Continent of Conspiracies? Conspiracy Theories about Europe and the EU

Presented by the Institute of European Studies.
Full event details here.

Suffocating superpower or dying dinosaur? Conspiratorial imaginations of Europe and its political institutions have shaped the view upon the continent over the last decades. The narratives have described Europe as trapped in a tension between the double threats of external extermination and internal dissolution – a discourse that has been mobilized by populist political movements and foreign influence operations alike. Where do these conspiracy narratives originate and how are they expressed? Dr. Andreas Önnerfors, visiting professor at Berkeley and co-editor of the volume “Europe: Continent of Conspiracies. Conspiracy Theories in and about Europe” (Routledge, 2021) takes us on a journey through polarizing perceptions of contemporary Europe.

Andreas Önnerfors is Professor in Intellectual history, currently visiting UC Berkeley’s Department of Scandinavian as a guest lecturer. In Europe he holds a position as Dean of Class 1, Humanities of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts in Salzburg, Austria and runs a forecasting enterprise in Sweden, Hyperhelikon Ideas Consulting. Specialized in the cultural history of the eighteenth century, he has over the last decade developed a research profile in radicalization studies and conspiracy theories. He is the author of ”Freemasonry – A Very Short Introduction” (OUP, 2017), and co-author/editor of the volumes ”Expressions of Radicalization: Global Politics, Processes and Practices (Palgrave, 2018), ”Conspiracy Theories and the Nordic Countries” (Routledge, 2021) and ””Europe: Continent of Conspiracies. Conspiracy Theories in and about Europe” (Routledge, 2021). Moreover, Önnerfors has written a report for the Swedish Civil Contingency Agency MSB about COVID-19-related conspiracy theories and how to counter them.


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