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Scott Radnitz | Qualitative Methods in Research on the Politics of Conspiracy

September 23, 2021

Scott Radnitz is the Herbert J. Ellison Associate Professor of Russian and Eurasian Studies in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington.  His research deals primarily with the post-Soviet region and topics such as protests, authoritarianism, informal networks, and identity. His work employs surveys, focus groups, and experimental methodologies.

His most recent book Revealing Schemes: The Politics of Conspiracy in Russia and the Post-Soviet Region came out with Oxford University Press in 2021. It investigates why politicians in the region promote conspiratorial claims and what effects that has

In this talk, Radnitz will discuss the process of research for his new book Revealing Schemes. He will address the challenges of studying conspiracy theories in non-democratic states and discuss the use of a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods in his research. He will focus especially on focus groups as a means to elicit candid opinions about how people perceive that power is exercised over their lives.