February 2012: Counterpoint are pleased to announce the launch of our newest project, ‘Short-circuiting conspiracy theories to counter ethnocentric populism’, a programme of research and advocacy focused on the role conspiracy theorising plays in shaping populist and radical politics.
Counterpoint’s analysis will focus on France and Norway.
For Counterpoint, the project is an opportunity to explore a crucial dimension of how politics happens from below: how myths and rumours develop and spread, how they are influenced by local and regional historical and political cultures, and how these serve to refine the ways in which people engage in politics. Our approach is evidenced-based; we will engage with conspiracy theorising in order to understand it, and also to influence the context of dangerous conspiracy theories by addressing the wider social, political and cultural background within which these theories become available political resources, catalysts for discontent, and tactics for mobilisation.
The project will be a collaborative initiative with a range of organisations. Our principle project partner is the Hungary-based political consultancy, Political Capital. Working on a range of strategic issues, from right wing extremism to election research and economic forecasting, Political Capital are market leaders in their region, and will be managing the Eastern Dimension of the project, including work in Slovakia, Poland and Hungary. Other cooperating institutions include: The Center for Research on Prejudice, the Institute for Public Affairs, and the Tom Lantos Institute.
Counterpoint’s participation in the project is supported by Open Society Foundations. Other contributors to the project include: Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research, the Visegrad Fund and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.
Expect updates on our work soon, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions about the project.