Conspiracy theory and American foreign policy

By Tim Aistrope

Conspiracy theory and American foreign policy


  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-3938-2
  • Pages: 184
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £21.00
  • Published Date: October 2020
  • BIC Category: International Relations, International relations, POLITICAL SCIENCE / American Government / General, POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Diplomacy, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Conspiracy Theories, Conspiracy Theories, United States of America, USA, Society & social sciences / International relations
  • Series: New Approaches to Conflict Analysis


Conspiracy theory and American foreign policy examines the relationship between secrecy, power and interpretation around international controversy, where foreign policy orthodoxy comes up hard against alternative interpretations. It does so in the context of US foreign policy during the War on Terror, a conflict that was covert and conspiratorial to its core.

Offering a new dimension to debates on post-truth politics, this book critically examines the 'Arab-Muslim paranoia narrative': the view that Arab-Muslim resentment towards America is motivated to some degree by a paranoid perception of American power in the Middle East. This narrative is traced from its roots in a post-War liberal understanding of populism through to foreign policy debates about the origins of 9/11, to the strategic heart of the Bush Administration's War of Ideas. Balancing conceptual innovation with detailed case analysis, Aistrope provides a window into the ideological commitments of the US War on Terror.

Offering a fascinating insight into conspiracy and paranoia, this book is essential reading for those interested in the relationship between secrecy, power, and contemporary politics.



Part I: Conceptualising conspiracy theory
1 The paranoid style in international politics
2 Conspiracy culture

Part II: Conspiracy discourse in the War on Terror
3 Strategies of deterrence and frames of containment
4 The War of Ideas
5 Conspiracy, misinformation and public diplomacy

Select bibliography


Tim Aistrope is a Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Kent

Conspiracy theory and American foreign policy

By Tim Aistrope

Paperback £21.00 / $30.95

Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

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