From democratic resistance to hostility against a “Covid-regime” – conspiracy theories as cross-milieu catalysts of radicalization
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How conspiracy theories mobilize protesters against the Covid-19 measures and whether they harbor an underestimated potential for radicalization requires more research. This paper first recognizes the possibility of anti-government conspiracy theories to mobilize a heterogeneous “resistance movement” and theorizes their ability to radicalize some supporters. An analysis of 71 interviews from the German magazine “Demokratischer Widerstand” reveals that an entire “Covid-regime” is often marked as an enemy. The empirical investigation suggests that conspiracy beliefs reflect a means of processing adverse experiences and anxieties, yet are increasingly directed against the political order, fostering anti-democratic attitudes and actions.
Rahlf , L 2023 , ' From democratic resistance to hostility against a “Covid-regime” – conspiracy theories as cross-milieu catalysts of radicalization ' , Studies in Conflict and Terrorism , vol. Latest Articles . https://doi.org/10.1080/1057610X.2023.2169894
Studies in Conflict and Terrorism
Copyright © 2023 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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