Conspiracy Theories in Southeast Asia

Viren Swami, Hanoor S. Zahari, David Barron

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter aims to consolidate available knowledge by introducing a number of Southeast Asian conspiracy theories that have been subjected to scholarly scrutiny. It focuses on several conspiracy theories in the Southeast Asian context that have received at least some empirical or analytic consideration and that point to broader similarities in conspiracy theorising across the region. The chapter highlights a number of Southeast Asian conspiracy theories that have been subjected to academic research and to identify and explain the multiple sources of conspiracy theorising and the functions they serve in contemporary Southeast Asia. Closely related to anti-West conspiracy theories is the Jewish conspiracy theory, which borrows from early European antisemitism to posit the view that Jews are conspiring toward world domination. The theme of inter-group conflict and communal violence should come as no surprise in a region that is ethnically heterogeneous and, indeed, feeds a number of other regional conspiracy theories, particularly during periods of social and economic upheaval.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Conspiracy Theories
ISBN (Electronic)9780429452734
ISBN (Print)9780815361749
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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