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: £20.00
  • Published Date: September 2020
  • BIC Category: International Relations, International relations, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Conspiracy Theories, POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Diplomacy, 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 political controversy, where foreign policy orthodoxy comes up hard against alternative interpretations. It does so in the context of American foreign policy during the War on Terror, a conflict that was quintessentially covert and conspiratorial. This book adds a new dimension to the debate by examining 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 subsequently made its way into numerous US Government policy documents and initiatives advancing a War of Ideas strategy aimed at winning the 'hearts and minds' of Arab-Muslims.

This study provides a novel reading of the processes through which legitimacy and illegitimacy is produced in foreign policy discourses. It will appeal to a wide cross-disciplinary audience interested in the burgeoning issues of conspiracy, paranoia, and popular knowledge, including their relationship to and consequences for 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 Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Kent, UK

Conspiracy theory and American foreign policy

By Tim Aistrope

Paperback £20.00 / $35.00

Hardcover £80.00 / $120.00

Or buy from your preferred bookseller:

Amazon Waterstones Blackwells

Click here for North and South America

Sign up to our newsletter
and receive 30% off all future book orders

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!

Your cart is empty.

Select your shipping destination to estimate postage costs

(Based on standard shipping costs)

Final cost calculated on checkout
Promotional codes can be added on Checkout