and experts. Such connection between conspiracy theory and populism should be explored further, however, in order to shed light on the different ways in which they may be articulated in populist politics. Based on a qualitative case study of the populist radical left and radical right in France, this paper examines the interplay between conspiracy theory and populism during the Covid-19 crisis. We find that both populist parties have channelled the Covid-19 pandemic into their existing ideological framework to mobilize the anxieties and grievances produced by the crisis. However, we see variation in the interpretation of the health crisis through the lenses of the ‘thin’ ideology of populism. More importantly, we find that populist actors may also vary significantly in their use of conspiracy theories, reflecting different ideological legacies and political strategies.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-03288174
Contributor : Gilles Ivaldi Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, July 16, 2021 - 11:01:34 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 27, 2021 - 4:14:09 PM

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  • HAL Id : halshs-03288174, version 1

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Gilles Frigoli, Gilles Ivaldi. How do populism and conspiracy theories intersect? A case study of the populist radical left and right in France during the Covid-19 pandemic. 26th World Congress of Political Science, International Political Science Association (IPSA), Jul 2021, Lisboa, Portugal. ⟨halshs-03288174⟩

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