Conspiratorial Narratives in Violent Political Actors’ Language

  title={Conspiratorial Narratives in Violent Political Actors’ Language},
  author={Stephane J. Baele},
  journal={Journal of Language and Social Psychology},
  pages={706 - 734}
This article articulates the concept of “conspiratorial narratives”—defined as stories which integrate a large range of events and archetypal characters from past and present in a single teleological explanation for the alleged suffering of a given social group—and argues that this particular linguistic construct is a key marker of extremist language. Using three different cases to illustrate our theoretical contribution (Nazi propaganda, Rwandan genocidaires’ radio, IS’ messaging), we show… Expand
2 Citations

Figures and Tables from this paper

The Visual Politics of the Alternative for Germany (AfD): Anti-Islam, Ethno-Nationalism, and Gendered Images
This article is an empirical investigation into the visual mobilization strategies by far-right political parties for election campaigns constructing Muslim immigrants as a “threat” to the nation.Expand
The Halle, Germany, synagogue attack and the evolution of the far-right terror threat
attempted to forcibly enter the Jewish community center and synagogue in the eastern German town of Halle (Saale) and execute a mass shooting livestreamed online. It is alleged that after failing toExpand


The Muslim conspiracy theory and the Oslo massacre
Anders Behring Breivik, perpetrator of the Norwegian massacre, was motivated by a belief in a Muslim conspiracy to take over Europe. Extreme and aberrant his actions were, but, explains the author,Expand
Dehumanisation in religious and sectarian violence: the case of Islamic State
ABSTRACTIt is often taken more or less for granted that perpetrators of mass killings and other acts of violent atrocity dehumanise their victims in order to justify killing them. Drawing on the pastExpand
Genocide and constructions of Hutu and Tutsi in radio propaganda
Radio propaganda clearly played a role in the Rwandan genocide of 1994 in which over a million people, mainly Tutsi, were killed. Foreign media and many commentators saw the propaganda as based onExpand
Violence and the Social Construction of Ethnic Identity
We examine the theoretical implications of the observation that ethnic identities are socially constructed for explaining ethnic violence, distinguishing between two classes of mechanisms. IfExpand
The Identity Trap
The purpose of this article is to create a framework for thinking about how language themes propagated in radio broadcasts start to degenerate into the reification of a culture that tolerates andExpand
The Collective Nature of Lone Wolf Terrorism: Anders Behring Breivik and the Anti-Islamic Social Movement
Anders Behring Breivik, a lone wolf terrorist, killed 77 people in two terrorist attacks in Norway in 2011. This study uses framing theory from social movement studies to compare his Manifesto withExpand
Conspiracy Theories and the Paranoid Style(s) of Mass Opinion
Although conspiracy theories have long been a staple of American political culture, no research has systematically examined the nature of their support in the mass public. Using four nationallyExpand
Great Power Politics and Strategic Narratives
Great powers use strategic narratives to establish and maintain influence in the international system and to shape the system itself. This is particularly the case in periods of transition in theExpand
The Language of Political Aggression
We examined the relationship between language and political aggression by examining the words used by world leaders and leaders of ideologically motivated groups when talking about their despisedExpand
The Argument for Genocide in Nazi Propaganda
The Nazis justified their attempt to exterminate the Jews by claiming that they were only defending themselves against Jewish plans to destroy Germany and its population. I show how the Nazis usedExpand