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Conspiracy theories and their effects on the public perception of crisis management

Bos, D. (2020) Conspiracy theories and their effects on the public perception of crisis management.

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Abstract:This study offers an in depth single-case study focused on the effects of conspiracy theories on the public perception of adequate crisis management in the Enschede fireworks disaster. It addresses the research question: ‘’How did (does) conspiracy theories in news articles affect the public perception of adequate crisis management in the Enschede fireworks disaster?’’. To answer this question, causal-process tracing is applied in order to construct a timeline compiled of seven events or incidents crucial for blame gaming and conspiracy theories around the Enschede fireworks disaster. Several hypotheses related to the effects of cognition on the evaluation of crisis management and the emergence of conspiracy theories are tested. Besides, more specific hypotheses regarding blame gaming in news media are tested. To test these hypotheses, this study makes use a set of news articles produced by making a set of key words and newspapers. Eventually 88 different newspaper articles were analysed on blame gaming, leading to an outcome that indicates conspiracy theories in news articles did not have an effect on the public perception of crisis management in the Enschede fireworks disaster. However, it also provided some surprising outcomes regarding the hypotheses related to blame gaming in the news media.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Management Society and Technology BSc (56654)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/82331
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