Conspiracy theories and right-wing extremism – Insights and recommendations for P/CVE

06 May 2021

Conspiracy theories are morality tales based on archetypal narratives about right versus wrong, good versus evil. Providing “black and white” world views, they foster societal divisions between in-groups and out-groups by exacerbating intolerance against “the other” and delegitimising different voices as being part of the conspiracy.

Extremist groups use conspiracy theories as a tool for recruitment and to advance their radical agendas exploiting uncertainties, fears, socioeconomic issues and mental health disorders amongst vulnerable people. In recent years, right-wing extremism has proven to be active and efficient in the dissemination of conspiracy theories aimed at targeting individuals or groups blamed to be responsible for the evil in society. Shielding the audience from the risk of being drawn into the conspiratorial labyrinth of these groups is crucial to push back the ability of conspiracy theorists in mobilising extremist action and violence.

The full Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) paper, authored by our Programme Director & RAN Expert Pool Member Francesco Farinelli, is in English and can be found here.