The Leverhulme Trust has awarded a £1.6m grant to Professor Sir Richard Evans, Professor John Naughton and Dr David Runciman of Trinity Hall for a five-year study of "Conspiracy and Democracy: History, Political Theory and Internet Research".
The project will be based in the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH). The motivation for the project proposal was a shared belief on the part of the three researchers that an understanding of conspiracy and conspiracy theories is deeply relevant to contemporary society and politics. The project will look at conspiracies and conspiracy theories over a long period of time, in three democratic cultures (Britain, Europe and the USA) using a crossdisciplinary approach involving history, political theory and network analysis.
Commenting on the Award, the President said "Conspiracy theories nowadays are more widespread than ever. They have cast doubt on almost every major event in the past few decades, from the moon landings to 9/11. I'm looking forward enormously to working with John Naughton, David Runciman and our researchers to exploring why they have become so popular, and how much of a threat they pose to the stability and credibility of democratic institutions."